The Digital Health Manifesto: Patient Power on the Horizon

Illustration of woman looking at hand x-ray on mobile device

There’s a sea change happening in healthcare, as the old ways fall by the wayside and new ways emerge. One of the most important is the arrival of digital health tools, which give you a lot more power and flexibility in managing your own health and your family’s. 

This is no fad – it’s a broad-based and fundamental shift in the all-important question of “Who knows what’s going on in my health??” For centuries that was naturally the doctor (and only the doctor). Today docs are still vitally important, but it’s no longer true that you need to be in the dark.

  • This is wonderful, and all of healthcare is waking up to it.
  • You should wake up to it too! It’s easy to understand the changes;
    • there’s no mystery in how to become more engaged if you want:
    • in my own house we have a wi-fi bathroom scale, we wear sleep trackers (sleep is so important!),
  • we use apps to help when we start a diet, etc.

But home health management is a separate issue from your medical records – seeing your own copy of what’s in the doctor’s office, so you can review it and share it. That’s a whole different level, and it’s where PocketHealth helps. It’s really transformational because it lets you into the professional side of the care relationship.

“We can perform better when we’re informed better.” 

That rhyme is something I’ve long used In my own work as a voice for patient power at health conferences and government meetings. It makes sense, doesn’t it?? 

  1. PocketHealth is keenly aware, though, that this isn’t just part of “the digitization of everything” – there’s a deeper, more significant long-term shift happening.
  2. It’s not just technology – there’s a big shift unfolding in the culture of health and care. This change is enabled by technology – the tools we can use – but it’s separate. It makes it possible for us to have more power to manage our families’ health. Isn’t that great???

Culture change requires persistent persuasion. (Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn famously said, “When you’re tired of saying it, they’re starting to hear it.”) So in 2018 I partnered with The Medical Futurist Institute to co-author an international Digital Health Manifesto that speaks to all audiences – physicians, governments, academics, investors and of course patients – about the forces swirling around these changes. 

The Manifesto cited “two breakthroughs in the genesis and flow of information: access to knowledge, and digital tools which enable better health.” Canada’s Digital Health Week formally promotes the idea, and PocketHealth is glad to help.

The purpose of our work at PocketHealth is to improve care by making the right information available at the point of need. And clearly, there’s more to it than just convenience and “cool tech”: it’s the best way for healthcare to achieve its potential for the people you care most about.

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