PHRs and the Wii generation

by Carole Hodsdon on August 15, 2012

In a few short years, our currently younger, tech-savvy and web-dependent generations are going to become better acquainted with the healthcare system. Whereas they now maybe see a doctor once or twice a year for basic services like a physical or a flu shot, they’ll soon start catching up to us older folks who utilize healthcare more frequently, even if it isn’t for themselves.

As their parents’ medical needs grow, many will undoubtedly become primary caregivers and enter the system that way. Already used to executing the rest of life’s serious business digitally—banking, taxes, job hunting, dating, clothes shopping—almost on cue, they’ll begin seeking products and services that enable them to manage their health (or that of loved ones) the same way. Collaboration among all stakeholders will be critical to easy-to-manage healthcare.

That being said, as much as this modern consumers rely on technology to make their lives easier, to a degree they also want it supplied to them, and they want to be assured of its value. In other words, if they have to create their own PHRs by inputting data themselves, it’s not going to happen.

Just as they expect their paychecks to magically appear in their checking accounts every two weeks and their car payments and utility bills to be paid in the same automated fashion, so too will they expect ready-made health records that not only contain an accurate medical history but also suggest to them what they might be thinking about in the future based on their past. The information can’t just be data; it needs to be smart and meaningful. It needs to make a measurable, if not quantifiable difference in their lives.

We have to be ready. There isn’t going to be much of a ramp-up to this revolution. It’s going to happen rather abruptly, and the HIT industry can’t afford to wait and react; we need to start preparing now. The industry has already begun laying the groundwork to capitalize on this opportunity.

To keep up, we need to exchange of clinical data among all parties in the healthcare ecosystem. Each must have access to actionable, real-time information that creates a complete picture of the patient. This will be the lifeblood of successful PHRs—meeting consumers where they want to be met in whatever technical format and through whatever device they choose.

I suppose you could simplify things by thinking of it this way: when the Wii generation starts needing healthcare in a few short years, it’s up to us to ensure that they have an app for that.

This post was submitted by Carole Hodsdon.

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This post was submitted by Carole Hodsdon.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Caro August 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm

So true. Honesty and everything renocgized.

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