Consumer Centric Healthcare

HealthCamp in December 2006 had a session on how healthcare looks from the perspective of the consumer, i.e. self-empowered individual. There was general agreement that many more entities are involved in the care and wellness of an individual than traditional providers and insurers.

During a conversation on the Health 2.0 mailing list, Dave Chiu raised the question of how to relate individuals in the Consumer-Centric Healthcare model. Johannes’s diagram (above) describes the individual in relation to a multitude of stakeholders, but it does not describe how individuals in the system relate to one another. For example: What about my parents’ health records? After all, their health and lifestyles affect my health (smoking, drug use, alcoholism, genetics, accidents, health knowledge). But that brings up rights management and access issues, which is a different sort of relationship between individuals than simply Information, and it’s on a different level than friends (who I assume are supportive).

In more literal terms, my improved health affects everyone who buys insurance from the same company I do, it affects everyone who sees the same doctor I do (since he or she is now free to help others), it affects my children’s’ well-being as well (I can now go hiking with them, have healthier habits to pass along, etc.). Even though Johannes’s diagram is me-centric (as it should be), my actions still affect others. So maybe I’d like to know how many people my doctor treats, and for what issues, perhaps because I want someone accessible who isn’t swamped with work, or perhaps because I want someone who’s familiar with treating people who have my kinds of ailments.

On the left, we have three individuals as illustrated in the original diagram with the guy at the center, but they are in relation to a particular issue. On the right are the avenues of communication between individuals that are possible/necessary. I don’t know that they need to be direct (they could be mediated, and they could be completely separate from the issue itself), but I think they should exist.

What is prevention focused health? What will prevention be like for individuals, business, health system, economy at large? How will people, business or government pay for prevention? What entrepreneurial/start-up strategies-tactics are best to seed these new services in the world? etc etc. This area is for gathering all the ideas and joining the dots.

Prevention Parts Individuals Information, some call it infotherapy. Consumption, food, water, air. Emotional well-being. Activity, exercise, movement.

How do you filter the bad information from the good? This separation needs to happen at a high level (sound science vs. bunk) but it also needs to occur at an individual level: my health needs are different from yours, and so are my information needs. Information can include nutritional or dietary, as well as treatments and exercise regimens.

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