Personal Health Tech Plot Thickens

Tom Sullivan | Government Health IT | June 17, 2014

Apple. Google. Samsung. WebMD. Each has made moves recently into personal health technologies. And they’re coming at a time when the nation’s healthcare is stressed and federal efforts are geared toward removing costs. It’s too early to tell whether those behemoths will dwindle as, say, Google’s previous PHR attempt, or ultimately thrive. But there’s little questioning their promise to better engage patients in turn holds the potential to fuel the Triple Aim of better care for individuals and populations at reduced costs.

“We can’t do any of the triple aim stuff without engaging the patient. We can't move the needle on cost or outcomes unless we get people involved,” Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, a health economist at THINK-Health, said at the Government Health IT Conference and Exhibition. “A more engaged patient costs less to the health plan. The more activated, the lower cost.” The good news: People want to be engaged. We’re a self-service nation, Sarasohn-Kahn added, and in healthcare consumers desire self-service as well. Public and private payers, pharmaceutical companies, “everybody’s looking at the triple aim as an operational beacon,” Sarasohn-Kahn continued...