Hello Health: First Aid for Doctors
When you look at the best healthcare systems in the world -- that is, the ones that provide the best care and are the most efficient -- you will find a high number of primary care doctors. The United States, on the other hand, is the land of the specialists, and sub-specialists.
Not only does this disproportion between primary care doctors and specialists in the U.S. bog down the whole healthcare system, we have created a system of incentives where it pays more to specialize. Meanwhile, the family physicians, gynecologists and general practitioners who represent the front lines of our health care system are struggling to remain financially viable.
Primary care doctors are getting less money through reimbursements each year. So how do they raise revenue? They try to see more patients. In other words, these doctors are like "hamsters on a treadmill," says Stephen Armstrong, Vice President of Marketing for Hello Health, a secure social network platform that allows doctors to access electronic records and communicate with their patients.
There are obvious benefits to patients who use this service, which is intended to compliment traditional primary care practices. After all, there has been a great mindset change in the health care industry. "Patients are customers," says Armstrong. "They have options, and doctors need to have their hand in the game in a more assertive way."
While the federal government incentivizes doctors to invest in building a system to manage electronic records for their patients, it is still a significant investment. Furthermore, few have the time or money to invest in determining the right technology platform. After all, many doctors are great at caring for patients, but might not be the best businessmen. That's where Hello Health steps in, offering itself as a business advisor to independent doctors.
Armstrong says his company has found a niche in the market that no one else is providing. How are other companies using technology to empower us, rather than make us vulnerable? That is the subject of Big Think's series Humanizing Technology. Please see what other companies are doing in the health care industry and others here.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.
- Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
- European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
They didn't know it, but the rituals of Iron Age Scandinavians turned their iron into steel.
- Iron Age Scandinavians only had access to poor quality iron, which put them at a tactical disadvantage against their neighbors.
- To strengthen their swords, smiths used the bones of their dead ancestors and animals, hoping to transfer the spirit into their blades.
- They couldn't have known that in so doing, they actually were forging a rudimentary form of steel.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.