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Virtually Speaking

Are Patients Being Forgotten In the Health Tech Surge?

Posted by Jen Snell on Apr 21, 2015 3:01:18 PM


Every week we hear big news from pharma, payers, providers and technology vendors embarking on ambitious new projects to reinvent healthcare. The most recent example is IBM Watson’s announcement at this year’s HiMSS conference.

Watson’s Health Cloud, and the broader Watson platform, promises to power breakthrough technologies in health research, patient care and more. At Next IT, we’re quite excited to see Watson get into healthcare. The same goes for Apple’s Research Kit, which is showing strong early momentum.

These services can provide critical data that could one day contribute to Alme Health Coach, or many other healthcare solutions that we’ve delivered to customers over the past decade. Throughout the history of our company, we’ve consistently folded new and emerging technologies into our solutions and partnered with technology providers if and when they deliver tangible value to our customers.

As much as Next IT prides itself on our work with data, A.I. and emerging technologies, we ultimately focus on building meaningful, personalized relationships with patients. And when I look around at the technology explosion in the market, I have to wonder if the health tech wave is washing the patient out of the picture?

Our Alme platform is one of the most robust and proven A.I. platforms on the market. But underlying infrastructure is just one part of what it takes to get results for customers and their patients. When building Alme Health Coach, we quickly learned that the interface was the key to changing patient behavior and maintaining consistent levels of engagement with our “plecosystem” that blends integration with systems of record, applications and devices.

With Alme Health Coach, we use best practices from behavioral psychology, motivational interviewing techniques, and conversational interface design to help patients enact real behavior change that improves outcomes. Sure -- our platform plays a critical role in making that possible, but the front-end experience for the patient is where the rubber meets the road.

As more health technology infrastructure hits the market, it’s critical that we remember to put the patient at the center of the healthcare equation. Patient engagement and adherence to treatment plans are human problems. Technology will play a critical role in solving them, but only if the applications are simple, engaging and persuasive in much the same way a face-to-face conversation would be with a loved one or your doctor.

As you’re looking at all the health tech on the market, look for the products that put the patient first. Look for the solutions that are truly in service of their users and are designed to accommodate the unique and evolving needs of real people. Those are the products and solutions that will create lasting change in our health system.

If you’re interested in health tech and person-centric care, I encourage you to consider attending the Next Edge Health Experience Summit this November. We have assembled a tremendous lineup of speakers to cover these issues and more.

Topics: Healthcare, Alme Platform, Patient Engagement, Technology