Farmington, CT (January 26, 2018) –Sometimes it seems like we’re living in the future. While driving in the middle of nowhere, you can command Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, Alexa, to close your garage door, set the temperature in your house, and ask about the bubonic plague symptoms.
But when you actually come down with something like the plague and have to see a doctor, it may seem like you’re going back in time. You’re handed a clipboard and asked to fill out your personal information with pen and paper while waiting in a room with other sick people. Finally, you see a doctor who writes a paper prescription you take to the pharmacy miles away before you can get back to resting at home.
In just a few short years we’ve gone from a cab- and hotel-dominated economy to consumer-friendly features like Uber and AirBnb. Despite being the largest and most profitable industries in the United States, the healthcare system is arcane, rigid, and resistant to technological innovation.
But healthcare is on the verge of a major overhaul, whether industry leaders are ready or not. As Envolve PeopleCare Chief Health Officer Dr. Jeremy Corbett said in a recent op-ed, “The big players in the space recognize this, which is why more than 40 health systems have started their own venture funds, including Kaiser Permanente and Mayo Clinic.”
There are already signs that these health groups are making headway in the industry. Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health System was an early adopter of telemedicine and has led the way with its collaborative tele-ICU product. In many states, you can log on to telemedicine apps like Lemonaid and meet with a doctor to get a prescription all online.
And Envolve PeopleCare (EPC) has shown success with its On.Demand real-time mHealth diabetes management program, a telemedicine subset. Through mHealth devices that transmit live health data, EPC health coaches can easily see when a member measures for a dangerous blood sugar reading, triggering them to reach out with one-on-one coaching. Ultimately this reduces ER visits and decreases glucose levels.
These programs are overcoming regulatory hurdles to take advantage of modern technology and provide service to underserved populations.
The industry isn’t going to update itself. As healthcare leaders, we need to continue pushing the technological envelope. Until then, we will have our Alexa for the healthcare industry.
Jeremy Corbett MD, Chief Health Officer, Envolve PeopleCare
Dr. Jeremy Corbett serves as Chief Health Officer at Envolve PeopleCare, providing oversight and guidance over several aspects of the business, with particular emphasis on the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change™, quality, product development, and clinical innovation.
His piece, The Fallacy and Opportunity of Population Health, was featured on Telemedicine Magazine. With an audience of 30,000 health tech influencers, this publication focuses on telemedicine, digital health and virtual care markets. Our series follows Dr. Jeremy Corbett’s insight on the impact of mHealth on the health industry.
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