I also participated in a panel discussion on How Technology is Reshaping the Patient Experience. We were asked to talk about how we thought that was happening, and to take a futurists view. I went first and had two key points:
- Patients are beginning to use technology to reinsert themselves in the Healthcare Value Chain, and to gain better control over it. Blue Button is simply the start of this, and we are at the very early stages.
- Eventually we will learn that it isn't control over the data where the value is, but rather in links between different data sources.
Right now, everyone wants to give us an app, and get access to us and/or our data. The money isn't in the app sales, so much as it is in the ability to aggregate patients like us, or our data. But that truly is a broken model, and all it does is perpetuate the silo mentality. The web's value isn't in the ability for me to write a blog post, so much as it is for people to link to it from a variety of places. The biggest value are its links, not its little silos of data. Just ask Google. They get it.
I've been working with structured documents for years, even before I ever got into healthcare. I know the value of a link. And the links really are what we are all after, not the data. It's the link from the outcomes, back to the treatment, from treatment back to diagnosis, and from diagnosis back to symptoms, and even before then back to patient behaviors where the true value lies. In order to create the links that have that value we need to set the data free. The company or entrepreneur that figures out not this, but rather how to get there from here will be in the winning position. We know the destination. The route is where the real challenge lies. The route, after all, is what a link is; a pointer of the way from here to there.