25 Oct Thoughts about Pinksocks and our Future Healthcare
Post written by Allan Vafi, MD, MBA
We are all somehow waiting for healthcare to change but when and where does it really start? The old system itself will be reluctant to disrupt the status quo, its own structure, and will rather wait for gradual changes to occur. This will unquestionably take a long time because of a lack of urgency. Change from the inside is unlikely to take place or will develop at a very slow pace. Healthcare is divided in silo’s, has its own culture, and is still a habitat for the nearly extinct medicosauri.
There is a big gap between how 21st century healthcare could look like and how healthcare looks now. Two different worlds, two different cultures, two different paradigms, orbiting different gravitational centers. There will be an inevitable shift from disease-centered to health-centered, from hospital orientation to ‘patient’ orientation, from being a ‘patient’ to being a human being, from computerized to compassionate.
But where does it start? At the eHealth conferences? It’s a beginning, but I am convinced that eHealth alone will not bridge the gap. There is too much focus on technology in a tech universe. As we say in the Netherlands: “With a new hammer in your hand everything looks like a nail.”
Patients and doctors actually seem to live in another reality and timeframe. Vital connection is missing and this will negatively influence implementation of any new technology.
True disruption of the healthcare system has to start from outside the system, from the consumer, as a ‘grassroots movement’ from communities (#pinksocks) that have a different vision of health, that (radically) take their own responsibility for their health and take a clear stand. It will require a different attitude of health-awareness, health-literacy, and a movement from a ‘patient’ patient as ‘owner of organs’ to a proactive whole human being.
To know and control your own health, to prevent or diagnose diseases in an early phase, the collection of your own health data is essential. Not only on a personal level, but also on the level of a caring community. The e-community as the new Health ‘ecosystem’ will actively attain its own health-expertise and will communicate with healthcare providers.
Communities will take an active approach. Healthdata will be actively acquired and made actionable by a system based on optical wearables, AR, and real-time Siri guidance. The community will be 24/7 connected by an integrated telemedical system; every home will be connected to this Med Wifi system, comparable with home utilities like electricity and
The whole community system will work largely automated, based on big data,AI systems, cognitive computing systems like IBM Watson, and cloud-technology. Data-security will be based on blockchain technology. Automated surveillance and warning signs will alert individuals, family and community in order to care for each other, and for the wellbeing of the
community. Human connection and compassion are the core values. Advanced technology will serve as the new interface to make this magic come true.
I am convinced that the pinksocks tribe can initiate this movement on a global scale.