It’s time to put people – ordinary people – into the health-care process. By working together in creative new ways, people can change the economics of health care, improve health outcomes, improve the patient experience, and solve public health problems.
Despite amazing advances in medicines and medical technology over the past 50 years, health care today is in crisis. Costs are skyrocketing, health outcomes are uneven, and the patient experience is too often unacceptable.
It’s time for a power shift in health care. As a society, we have dramatically underestimated the power of ordinary people to transform the system, to take care of their own health, to help develop therapies, and to help solve massive public health problems.
We should be working on technologies that will enable radical new collaborations between doctors, patients and communities, including technologies that:
• Put patients on an equal footing with doctors, researchers, and other experts;
• Bring patients' unique insights, creativity, and enthusiasm into the health-care process;
• Apply social, cultural, and media ideas to health care;
• Exploit the growing availability of data about people, such as natural-history data and digitized-biology information;
• Enable new models that let patients reason with medical data and self-organize to identify new therapies;
• Revolutionize the delivery of health care and public health care services to the poor around the world; and
• Empower field clinicians and researchers to spot disease outbreaks more quickly and treat endemic diseases more effectively.