Medical Innovations: How Mobile Technology is Changing Health Care

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Doctor Kevin Most joined the show today to kick off a mini-series of conversations about the innovations that are changing healthcare. Today’s conversation focused mainly on mobile technology, and all of the things your smart phone can do for your health that you probably aren’t aware of. Check out Doc’s notes below including the various apps the Doc recommended, and enjoy the podcast!

Check out these apps that Doc mentioned in this podcast!
A mini series on innovation in healthcare. What information do your  already have in your hand (smart phone) and you don’t even know it.
We talked briefly about lab tests and the cost of them, this goes hand in hand with insurance coverage. The average employee will stay with a company 3-10 years, this is a wide range but still shows that the average american worker will hold 5-7 different employers. Companies know this and thus spend less in wellness programs where the benefit is not noted for decades. You are also seeing a very large number of people taking the high deductible plans. These high deductible plans in a generation that sees health care as a commodity will force innovation.
This change in health care insurance and employment does not play well when we need to start looking at wellness. If we are not reminded, coached or rewarded for wellness chances are it will slip and we will end up with more overweight individuals, more heart disease, etc.
 Couple all of these  with a generation that wants things right away and without hassle and you have the perfect storm for health care innovation.
Two main things pop up, cost of service, as the first $4,000 may be out of their pocket if we make a charge to a patient for wellness, we won’t see many people flocking to it. Why do we say that because they have already shown that by taking the high deductible plans where their monthly out of pocket cost is the lowest and they are willing to risk illness against the lower premium.   The sec on issue is   convenience of care, the patients don’t want to take a day off of work to go to the doctor.  They don’t want to use a vacation day for their health care.  The patient is now looking for care delivered at times they want and at locations that are easy for them to access.  So the patient is now looking for a superior experience  and lower costs, essentially they are defining value in their health.
Some of this information will come directly from your smart phone, the individual who still wants that personal touch and human interaction, may now use Zoc Doc. This is essentially Open Table for patients looking for a doctor, they tell the application what speciality they want, when they want to be seen, where they want to be seen, and what insurance they have.  The appointment is then made for them, hassle free. No waiting on hold, no getting offered an appt 2 weeks from now.  The patient is given an appt and directions how to get to the office.    Loyalty to a specific physician  is gone, it is now about convenience and cost.
The patient who needs the $4,000 MRI is going to look for better pricing, the App Castlight will do that for you. Enter in the test you need done and a map will pop up with all the medical sites doing the test and their pricing. The patient then makes the decision if driving across town to save $100 is worth it.
Primary care being provided in a Walgreens , CVS or Wal mart is the future.  Walgreens has 25 million seniors enter a Walgreens each week and they want to capture more of that business and more of the medication business.
Innovation in healthcare is a lot on monitoring  and more importantly continuous monitoring. Consider this, you have your Blood pressure checked  2-3 times a year, yet we know that high blood pressure causes major health problems. What if we could monitor Blood pressure continuously. We know that good control of blood sugar will slow the damage done by elevated blood sugar. What if we could monitor your blood sugar at all times without doing a blood test.
We soon will be laughing that we wore a monitor that only tracked how many steps we took each day, in its place will be a monitor that tracks many biologic markers, vital signs, even mood.

 

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