Future Good – A Healthcare Perspective


Future Good – A Healthcare Perspective

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

With the release of the The Big Lottery Funds report on “The future of Doing Good – How do we create social good in the future?’” we are all called on to ask ourselves questions about what ‘Doing Good’ really means.  From a health and wellbeing perspective the report highlights some main areas we should be considering:

  • Tackling health inequalities
  • Empowering people in their Health and Wellbeing
  • Preventative Health
  • Technology for Good

Having highlighted these as main areas that we have potential to do good in; here at Evergreen Life, we are considering how we fit in. The report quite rightly focusses heavily on the social sector because the primary goal of any organisation in that sector is to do good.  The sections on public sector highlight public/private partnerships, but what about companies like Evergreen Life who are private but focussed on impacting social change both in partnership with other agencies and as an individual organisation?

Here are ways that we are working towards doing good in the areas the report has identified:

Tackling health inequalities

The report says:

“children born in poverty and disadvantage less likely to enjoy good employment, education and health outcomes as their more advantaged peers”

At Evergreen Life we believe that by providing all people with access to their health information we can empower people to take control of their own health.  By providing this in a free mobile phone app it is available to everyone, not only those who are already engaged with health care.  Consumers increasingly expect all of their services on their mobile phone and by having their health information available in their app it opens up this service to a wider group of people.

Empowering people in their health and wellbeing

The report says

“when it comes to ‘doing good’, the primary job of the state is to help people build the resources, capabilities and health they need to secure good outcomes for themselves.”

And asks the question:

“Are people and communities playing enough of a role? If not, how could we make this more people-powered than topdown?”

This is exactly the question we asked ourselves when we created Evergreen Life. Traditionally we have tried to engage people in their health through top-down initiatives, we advocate truly people-powered health.  Take for example our approach to sharing patient data, the traditional route is for organisations who hold your data to attempt to share your data between themselves to create an overall view of your health.  We turned this on its head and put the power of sharing your data with you.  With the Evergreen Life app, you can choose who you share your data with and ensure that everyone involved in your health and wellbeing sees the data you want them to.

Preventative Health

The report says:

“there has long been a recognition that public services need to shift away from focusing on acute need to becoming more preventative”

It also highlights the current NHS thinking:

“the NHS has a new five-year strategy that is designed to support it to move from being a system that mainly focuses on fixing sick people, to a service that is about preventing avoidable health issues”

Here at Evergreen Life, we believe that one way to shift the current focus to preventative health is to focus on the point raised earlier ‘empowerment’.  By empowering the patient to be in control of their own health information they are more engaged in their health and wellbeing.  We believe by providing this in our app we are doing good and are contributing to the NHS aims.  The five-year strategy specifically states that patient access will be a key contributor to the success of the strategy.

Tech for good:

The report says:

“There is a culture in the social sector that sees technology as an add-on, something that is commissioned out to experts to deliver, rather than being part of the business of the sector. This means technology – and its potential to augment doing good – is not fully incorporated “

And asks the question:

“Technology: why hasn’t it been a bigger disrupter in the creation of good?”Now that’s a good question.  At Evergreen we have over 70 years experience of working in healthcare IT and we have seen some major changes and advancements in that time but, as the report says, we haven’t seen many ‘disruptor’ technologies. It may be that as healthcare has only embraced technology fully in the last 10 years we have been playing catch up with the basics. It could be that we want to only implement tried and tested technologies into a sector which needs to be reliable and trustworthy. Whatever the reason it seems that now is the time for technology to become a disruptor in the health economy.  By truly embracing mobile technology and putting the patient at the heart of their care we are doing exactly that.  We are starting a patient revolution which will change the way people view their own health and wellbeing and truly do good for society as a whole.