In the previous two parts of the Seven Solutions to Healthcare Reform, we discussed the opportunity we have in healthcare to use more technology to solve the ever increasing cost of healthcare. Several blogs ago, we pointed out that healthcare was ranked next to last place of the top 10 industries in America – that is of course if you measure the investment in technology-dollars per employee. Only, the food-processing industry came in last place. However, we have not seen any updated reports. We would hope that healthcare would have moved up in ranking after about $100 billion (USD) was invested over the last five years. What we do know today is that we are not using all that is available on the internet such as social media platforms, smart phones, and wearable technology.
The second issue we discussed had to do with getting the information to reside in the mainframes and server farms of large insurance companies, and make them available to the consumer so they can take control of their own wellness data.
This leads us to our main topic of Part 3, the data! Why not use all the healthcare data to not only put the patient in control of their health, but also take it one-step further and literally reward the consumer for improving their health? Yes, pay them to get healthier!
I grew up in the beginning of electronic gaming. Do you remember pinball machines? I recall spending every quarter I could at the local convenience store playing pinball games. I also recall my father complaining I was wasting my time and money, and that I would never amount to anything if I kept playing those games. Then came “Pong,” Magnavox, Commodore, Activision, Atari 2600, TI-99, Nintendo (84) and many others; the millennial generation thinks they discovered gaming however, they are wrong!
The point we are trying to make today is that we all know people that walk to earn points on Fitbit, and they buy coins to play games; just imagine if we paid people to get healthier! We created a Wellness-Being Index therefore, why not pay consumers to allow us to connect all the healthcare data to their medical record, and then track their wellness; and as they improve, to not only reward them with high level points, but also pay them for improving their health? Trust me when I say the insurance industry knows the actuarial economic value of losing 10 pounds, of improving your BMI, of quitting smoking, and even of compliance with your prescription and care plan.
Healthcare can change positively, if we use modern technology and systems to actually reward people for getting healthier. Imagine a Wellness-Being Index that a patient can improve and based on those individual improvements translates into dollars or credit. Wouldn’t you take more action of your own wellness? We use a credit score to consider credit worthiness, so why not pay people to improve their health? It’s a health solution where everybody wins!
– Noel J. Guillama, President