The Consumerization of Health Care

Melanie Degnan
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There has been a lot of criticism over U.S. health care recently. The changing landscape of health care and insurance has left some patients feeling a multitude of emotions. However, there is a new health technology startup that is hoping to change patient perspectives towards health care. I just learned that The Mayo Clinic has teamed up with Better to provide personal health care assistants through mobile device apps for a household fee of $49 a month. They are hoping to provide health care convenience by offering around the clock video chat with Mayo Clinic nurses, a “symptom checker” that can help you schedule doctor appointments and a central location for storing your own health records.

The convenience factor is obviously a plus. And, I can also see this app helping with patient compliance, an area often of concern between both doctors and patients in our studies, by allowing patients to take a more active role in their health. It should also alleviate some of the unnecessary doctor visits by some, which would free up doctors to spend more quality time with other patients.

There are other companies out there in this health technology space that are trying to aid in the convenience factor, like Doctor on Demand, American Well, and ZocDoc which I personally used just this week.  Should we expect even more health care apps to push out products on to our mobile phones in this brand new, yet already teeming market space?  It seems too early to tell if these health care apps will take off and be able to perform long term. However, I think they have a pretty good chance as the technology industry continues to aid the health care industry during this exciting time known as the consumerization of health care.

 

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