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Health Assurance: The iPhone Moment for Healthcare

By Gustavo Rodríguez - nutriAdn
Founder and CEO


By Gustavo Rodríguez | CEO & founder - Mon, 05/15/2023 - 11:00

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Now, more than ever, we've seen a different perspective in the adoption of prevention and lifestyle changes regarding nutrition, exercise, sleep and exposure to toxins and radiation. The trend among  people worldwide is to take care of their health in a more non-invasive way. After COVID-19, there is greater interest in supplements rather than drugs / medications.

In this article, I want to talk about a different and more up-to-date term in healthcare: health assurance. If you normally wear a wearable that measures your health data or regularly check your health data on your smartphone, this article will be of interest.

What is health assurance and why is it important?

Health assurance is new. It’s a category of consumer-centric, data-driven, cloud-based healthcare designed to help us stay well, so we need as little “sick care” as possible. It’s built on principles of open technology standards, empathetic user design and responsible AI. It is a radically new kind of experience that works as easily as most of our other consumer experiences. It promises to shift healthcare from its current irrational economics to more rational, free-market economics. That shift can drive costs down while improving outcomes — better health, more empathy, fewer mistakes, less frustration. This is the future of your health experience. (Important disclaimer: doctors will never be replaced by technology; it will be a tool and an ally in treating patients and populations in a better way, with more data, more personalization and higher success in the health of patients.)

An important driver of health assurance is data  every person’s ability to receive  continuous, real-time data about their health so they can keep themselves healthy and out of doctors’ offices and hospitals. Such a system would make basic healthcare more easily available to all, and at a lower cost, and relieve doctors and hospitals from mundane burdens so they can focus on critical problems and saving lives. 

The not-so-secret dirty secret of the old healthcare system is that almost everybody makes more money when more people are sick. It’s hard to get big institutions excited about changing something when their revenue depends upon not changing it. That is why the healthcare industry has failed to transform itself.

It’s time for healthcare to transform from scarcity to abundance through technology. Economics pushed medicine into mass production, making it like a factory. The experience for patients became more impersonal, frustrating and costly. It’s ridiculous to have to use a telephone to get a doctor’s appointment two weeks out even though you could buy a car in 10n minutes through an app and have it delivered to your driveway. We’ve reinvented commerce, community and content online. Now it’s time to reinvent care. The term health assurance captures the spirit of this new sector that provides easy access to services and technology aimed at ensuring we stay well.

It's the time to unscale healthcare services

We've seen sector after sector “unscaling” to provide a better and more personalized experience. The Industrial Revolution massified  everything, even healthcare services, drugs and treatments for patients were done on a mass scale. I truly believe that in order to have a better healthcare system that is focused on the health outcome of patients, we should “unscale” and personalize treatment to each person, based on their behavior, genetics and biological data. This unscale model asks: What can I build that makes each individual happy in an individual way? That’s a big change from last century’s corporate mindset: What can I build that I can sell to the greatest number of people in the same way?

Now is the time to make that happen. This is, essentially, the iPhone moment for healthcare — a flash in time that opens up a universe of new possibilities. People want an affordable, easy, intuitive, unobtrusive way to stay healthy and manage any health problems as conveniently as possible. That new experience must be built on data. Not data the way the old healthcare industry thinks about it but, rather, data from what we might call a real-time always-on perpetual digital physical.

Within a few years, genetic tests will be as routine as a blood test used to check cholesterol, except people will analyze their DNA only once because the results never change. It won’t be long before everyone has their DNA tested at birth, making it part of each person’s health record for life. Your genome tells doctors whether you have a predisposition for certain cancers or other diseases and gives all sorts of clues about how to care for you, including what drugs are likely to be effective for you. It can even guide you to understand how fast you metabolize caffeine, which is important to know if, for example, you have insomnia. It might also provide clues about how to help each individual fight off a new virus. Other basic layers of data will include your microbiome, hormonal behavior and deep blood tests.

It's time that insurance companies focus on health outcomes, instead of focusing on just “fixing” diseases. There's a great opportunity to change the general perspective and encourage the insured population to have better lifestyle habits and also track them via wearables and smartphones. There's a very bright future in this regard, with much to be developed, and nutriADN is very happy to contribute to this change. 

Photo by:   Gustavo Rodríguez

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