The Future of Healthcare IS Online

There is a good article in the New Scientist about the Continua Health Alliance innovation in health care. The headline reads Innovation: Is the future of healthcare online?

I believe it's no longer a question of if, but when. As loyal readers know this is the crux of my position that it is a very long, slog to get there, but we're on the way. As I read the news (online, of course) and see the debate rage with a recess of Congress imminent, I wonder if the approach being taken is too top-down and that is why it is getting bogged down. I have been thinking a alot lately about crowdsourcing, social media and Health 2.0. I don't have all of my thoughts together yet, but I am fairly certain that a big piece of this puzzle is missing and that is the end-user.

Anyway, more to come on that, but check out the article. Continua is a doing some great work with over 200 of the leading companies in the world.

While we don't yet have holographic physicians to consult, healthcare is moving online, encouraged by an international coalition of medical and technology companies. Medical devices from weighing scales to asthma inhalers could soon carry the technology to connect directly to the web, shuttling data between doctors and their patients.
For practical reasons, health workers are often unable to talk to home-based patients with chronic conditions on a daily basis – but they could keep an eye on an online medical record that is automatically updated whenever the patient measures their own blood pressure, checks their weight, or takes their medication. Such technology could help medical workers ensure remote patients are healthy, and detect any problems at an early stage before they become serious.
The move beyond traditional telehealth – remote contact with a patient through phone calls or video conferencing – is being encouraged by the Continua Health Alliance, a non-profit open industry group. The alliance boasts some powerful players in both the technology and medical arenas, including IBM, Intel, Google, Kaiser Permanente and the UK's National Health Service.
Check out the full article.

Image credit: This was created by Scott Shreeve, MD] and licensed under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution 2.5 License.

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