What is Consumer Driven Healthcare?
Consumer driven healthcare, to use the narrowest definition out there, are health insurance plans that allow patients to use their health savings accounts to pay for basic or routine health care directly.
Consumer driven health care allows you to budget for your own healthcare plans and spending. Further, it allows your health care providers to compete for your custom based on pricing, good work and good reputation as well as top quality.
Consumer driven health care has become that “next big thing” when in reality it’s not all that new and not all that special. It’s merely an old concept with a shiny new name, but it really does have people buzzing and it may be one of the most important concepts in healthcare in a long time, given that people are just now noticing what their health care costs, and that there may be better qualified or higher quality health care professionals than the ones they are currently using.
What is actually wreaking so much change for the better in healthcare is the IoT, or the Internet of Things – a set of devices that connect to the online world and offer us the ability to manage long term care patients, to better help patients who have chronic illnesses like diabetes or who have older friends and relatives who need some measure of monitoring but not care.
In a post in her blog, Amy Tenderich, the owner and operator of one of the best known blogs for diabetics in the world wrote:
“we stand at the dawn of a new era of patient empowerment that applies “consumerism” to health and medical care in ways never seen before.”
She also posted a five minute video that explained a great deal about how it was going to work using the term, web 2.0.
The video is well done and the blog post is intriguing, but it doesn’t take the empowerment and the methodology quite far enough.
Web 2.0 has changed the world of healthcare as we know it and is revolutionizing the way that our doctors and nurses have to operate. The main reason for that is the fact that consumers today are able to access massive amounts of information that was heretofore unavailable to them.
To that end, they have answers and contact with other physicians and networks to help them to learn about and to manage conditions and disease processes.
Web 2.0 has given people the means to seek out new knowledge and understanding of their conditions and the way in which they are being treated.
IoT takes that a step further but allowing the consumer to not only find and interact with others about their condition, but allows the consumer the means to find someone to help. From hospitals to nursing home staff to specialists, the IoT allows the consumer the means to remotely manage the disease process and to even remotely access a health care provider.
IoT has been used in multiple instances by companies and health care providers from around the world. What they found was that it saved money and saved time for the health care providers and for the patients.
That is a technology that is well worth looking into.
Self-monitoring our healthcare is a good thing, right? Or, is it problematic? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or tweet us @kadenzSearch