Another great post from Seth Godin Skinnier gets to the heart of a problem a lot of people in the healthcare industry have with seeing the opportunity mobile devices present to their business:
“Too often, we look at the new thing and demand to know how it supports the old thing. Perhaps, though, the question is, how does the new thing allow us to think skinnier”
I think with an appreciation of the 8 (already identified) unique abilities of mobile we can easily see that mHealth can enable us to effectively deliver experiences that before would have been merely regarded as money pits:
Electronic Health Records, Caller ID, interactive patient history taking questionnaires and devices that patients can always be reached on enable carers to have direct relationships with their patients that are more convenient, cost effective and can reform healthcare from a rective business to one that is proactive.
When possible the ability to do away with the need for expensive clinic facilities (+ the ever popular waiting rooms) and enabling patients to be seen by the growing numbers of Doctors who are interested in flexible home working opportunities should be considered another opportunity to add value and reduce costs.
In my experience the need to provide healthcare information to patients has suffered because it’s considered a real money loser. I see countless examples of this eg. these “Adult Head Injury” information flyers that are handed out by the NHS and sponsored by no-win-no-fee legal claim management firms:
It never ceases to amaze me that a healthcare provider can consider patient information to be something it can relegate to someone else – even if this someone else (the ‘sponsor’) is directly benefiting as in this instance by encouraging medical insurance claims against the provider of the care in the first place.
It’s important to also appreciate that skinny mHealth services can also offer patients and providers much more than they were getting before whilst saving resources eg. think about a consultant surgeon who gets a 30 minute video onto her patients mobile after an initial consultation:
Think of the time she can save herself (99% of the information the patient needs is explained in the video and there’s a link to further info and the ability to ask questions at the end), think of the quality and memorability of the experience she can provide, think of the loyalty and trust that she can establish…