After reading the insightful commentary in Trickle Down Health or Health 2.0 Impressions from John Moore at Chillmark Research, it got me thinking. In reviewing the recent Healthcare 2.0 presentations, Moore concludes that these passionate innovators, while dedicated to making a difference, are still missing the mark. Specifically, he states,
“Looking around at the Health 2.0 audience one sees a sea of almost exclusively upper, middle class professionals that are tapping away on their iPad, smartphone or laptop. When one sits back and thinks about the many demos seen, virtually all of them seem to be designed for this audience. Maybe the most disturbing part of the event was the on-stage interview with a mother of eight kids (she was white, middle age and clearly upper middle class) showing how her family is tapped into the quantified self movement with the various Apps they use to track their health and fitness. This is not representative of the broad swath of the American populace who are the ones that will drive our healthcare system off the proverbial cliff. It is that grandmother in Indiana who is caring for her diabetic, overweight husband, two grandchildren, a daughter suffering from an addiction and a son-in-law who is unemployed and has no health insurance that we need to talk to, have up on stage to tell us what they need to better manage their health and interaction with the healthcare system. “
What, are you asking, does this have to do with Steve Jobs? With the recent launch of the Apple iPhone 4S, it is likely that the iPhone 3GS has met virtual extinction. What better way to make use of this technology than to donate it to providers that are working with the very population identified above? The National Association of Community Health Centers leaps to mind and there are, no doubt, many other deserving institutions. With the development of AT&T ForHealth, this carrier would be the perfect partner to successfully implement this meaningful project. While telehealth offers countless ways to improve health care delivery, the iPhone technology exists today – so what are we waiting for?