An era of Sickcare
In Healthcare, the majority of resources are invested in treating the sick and less focus is on keeping “the healthy” healthy. One reason is the shortage of economic initiatives for delivering preventative “Wellcare”, and an entrenched “Sickcare” business model based on the provision of medicine and medical devices in hospital and clinic settings. However, looking ahead with 85+ as the fastest growing age group, it is clear that Sickcare is unsustainable.
New trends are all around. Select insurance companies are looking closely at the correlation between health risk factors and payouts and have provided corresponding incentives to manage risk. Also, in the corporate world, many companies appreciate the performance benefits of keeping its employees in an optimal health condition through proper exercise, relaxation, nutrition and rest. Yet Corporate Health Programs have often suffered from non-adherence, they have been too generic; health elite focused and lacked scalability.
Nevertheless, the marginal focus on the keeping the healthy healthy, is even more confounding considering the increasing access to personal health behavior through wearable tracking devices such as the Fitbit Force and Nike Fuelband or apps such as Moves and 24/7 and especially the rumored Apple iWatch and Healthbook app. Whereas the accuracy of the data is not scientific-grade, the stream of data is continuous and can establish a baseline and trends across health signals and modifiable risk factors. The latest surge of wearable technology allows us to be track and guide healthy decisions at any point in time. In our opinion, this is the tipping point for a paradigm shift in Health from Sickcare to Wellcare. We are not alone in seeing this tipping point, the medical industry, the doctors, the hospitals, and the drug and device industries all see this coming and are making adjustments for the wave of Health transformation coming.
Tucker Medical and Vertic have partnered to prototype a next generation personal health program. The program integrates regular checks of biomarkers, vitality, and mindfulness with tracking through state-of-the-art wearable tech, consistent and adaptive motivation via a digital dialogue program, a gamification platform, and predictive analytics of health-state transitions all in one health program
In 5 years or less, people will no longer identify themselves as either simply sick or healthy. Payers, employers and ourselves will define our health and continually assess if we are en route to becoming ill through a clear view of personal health signals and modifiable risk factors. The emergence of a Quantified Self as a bonafide movement will extend beyond Healthcare into our own Personal Health Data Cloud. This form of Big Data is all about how we can use personal and collective data to improve our lives and help our families. Time will quickly tell the ramifications of the Quantified Self and Big Data on Healthcare, yet most indicators are pointing to monumental changes just around the corner.