Patient power stood at the heart of the MedX Conference in Palo Alto last week where over 700 delegates came together to share the newest in tech disruptions when it comes to the future of medicine and healthcare. With over 251 presentations throughout the week, it was clear that there was no stronger force than the power of the patient voice. Although the merits of value-based care are recognized by stakeholders in the healthcare space, the traditional infrastructure of governance in these systems continues to bar innovators from embracing the type of technological disruption needed to achieve better healthcare outcomes.
The patient-physician relationship continues to evolve in the face of technological influxes that both threaten and inspire change in what has once been a very one-sided discussion. Conferences like MedX are made to feel like the patient becomes a peer in the decision-making process instead of existing as just the subject. Despite tackling an ‘Everyone Included’ approach, many patient delegates felt that the flow and dynamic of the conference still very much embodied the ‘Everyone Included (But Me)’ approach that they were familiar with.
So where does patient empowerment begin? As overly simplistic as it might seem, shouldn’t it start with the patient? And without overstating the obvious, do we actually know our patients as well as we think we do?
As CEO Grace Soyao continues to argue, shared decision-making and true patient empowerment begins with the liberation of data. We can not deliver efficient healthcare solutions with only half the picture in mind. At the end of the day, the more we are able to share, the more we are able to give and the more our patients will be able to receive. Today, our idea of patient partnerships is only contrived and half-hearted.
“It’s important to liberate data to its users. At the end of the day, someone might be seeing multiple practitioners and they need to be educated the type of language that’s being used, and fully understand what it is that their doctors are telling them.”
Not to sound like a broken record but it seems that the overall consensus from conference delegates leads to the importance of transparency. An active and engaged patient needs data, language, and our cooperation.
After all, it’s the least that we can do.