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Michele was driving her new car through this deserted road in the US east coast. Flower buds and blooming trees in the spring time made her roll-down windows to enjoy the weather. Little did she know about the pollens all over the place that were not suitable for her to breathe? Soon enough she started sneezing, got runny nose and had difficulty to swallow even coffee; she had difficulty in breathing—her overall body stress has aggravated her blood pressure. She still had to make 150 miles before reaching home and she has no help.
The situation will change tomorrow though. With pharmaceutical companies, medical devices companies, providers, caregivers and technology companies came together to improve overall healthcare beyond selling their products. They have joined hands to provide innovative healthcare which will take care of patient needs end-to-end, or prevent from falling ill.
If I hypothetically connect few innovations already available today, Michele won’t have to go through the suffering while enjoying her beautiful drive through the nature.
With the advancement of mobile technologies, Michele can very well be taken care of her allergic situation without much suffering. This is integrated care model—all the stakeholders in the caregiver ecosystem come together to help the patient sooner. Early this year, researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed implantable blood monitor (Ref 1). A smart blood monitor can measure the allergen specific antibodies and send the signal through Michele’s smartphone to her physician, her GPS system in the car she is driving and a local health provider. The GPS system immediately rolls all the windows up, starts the car air purification system and recalculates her route. The physician’s office makes a call to Michele, checks her condition and provides instructions. They get the third caller in the conference call who is the local health provider. The health provider plans an immediate check-up en-route with the specific instructions from Michele’s physician. Michele is taken care of by the caregiver within 10 minutes.
This may sound futuristic but I strongly believe it’s not far at all. All the components either do exist or in the development cycle which will be available within next couple of years. This solution needs pharmaceutical manufacturer and the payers to make it complete. But every stakeholder in this chain is working with others to make this possible soon. This is what I describe end-to-end health solution beyond selling products. If Michele is taken care of in this situation, I can confidently tell she won’t go out of this health network and continue with the medication when needed. She won’t need to be pressurized to continue with the medication, she would comply on her own. This is my description of why patient will continue with the medicine.
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