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Consumers the focus for paradigm shift in healthcare

In the recent 2012 mHealth Summit, several sessions ended with the conclusion that consumers/patients need to be more proactive in their own healthcare. When consumers engage positively in their own care, the future outlook of their health looks better and better.


In a panel “Super Session” on December 3rd, 2012 entitled “Executives Unplugged: Where’s the Disconnect between mHealth and Mobile Technology”, panelists agreed that the focus on sickness needed to be replaced with focus on preventative care. Using technology along with patient involvement will “improve relationships and enhance outcomes,” reasoned Geeta Nayyar, chief medical officer for AT&T’s ForHealth division.


At that same session, Samir Damani of MD Revolution stated that thinking needed to shift from a reactionary treatment system to a preventative one. And that would start with the patient. In his “paradigm for prevention” he explained that the system needs to “measure, monitor, and motivate.”


Mobile technology is the perfect tool to help consumers to change their perspective about healthcare and to engage them into proactive health. In another session of the mHealth Summit on Tuesday, December 4th, a moderated Town Hall meeting took place. The moderator, Lygeia Ricciardi, director of the ONC’s Office of Consumer eHealth, explained how patient involvement can be seen in two different ways:


  1. Only 10% of Americans seek out and keep their own personal health records to use as a future plan determinant.
  2. Yet, 80% of internet users have searched for health information one time or another.


The panel continued to discuss how to marry these two instances. Pierce Graham-Jones, Innovator in Residence at the Department of Health and Human Services, presented information about the mobile app, Blue Button, which encourages patients to download their personal health information. With this technology at their fingertips, patients who seek out their own healthcare records and preventative care information on a mobile device can increase exponentially.


As more and more mobile healthcare apps come available, the medical community, including Community Healthcare Centers can offer their patients ways to engage in their own healthcare positively, which creates a win-win situation. As communities take greater responsibility for their health, healthcare providers can also do their jobs more effectively, and communities are healthier. Mobile apps like PrevCarePlus by Decide Mobility can aid in this paradigm shift of the patient.

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