If you have a smartphone, you might use one of the many banking apps that exist to manage your finances. From depositing checks to paying back your coworkers, technology has turned the complicated world of banking into a simple, convenient, and consumer friendly task.
Why can’t healthcare do the same? It’s also a complicated system. Why can’t we get all our prescriptions filled in a couple taps, get a diagnosis online, or get a For one, your health is a lot more complicated than money. The math that’s required to paint a picture of your health is a lot more complicated than calculating your available balance. It involves tests, scans, and years of health history: data, data, data.
Still, some things have got to be simplified. It’s called “consumerization,” and simply put, it means making services more accessible to its everyday users, which helps change the system. When it comes to healthcare, however, we’re talking about a relationship. You have a relationship with your banking institution, but it’s not quite the same type of relationship you have with your doctor. That relationship is supposed to be more like a partnership. Our doctors are not just service providers—they’re human beings working with us (i.e. we have to do some of the work!) to make us the healthiest people we can be.
So when we think about consumerizing or simplifying healthcare, we really have to find those solutions that not only give us better access to our care but in turn that help our doctors provide us with the best care possible. Technology can provide this in the form tools, apps, and services, that not only help us reach our doctors, but provide them with accurate and organized information about our health.
In order to simplify healthcare, both doctor and patient need easier access to records. Patients need to be able to self-track data that makes sense for the doctor (that is, all those calorie counting apps we use need to be able to spit out a report that’s usable to your doc!). And most of all, communication has to improve on both ends. Instead of pressing “0″ to leave a message, we should know our message got delivered to our doctor. And instead of having to tack on an extra hour to their workday calling patients back, taking notes, and filing paperwork, doctors need an easy way to review their patients’ questions and respond on their own time. Removing barriers reduces cost and improves productivity—and that improves care!
We’re optimistic about the future of healthcare. We’ve spoken to enough innovators, physicians, and patients to believe a change is on the horizon.