Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
As a long-time Apple enthusiast, I was deeply saddened to learn about the death of Steve Jobs last night. Perhaps President Obama said it best – I learned about Jobs’ death on my iPhone on the way back from dinner, a true testament to the way he innovated technology and the way we communicate.
It wasn’t until I got home and started reading about Jobs’ legacy that I realized his deep impact on the health community. Check out this video about the first year of the iPad:
How amazing that in a time of increased regulations, costs and physician workloads that Jobs created a device that amplifies our access to doctors and attainable healthcare. A device that helps physicians explain what’s happening in your body, what a procedure will look like. A technology that helps patients stick to treatment plans, reminds them of their next appointment, helps prep them for surgery. A tool that gives freedom and independence to people living with learning disabilities and chronic diseases. What Jobs did for us all – revolutionized the way we access information and communicate with one another– has had a profound effect on the way we talk about health, access health information and communicate with our healthcare providers.
At my last annual exam, my doctor gave me a card with a web address and personalized log in. In one week, I was able to log on to the site and view the results of my tests, email my doctor a question, and print out any records free of charge. Something that I had never even wanted, never considered to be lacking in my life, suddenly changed the way I view my health care. Any doctor’s office who doesn’t offer a web-based service is suddenly lacking – I feel disconnected from doctors who write me paper prescriptions, ask me to call back in a week to find out my test results, or make an appointment to answer a question because they are too busy to answer a phone. And it reminds me of a great Jobs quote: "It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them."
Thank you for showing us all the way it should be and the way it could be, Steve.