How Digital Technology Can Personalize Health Care
By Ralph Snyderman, MD
(Excerpt of Huffington Post article published on February 15, 2013)
A major flaw in health care today is that it’s focused on treatment of disease events after they develop rather than on preventing them. This approach is partly responsible for the massive increase in preventable chronic diseases. Digitalizing today’s “fix what’s broken” approach to health care would be akin to adding GPS to a horse and buggy. While improved technologies can enhance the effectiveness of treating disease events, the real opportunity lies in using them to create a new approach to care that enables individuals to improve their health, diminish their chance to develop preventable diseases, and minimize the consequences of diseases if they occur. A more rational model of care is within our grasp, and digitalization can make it far more effective. This approach is termed personalized health care.
Personalized health care on a digital platform can reconstruct our current expensive and inefficient sick-care approach into a cost-effective, health-enhancing system with individuals at the center of their care. While the practice of personalized health care is in its infancy, Obamacare is encouraging its adoption through reimbursement for preventive care and financial incentives for better outcomes, rather than more procedures. Importantly, as technologies enable individuals to become more informed and empowered about health care, they will be a major force for insisting on care that is designed to improve their health personally.
Read the full article at the Huffington Post.