- Our high cost of care and modest health outcomes will remain stubbornly fixed unless our behavior changes.
- Nearly 40% of Americans were considered obese in 2015 and 2016, a significant increase from 2007 and 2008.
- A 2016 study published in the Journal of the AMA found that only 2% of Americans met the ideal dietary guidelines adopted by the American Heart Association.
- In a 2015 survey, 28% of American adults that they did not participate in the past year in any of 104 listed physical activities and were considered “totally sedentary.”
Digital health is perhaps the biggest scam in technology. Even though companies, like Rock Health, report that more people are “using” digital health the fact remains that our healthcare costs are still going to climb. (Rock Health by the way has a conflict in interest in their report as they are getting VC dollars for digital health).
Is Digital Health the answer?
According to Forbes, in an article called The Mirage of Digital Health” “changing the drivers of our population health and our healthcare spending curve requires that we make hard political and personal choices. Historically, we have not been receptive to doing either. We should employ and leverage information technology tools. But digital health is not a panacea. We should not place too much faith on government edicts, data analytics, and logarithms to avoid doing the hard work and making the hard choices necessary to improving the health of Americans”.
In other words, digital health is a tool and tools are only as good as the people who use them.
Why am I so down on digital health?
As long as Americans remain unhealthy and our healthcare costs continue to rise I just don’t believe that digital health deserves the spotlight. We need to focus more on better points of care like more time with physicians who can access both our physical and mental wellness. I’m talking about insurers who recommend and pay for consults with registered dieticians and physical fitness coaches.
As the Forbes article continues “we spend about 17% of our GDP on healthcare and this number surely is headed to 20%; that amounts to more than $3 trillion per year. What do we have to show for this? Compared to other developed countries, not so much. We have a higher rate of infant mortality, a lower life expectancy and a greater prevalence of chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease”.
The thing about digital health is not availability; it’s that people need to use these tools to build better bodies not just tell them they