Health Is Social

Infusing Social Media into Healthcare

It would be nice to have one healthcare application to rule them all, wouldn’t it? A killer healthcare app that you could carry around on your iPhone or Android device.

There isn’t one. Not for a long while.

First, healthcare is such an enormous process that the very word is almost meaningless. How would you even define all-inclusive?

Second, today’s technology pales in comparison to what we can imagine into the future. Currently, the iPhone and Android applications are mostly about content.

We are seeing glimpses of going beyond just content – there are apps that can determine heart rate, for example. That’s a small, but promising example of what’s possible.

But a killer healthcare app can’t be “killer” because no application can replace the holistic process demanded of proper care.

Rather, healthcare applications – robust and powerful and social as they may become – can only go so far in and of themselves.

So what would a kill app look like if we were forced to create one – not so much in its specifics, but in essences? Here are some short-felled thoughts:

  • Fully mobile with data available securely anytime anywhere
  • Extensible with tiny medical sensory devices (e.g. glucometer)
  • Continuous dynamic capturing of aggregated health data
  • Background monitoring of health data to identify possible pathologies – think IBM’s Deep QA NLP & ML with Nuance’s CLU
  • Pan-social connectivity, including robotics – e.g. mechanical limbs, nanotechnology ipmplants

Clearly, these are wild ideas.

They will come to pass, just not yet.

Still, here’s the thing about a “killer healthcare app” – it won’t be an “app”.

It will be a system.

A system holistically designed with everybody’s involvement – robots included – elegantly worked in.

If it works, it will be called Care.

Ergo, the killer healthcare app will be – and always has been – Care. #CheeeseyButTrue and #EasyToForget

@PhilBaumann @HealthIsSocial – Newletter

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  • I have T1 diabetes and use many different devices every day. Kind of like carrying iPods and iPhones, except there’s not App/Music store for them to connect to. I’ve been preaching for a diabetes killer app that gives me a holistic view of my devices integrated with what’s happening in my life (stress, exercise, illness, travel, etc.)

    Any chance this will happen? No. FYI, some of your readers may be interested in the DiabetesMine 2011 Design Challenge, good to way to get thinking about design and nice prizes. I’m one of the judges this year.

  • “Clearly, these are wild ideas.”

    Not so wild at all.The first three are pretty much here today. The next is just making it’s way out of the lab (IBM Watson) amid much controversy. And the last one — well okay, yeah, this one is still just a little bit out of our grasp…