November 21, 2014

Population Health - It's About the Conversation First

 We are all aware how the geometry of healthcare is changing from a linear office-based communication schema to a platform-based model that does a better job of pulling together the producers and consumers of care. Mobile applications, remote monitoring and wearable devices are part of this transition and have captured much of the attention in the literature and shown beneficial outcomes in many early pilots.  It is the temptation of this new technology that shadows the greatest value being delivered across a platform - the conversations with the patient that increase their engagement in managing their health. 

Taking a step back to map out how to leverage yesterday’s “phone/pager tag” linearity into a platform that compresses and streamlines interactions is the beginning of creating the essential and most effective first-step interaction needed for wellness – a conversation. By including the patient in the conversation through remote technology, their isolation, safety and engagement is improved while showing this to be the most cost-efficient delivery of wellness.  The next step is to delineate the best use of video, voice and data in meeting the “triple aim” of simultaneously improving population health, improving the patient experience of care, and reducing per capita cost.

Will remote sensing monitors stay plugged in and useful unless they are a feature of a larger wellness and social offering…doubtful in most cases?  Moving forward, the sensible solutions will be as much, if not more, about social interaction and clinical conversations as it may be about sensing technology.   

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