The Future of Digital Health Care

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Dr. Oz and Jeff Arnold, Founder and CEO of Sharecare, believe in the future of digital health care.  As friends and professional colleagues they both shared that the current health care system is highly fragmented. Digital alliances could take place on apps for convenience and to provide a trustworthy source because people aren’t always trusting of big hospitals. The future has many opportunities for collaborations between big healthcare system and the digital space.  Dr. Oz pointed out that almost every part of your life has a profile, Mint for financial, Facebook for social, etc.  Healthcare doesn’t have a profile yet and both Dr. Oz and Arnold want to make that a reality.  The goal is to have all your health in one place to make people more aware.

One of the technologies both Oz and Arnold are exploring is virtual reality.  Arnold’s company Sharecare recently acquired BioLucid, a virtual reality company, to further discover the relationship between virtual reality and specialized healthcare.  The goal is to create a system similar to Google maps but for the human body.  The system would help in storytelling and patient journeys.  If a patient could understand how cancer, diabetes or heart attacks happen it could change feeling of sympathy to empathy.  Dr. Oz shared that the development of virtual reality could help pre-diabetic patients by showing them how diabetes affects the human body as if it was them.  That vulnerable experience could help change future habits that healthcare today can’t do.  Dr. Oz predicted that technology like this could help a multitude of other diseases.  Patients would be able to understand more about how specific cancer like lung cancer affects the body or what cardiovascular diseases do to the heart.  The key to virtual reality is changing patient behavior to prevent future diseases or help educate about the unpreventable.

It may be possible to one day have a personal therapist in your pocket.  Dr. Oz shared that every time you talk on your phone they have a way of tracking the stresses of your voice.  Siri could help make people more aware of their stress levels and how they come off to people over the phone.  For patients being more aware of stress levels allows them to be more aware of their health overall.  The reasoning for having Siri be the guide to health is that it makes healthcare more personal.  Dr. Oz and Arnold were consistent on wanting to provide a better experience for patients.

Dr. Oz discussed how mental health is underserved in America and using digital avenues could help serve more people.  He is hoping one day there will be a way to match the right therapist with the right person based on personality and patient needs.  The options for a relationship between healthcare and digital are endless.  New digital health care experiences are in the process of being created in order to make the best patient journey possible.  Who knows, maybe one day doctors will all be virtual.

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