5 Reasons Why Connected Health Care is Not a Sprint, but an Ultra Marathon


 
I've talked quite a bit in the past about connected health care being a marathon and not a sprint; and that full adoption will take time. At this juncture, I continue to see far too much evidence to support perhaps an  ultra mile marathon and that full adoption may be further off than anybody expects.

What's the Issue? 
 The crux of connected health care is that an end-to-end solution that enables better collection, analysis and analyzing data. Presumably, more and better data will yield better insights resulting in better care and better outcomes. On the surface, I fully agree. There are many converging forces such as Continua Health Alliance, Google, Microsoft and many more companies who are leading product development and enabling this transfer of data between devices, to data aggregation (ex. Google Health) and ultimately to the physician and/or patient for review, interpretation and action. However, connectivity brings with it reams of data. That data needs to be managed, stored, reviewed, interpreted and analyzed—everyday.
Can you smell a problem? I do. The reasons for the slow uptake of connected health solutions are simple:
1. Lack of reimbursement for Doctor's, which means that the front line currently has little incentive to change. We know that any behavior change requires an incentive. In this case, it is financial. 
2. Lack of expertise to collect, analyze or act on the data in the Doctor's office. The training required is not trivial to segment your patient population, understand who could benefit, find the tool for that patient, etc. Will a doctor hire headcount, train, etc without reimbursement?
3. Proprietary and open products and systems are fighting to be the primary provider. Honestly, there needs to be a significant culling of companies, tools products and standards. 
4. Complexity and training issues. I see a significant amount of over-engineering. In most business and product development circumstances, simplicity wins.  You don't show how smart you are by making or showing how difficult something is; you show how smart you are by how easily and many you can teach. That means keeping things simple. See: Apple.
5. Lack of a patient perspective. Health 2.0 is predicated on the patient and all of the solutions are B2B. If I have learned anything it’s that social media is not about companies or brands it’s about the empowerment of people. Ultimately, their input into the process is just beginning and I think it will be shape shifting to the market.
In essence, there are many issues preventing adoption of connected health on a broad scale that will remain for some time to come. There is no money trail for the doctor, which is the last mile for true adoption of connected care. Will doctors invest time and resources to interpret data and turn that into knowledge, action and better outcomes? Will patients adopt without direct input?
I think real connected care will happen but it will take time and there has to be a financial incentive / reform / insurance / patient input to make that shift happen on the front lines, which is the doctor's office and  with the patient driving change.  
|www.jlefevere.com| |www.thedigitalstrategist.com|

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