• January 17, 2017

Empowering Patients

By Susan Arthur

Health technology and new business models are now allowing patients to support productive clinical research and help support corporate market insights, while also profiting from sharing their personal health data.

As the WEF defined personal data as a new asset class in 2011, many models for personal health data marketplaces have been emerging. Health data cooperatives such as healthbank, MiData Service GmbH, along with innovative companies such as PatientsLikeMe, MedHelp, Datacoup & Gliimpse have all found business models that allow users to collect, monitor, share and even sell their personal health data.

Using these and other resources, consumers are taking control of their healthcare destinies. A number of commercial ventures are supporting this movement.

One example, the on-line data-sharing platform, PatientsLikeMe, allows patients to connect with others who have the same disease. Inspired by real-life struggles of a 29-year-old ALS patient, the network allows patients to share information on their condition, to take part in clinical trials, and to access health outcomes research.

Patient self-diagnosis is a growing part of the virtual healthcare dynamic. Consumers are warming to the concept: they have measured their blood pressure in pharmacies for some time, and are increasingly comfortable with diagnostic equipment, webcams, and video consultation.

Information is vital to this digital transformation, and we see new efforts to use and secure healthcare data.

The European Union continues to lead in the protection of personal data, and has enacted explicit regulations to ensure patient privacy and to govern the movement, security, and legitimate use of health-related information.

A new generation of tech-enabled enterprises has sprung up to help give consumers more control over their health-related information.

The healthbank Health Data Lab, for example, provides a forum for healthcare professionals and researchers, technology firms, and patient-citizens. Patients can support productive clinical research, while also profiting from sharing their personal health data.

Companies are exploring a range innovative possibilities, including more efficiently capturing and analyzing data from wearables and the Internet of Things, health data cooperatives, and the potentially disruptive use of Blockchain and Healthcoins for compensation and analytics.

Of course, as power shifts to the consumer, there may be pushback from some medical professionals and organizations. But driven by convenience and cost pressures, more active consumers will drive many of the changes in our digital future.

Efforts to strengthen patient engagement have moved beyond the theoretical, and are now yielding real-world results. Forward-looking healthcare organizations, both public and private, now see patients as key resources – perhaps the best resource – to help support more effective and affordable care.

Patients agree, and they are increasingly taking responsibility for their own health.

In our next and last post in this series, we explore the Intelligent Healthcare Enterprise. If you plan on doing business in the digital future, it may be an interesting read.

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About the Author
Susan Arthur, Vice President & General Manager, Health & Life Sciences, Canada Public Sector, and Communications, Media and Entertainment industry groups, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Susan Arthur is Vice President and General Manager of a number of high growth industry groups within the Enterprise Services division of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. As leader of the Health & Life Sciences, Canada Public Sector, and Communications, Media and Entertainment industry groups, she is focused on helping clients transform their businesses so they can operate and compete more effectively in the digital economy.

Susan is responsible for developing and executing her business’ overall strategy, client success and financial results. Leading a $2.3B extended team of more than 15,000 client-focused professionals, Susan’s organization has built successful relationships and driven superior client value.

She is a frequent speaker on healthcare, leadership and digital transformation issues. Susan served as a member of the World Economic Forum Healthcare Industry Working Group for the Digital Transformation of Industries: Healthcare Whitepaper in January 2016. She has also served in key leadership roles in the tech industry advisory and nonprofit organizations having recently completed her term as Chair of the CompTia, State and Local Government Council Executive Board. From 2010 – 2014, she served on the Tech America Executive Committee and chaired their Health IT Committee. Susan was honored for her work in tech services and government with a 2014 State Scoop 50 Industry Leadership Award.