Primary care provided anywhere
Hospitals should be there only for treatment of critical health conditions
Falls flat somehow.
That was the sentence Isaac Asimov wrote in his diary after he received an “incredible sum” of money for publishing a short story called The Mule.
The payment for that one story was about the same as what he made in his first three years as an author. Yet, it didn’t excite him. “Falls flat somehow,” he wrote. “Guess I’m so sure of sales these days, the thrill is gone.”
First-world problems aside, Asimov’s quandary describes a common human condition.
We demand certainty out of life. We want to know exactly how things will turn out if we move to a new city, switch careers, or start a new relationship.
Yet the same certainty we demand from life sucks the thrill out of it. It undermines anticipation and sends you down a predetermined path to a known destination. “Certain success,” as Asimov writes, “evicts one from the paradise of winning against the odds.”
Imagine demanding the same type of certainty from your entertainment choices.
Here’s the thing: Uncertainty rarely produces a disaster. Uncertainty opens the door to joy, discovery, and the fulfillment of your full potential. Life offers more of itself when we treat uncertainty as a friend, not a foe.
Where certainty ends, the adventure begins.
Primary care is the backbone of the healthcare system, and it is being stressed by factors that include an aging population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, poor relationships with specialist care teams, economic pressures, and insufficient integration of technology.
According to a report released this summer by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the United States will see a shortage of up to nearly 139,000 physicians, across all specialties and practice types by 2032. Of this shortage, nearly half — 55,200 — are expected to be primary care physicians. These latest projections are indeed alarming, but for many Americans, the long wait times and long travel times required to see a provider is a current reality.
Already, physicians aren’t geographically distributed in direct proportion to the population, creating a mismatch between supply and demand in many communities. Telemedicine offers a solution by allowing patients to access a wider network of doctors, preventing geography from being a limiting factor to access to care, and ensuring Americans get the care they need regardless of where they choose to live.
Most of the care provided today is highly algorithmic and predictable. By 2030, high-cost, highly trained health professionals will be able to devote more time to patients who have complex health conditions. Data and technology will empower consumers to address many routine health issues at home. Consider a child who has an ear infection. Rather than taking the child to a clinic or doctor’s office, an at-home diagnostic test could be used to confirm the patient’s diagnosis. Open and secure data platforms would allow the parent to verify the diagnosis, order the necessary prescription, and have it delivered to the home via drone. Or maybe the ear infection never materializes because the issue is identified and addressed before symptoms appear. In this case, a prescription isn’t needed at all because the parents intervened early. In both scenarios, consumers address health issues at home while allowing physicians to focus on cases that truly require human intervention.
Imagine not having to wait an eternity to get your medical problems diagnosed by a qualified physician. While you're at work or school, follow up with your doctor from the convenience of your smartphone.
Isn't a home ultrasound device the ultimate technology for non-invasive health monitoring at home, instead of going to the doctor to get checked out?
PONS is working on building a portable mobile platform that empowers patients to take control of their own healthcare. In turn, this will result in an improvement of the patient-physician relationship and hence lead to better results in terms of patient care and monitoring.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can get the healthcare system to do something pretty cool: It can fetch the people both accessibility and stability.