23 March 2016

An Apple Watch a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

This morning I gave a talk to the Northern Ireland Connected Health Ecosystem at Belfast Metropolitan College. The theme of the meeting was digital health & social care, and my talk had the above title; I was keen to get the audience thinking about the new opportunities offered by tech to radically change our models of healthcare delivery.
My central thesis: over time we have let our ideas of "health care" grow quite massively; certain things now fall under the auspices of "health" that in years gone by we would have anticipated that other agencies, individuals and structures would have been able to fill. Care workers have taken the place of normal family interaction. Patients are disempowered to control even the smallest aspect of their daily lives without having to consult their doctor, nurse, carer etc. We have, perhaps, created a top-down hierarchy that has removed the initiative from the patient/service-user, and made them feel like a slave in their own skin, rather than the master or mistress of their personal vessel. Quite how much that issue is playing in the dramatically rising costs of healthcare, who knows? But I think it's likely to be significant, and if we are going to make things sustainable, we need to look at this. Some patients are making a big splash, like Molly Watt - have a look at the slides to see if there's anything that you may agree or disagree with...

1 comment:

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