Monday, 29 February 2016

Will the mobile become a health folder?

By Josep M. Picas

Recently converted to the world of Apple, I was surprised that my iPhone displayed, without requesting my acceptance, a very basic health app but boasting a great potential. After a few days of mulling over the applicability of the tool, I read the news that Mayo Clinic of Rochester announced that its strategy of personal clinical record will from now on pass through this app from Apple, which means dismantling the current one and maintaining it only for  Android. Mayo Clinic is one of the American hospitals, along with Cleveland Clinic who understand very clearly that the new health is global.

With this information in mind, I thought of a couple of questions: to what extent does it make sense to spend efforts in personal health folders? Will citizens use the health apps? So far, the controversy focused on age groups and education levels, but luckily McKinsey recently published an excellent international study which in 5 points demystifies the current belief: Healthcare's digital future. Stefand Biesdorf, Florian Nierdermann. McKinsey & Company. Insights & Publications. June 2014.

But if this is so, why are health apps not more widely used? More than a few naives who buy them and then fail to use them for longer than a month, since they seem to accrue few benefits from them, the extent of the apps is almost anecdotal. The answer is probably in a NEJM article published two years ago that, using the lessons of banking, emphasizes that process reengineering without computerization is useless: Jones SS, Heaton PS, Rudin RS, Schneider EC. Unravelling the IT Productivity Paradox. N Engl J Med 2012; 366: 2243-2245.

And my question is: are we going to finally witness an acceleration in the computerization, or rather in health industrialization or are we going to continue to be caught up (in our environment) in the agonizing slowness caused by the absence of addressing the structural changes necessary in this area, and in many others?

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