If you’ve been listening to tech news lately, you’ve heard big announcements from tech conglomerate Apple, and a consortium of corporate giants Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase.
They’ve all decided to tackle the problems in our healthcare system that limit the ability of care providers to coordinate patient care and of patients to participate in their care management, both of which contribute to the explosion in health insurance costs which they and other corporations are obliged to pay.
It’s about time! Corporate America has a huge stake in healthcare but has been MIA when it comes to tackling employee healthcare issues and exorbitant, escalating health insurance costs. For years they’ve left these problems to others to solve. Finally, they are saying: “We’ve had enough.”
Apple announced it is launching a patient-focused app that gives patients control of minimal medical information by storing it on their iPhones. Their idea is that informed patients will lead to healthier living, better care, and lower costs. While severely limited in features, content, and benefits to patients, providers, employers, insurers, and government, it’s a start.
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan announced they are forming a company to reduce the cost of care for their employees and, thereby, increase their profitability. While they’ve not announced specifics, they clearly feel a sense of urgency that has been missing from our government’s initiatives, and they have the resolve, resources, and clout to achieve their goals!
A very important and beneficial unintended consequence of these behemoths entering the healthcare arena is that their entry legitimizes and will stimulate the open search for new solutions to our healthcare coordination problems and high costs, and opens the door for care providers to consider and try new solutions from all sources.
For example, our company Health Record Corporation — a startup in healthcare IT, has created a patient-focused personal health record system called MedKaz®. It aggregates a patient’s records from all their providers in all formats in one place, on a mini drive the patient carries on a keychain, in a wallet or wears, and gives to providers at the point of care.
Providers use it alongside their EMR system. It is easy to use, blends seamlessly with their workflow, saves them time with each patient, provides total interoperability today, benefits everyone in the healthcare equation, and far exceeds anything available – including Apple’s new health app. But it has been difficult to gain adoption with providers because they generally aren’t permitted by their Administrators or CIOs to try it. They are too busy implementing government mandates to use a system that doesn’t and probably never will work!
We believe the entry of corporations of all sizes, driven by their strong desire to improve employee health and reduce health insurance costs, will permit innovators like MedKaz to be heard, their products to be tried by patients and providers, and those that work to be adopted! When this happens — and it most certainly will, we’ll all benefit handsomely!