In a May 2016 paper in the journal Academic Medicine, I described moving to the “third curve” of healthcare. The first curve is traditional fee-for-service medicine. The second is population health, as represented by traditional healthcare organizations shifting their focus to value-based relationships.
Precision medicine, big data and digital technology offer us the promise of moving to a world where we can truly create the third curve—personalized health for every individual, no matter what their circumstances or health.
To achieve personalized health, individuals must truly own their health information in ways that make it actionable for them and their caregivers. This data cannot be limited to clinical and diagnostic results, but must also include vital information that reflects social, economic and environmental determinants of health. In this new movement, each of us has a personalized, evidence-based, longitudinal care map and access to a health ecosystem that brings together exactly the services we need, beginning in the home.
To create a health ecosystem that is effective and efficient for each person, we must have the infrastructure to support it. While excellent clinicians and facilities are essential in this transformation, to be truly successful in eliminating the over $1 trillion of waste in the American healthcare system and improving outcomes, we must commit to end-to-end interoperability for all health-related information. We also must create information technology interoperability that enables individuals to use their smartphones or other devices to link with personalized digital monitoring tools, instantly access their health data, and track not just medical data but behavioral and environmental factors. Once that data are collected, it can turn into actionable information that results in improved adherence to evidence-based treatment. I would like to see the day when each of us truly owns our own health information like we do our financial information and we don't have to penalize hospitals and doctors for not sharing it.