Another Trip to the Hospital
It’s another trip to the hospital – the fourth time in the last eight months. Just four days ago my family member was seemingly okay. He was tired and feeling a bit dizzy, but when you are an 82-year-old diabetic with a history of chronic heart failure, you’re not expected to be running around the block. We thought this was the result of a recent change in medication since there was no event to cause this sudden downturn, but as we sat in the hospital looking at a person that can’t even turn over in bed, I was left questioning, “Couldn’t this have been prevented?” With all our advances in technology, why do we have these repeated cycles that ultimately end with a hospital stay and no real answers? I can tell you that what is pictured below is not the experience of modern day healthcare – not for me and not for many of my friends whose loved ones have followed the same path.
Modern day healthcare is a series of tests, procedures, and waiting, mixed with trial and error and lots of “What about this, and what about that?” When I think about the technology that healthfinch develops, I envision a scenario where the ambulatory primary care provider is notified when there is a downward trend in values. A scenario where there is outreach when a scheduled visit is missed and where there is active monitoring of the patient’s condition after a medication change. There would be automatic triggers for the care team based on an assessment of the patient’s medical history and most recent changes to help tease out what is abnormal from what is normal. I’m not talking about personalized medicine here so much as a method to analyze events and take action based on those events. It’s more of an “if this, do that” approach, which as our customers will attest to, is very doable.
I realize that our goals of effecting true patient outcomes across the broad spectrum of healthcare may be lofty; however, it’s important to have this vision. For what is the purpose of our work, if not to expect it to be life changing? Our technology could be thought of as “bots” that bring to light care gaps, which can then be resolved with the appropriate clinical action. Improving a patient’s health, one care gap at a time.
As the man who saved a starfish by throwing it back into the sea, said “I made a difference to that one.” It’s a great place for us to start.