Last week I reviewed this question and began with the amount and volume of data being created for healthcare. (@SusannahFox)
Today I want to focus on when we search for healthcare information.
Most of us search for healthcare information when a need arises. It can be as we are scheduling an annual exam and are asked a series of questions. It could be when a loved one or a friend is sick or gets a diagnosis. Other times it could be in the middle of the night as we are awoken by a fever, night sweats, or vomiting. There are even moments when we are reading, listening to the radio, reading an email, or see an ad on TV and we become curious about a topic and so we seek out additional information.
In almost all cases, there is an event that happens that causes us to take an action and seek out health information.
Unless you happen to work in healthcare, care for someone that needs a lot of healthcare, are a patient that frequents healthcare, or happen to be a “geek” like me, you probably do not seek out health information unless there is a need.
At the same time, if we are in an emergent situation, no one is going to stop and ask to see what the cost of this procedure is going to be, who has the best Emergency Room outcomes, or what the latest clinical research is on brain trauma. There is an emergency, and we need help now. No time for seeking health information.
Via Social Media #SoMe there have been a few people with some opinions on this topic as well.
Vanessa (@vlmerker) has a great point here. The future of health information is taking all of the many inputs and making them actionable at the time of care. Exactly at the time that we need it. Our need occurs, health information arrives, decision can be made.
Could this be a possible win?
In this conversation the focus is on the use of supercomputing to get information into workflows. Yet the point of does this make access to timely care more complicated is valid. Has electronic medical records made life easier for all of us, or just added another layer to the complexity of accessing health information and care?
Maybe, with iBeacon we will one day have health information pushed to us based on our GPS location. We are walking down the street, it is close to noon, and we get a coupon to go to the local restaurant that is 3 blocks away but has all organic food. It is selected because it knows we have a food allergy, we need an additional 1200 steps to hit our 10,000 step a day goal, and it also knows that we need to pick our medication along the way. Maybe?
Maybe with our Apple Watch, or FitBit, or Polar, or pick-your-wearable-device that based on our activity, goals, and monitoring that our email, text message, and TV automatically target us with specific research, literature, or other health information that is tailored to our medium, or language, and the time of day in which we are most likely to interact with it?
Maybe the health information becomes tied to our genome. Perhaps it will become as simple as getting our DNA profiles and we will be forever fed with the top 2 or 3 pieces of information that we need to know about based on our risk profile and our life trending? Hopefully it is in 140 characters or less so we actually read it and remember it.
Maybe our insurance and health plans will give us incentives to keep up on health information. Maybe if we complete an exam, or make different choices, or follow up on something they share with us that we get something in return? Money, discounts, trips, something?
Maybe health information will always continue to be something we seek based on a need that arises. Hopefully it will be as easy as talking to our healthcare community, going to Dr Google, or sharing a story with our loved ones to get the most meaningful and easy to understand health information.
Maybe in the sharing economy when we focus on finding meaningful health information and we share the origin, research, and we simplify it with others is the key. Maybe in sharing our interests, we share in our humanity. In sharing our humanity we impact the life of someone in their time of need.
Maybe it happens on a need by need basis. One person at a time.
I am okay with that story. If I can impact one person a day, over the course of my life, and I live to be 70…I could touch the lives of over 25,000 people.
That kind of impact is one powerful story. That’s the story I want to write. Do you?
As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or follow me on twitter @cancergeek
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