On the 25th of July this year, our Managing Director, Marcus Mellor, attended the Westminster Health Forum – an event filled with like-minded individuals discussing the future of the healthcare industry. After attending this event, Marcus wrote a short article on how we at Evergreen Life see the future of health and what we intend to do to work towards it.
We at Evergreen Life believe the focus should shift from the perspective of the healthcare professional (and the location where care is delivered) to the perspective of the individual and where they are. If you put people at the heart of healthcare, people will be better informed and more in control of their health. An educated population who make more effective decisions on how they manage their health and wellness and is supported by a healthcare system that focuses on prevention, detection and early intervention is probably the only long-term sustainable healthcare model that we are going to be able to afford.
Stephen Ryan, Head of North Diabetes UK, stated at the Westminster Health Forum that 80% of complications with people suffering from Diabetes Type 2 is preventable. If you get self-care right and manage your condition, you will not only be in control of the condition with improved quality of life, but you will also not require additional help and resource from the local health system to help you manage your condition. Getting self-care right will reduce pressure on the health services.
The adage “What’s measured improves” (Peter F Drucker) should not be ignored. Investing in tools to enable the population to monitor their health and wellness, alongside advice and guidance from the healthcare profession, personalised to an individual, is likely to improve the health and wellbeing of a population, reducing overall demand on the health system. The increased use of the internet has increased pervasiveness of apps on smartphones and also the ability to connect to individuals using video and voice. These are key enablers that we must embrace to make this change.
As technology advances and obstacles fall, it’s an opportunity to do something truly special. To create a new era of positive healthcare, where people are at the heart of every decision. Whether it’s through smart new innovations, or our own unique experience and insight, we should all be on a mission to inspire a healthier future for everyone. Consider a world where a person owns and controls their medical record, and shares it with anybody involved in their health and wellbeing. Then consider the knowledge, advice and guidance that can be given that is personalised and relevant to them as an individual.
With a consent model managed by the individual, we would then be in a position to use Big Data analytics to make diagnoses earlier; find a more accurate side-effect profile for drugs; make links between the medical and the social model of health etc. The wisdom gained by the use of Big Data could truly transform how healthcare is delivered and wellness perceived.
So what are the challenges?
Well, we can do almost anything we want to – technically. The challenge is to build cultural interest, acceptance and welcome from patients and clinicians. We need to produce e-health interventions that people will use to make their lives easier, safer and more efficient. And for the clinicians who may be scared, they need e-health interventions that make their lives easier and safer too.
It’s all possible.