Why we need a Digital Health Revolution
The emergence and increased severity of chronic illnesses around the world has grown to exponential heights in comparison to the last fifty years of medical analysis. The existence of chronic diseases are crushing the Healthcare sector and the resources therein, and subsequently creating socioeconomic issues within the diaspora as the government, patients and insurers are faced with the burden of paying higher costs for medical services. We have a major crisis on our hands, one which not only declines the population’s status of health, but also lowers the potential productivity of said populace. In light of the aforementioned, it is in the best interest of all to revolutionize the current Health Care systems in hopes of changing the trajectory of the potentially disastrous outcomes.
Around the world, unhealthy lifestyles and aging populations have strongly influenced the constant recurrence and prevalence of chronic diseases. This category of illnesses place a strain on healthcare providers and the healthcare system at large, due to the high volume of hospital visits and admissions by ailing patients. Strategically speaking, healthcare providers have what may be considered as a normal range of activity within which patients are anticipated to operate. However, those who require long and resource-intensive treatments undoubtedly use up intensive care resources that were initially set aside for the interest of other insured patients. This growing problem has led to the drastic reduction in available resources and the imposition of limitations in regard to certain treatments.
Tactics employed to protect health care systems and their resources have sufficiently lessened the availability of the once prevalent resources, and in direct proportion, have increased the growth of people with chronic diseases. In the near future, it is clearly foreseeable that if no radical intervention is initiated, this downward spiral will only increase the intensity of the detrimental effects suffered by all involved.
Sadly, despite the wondrous advances in medicine and technology, health care continues to fail as it is unable to provide what its customers truly need. Regardless of the increasing complexity and best intentions of doctors and nurses involved, they can no longer guarantee the provision of the best care practices to ailing patients. Fixing health care will most definitely require a radical shift from current health care practices that are individual based, to a strategic approach that embraces a team-based way of work. Although many physicians are anxious about the reduction of money, autonomy and respect; accepting new organizational structures, payment models and performance goals; could possibly create a level playing field for both insurers and patients.
To catapult this change, leaders from all sub-divisions of health care must draw on their reserves of courage, resilience and optimism; and stand up for what they believe in. They must make it a point of duty to be aware of the economics and social capital relations which define how they are paid, and be willing to cut ties with companies who are solely driven by monies acquired as opposed to the improvement of outcomes and efficiency of service.
Conclusively, in the writings of sociologist and economist Max Weber, four major considerations of social action which have been adapted for healthcare improvement includes: shared purpose, self-interest, respect and tradition. These levers may be manipulated to bring about the changes, which the system so desperately needs.