The Future of Health Applications

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

I had an interesting conversation with my med student daughter in law today. I proposed the question: what if your hospital had the opportunity to order everything it needed to meet the needs of everyone it serves? We wondered how much boost to economic ecology such an order would create. Twenty thousand jobs perhaps. We didn’t know. Of course, the problem is that hospitals are not self-sustaining (they could never be). Or is this incorrect?

I’ve had my fill of health care over the last few months. The care was fantastic. But I have excellent coverage and don’t really worry about how to pay, as I’ve been paying into my coverage for almost 15 years month after month, month after month. I’ve had to tell several stories over and over to incredibly intelligent strangers: medical histories, drug reactions, aches and pains, habits (how much a wine?). With the relevant and appropriate application, a technician or nurse could click a button and answer a question. If something comes up, that same person could add to the identity of the patient and somewhere along the way things would flesh themselves out with the right notifications. We need to get over privacy and legal roadblocks.

When will my PCP learn about a concerning polyp? I could call him tomorrow and tell him. But he’d have questions I couldn’t answer. We conclude this: good care is about good information and even better systems for users. This should be a guide for health applications, iPad or no iPad.

New Media project: let’s build care applications.


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