This Global Times article shared in the mHealth group on Linkedin by Dr Maurice Preter MD got me thinking about similar situations we’re seeing develop around the world where there are calls for more power to be given to Doctors (eg. in India where some 16,000 Doctors went on strike recently calling for their hospitals “to be protected by police stations in the nearby area”) and the opportunity we have to avoid this further distancing of Patients and Doctors by leveraging the capacity of the worlds most popular connected computing device to transform the care process.
The key takeaways from the article for me are in these two lines:
“Analysts are calling for effective communication between medical staff and patients to reduce tension… …Patients view themselves as being at a disadvantage in the doctor-patient relationship and are prejudiced against doctors”
Obviously in markets like Europe patient rights limit the extent to which much of this can develop but it’s still a problem that we see whenever the professional reputations or clinical performance of Doctors is called into question.
But is it really surprising once you appreciate that the care process is still largely undocumented? Wouldn’t a supermarket also experience the same disconnect with customers if it stopped ingredient and price labelling on foods, didn’t give receipts and the first you knew about the cost of your weekly shop was when the total amount appeared on your monthly bank statement?
In my opinion the only effective way we have of managing this problem is if we enable patients to give their own history. Dr John Bachman MD, Prof Primary Care at the Mayo Clinic, explains this process in the following video:
Essentially it boils down to an effective way of ensuring patients are getting listened to, Doctors are getting an accurate documentation of what the patient reported, patients are getting documentation of what they and the Doctor said and a patient accessible record is being created that is available going forward.
With more than a billion mobile subscriptions in China I think it’s quite obvious that this is one of the biggest global mHealth opportunities we have today.