We've recently blogged about Google's offerings and intentions in health care and we've shared health care innovations from Apple such as the iWatch. So it was just a matter of time before Facebook jumped into the picture, and this article from Reuters hints that it might be time for Facebook to jump in.
According to the article, Facebook is exploring the possibility of creating "support communities" that would connect patients suffering from certain ailments, and they are also considering "preventive care" Facebook apps. The article cites unnamed sources, but Reuters is a reputable news outfit and the applications proposed sound like a good fit with Facebook's core competencies. If I were Facebook, I'd build an app to help seniors assist other seniors in adhering to their care plans.
Here's what I'd shoot for:
- I would try to partner with at least one large and highly reputable Accountable Care Organization (ACO) like Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, or Geisinger.
- The partner ACO would identify care plans for managing certain health conditions, starting with the chronic conditions affecting many seniors such as Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), or Diabetes.
- The care plans would include interventions with the health system, like doctors appointments, or calls with nurses, therapists, and other health aides. It would also include self management items like taking meds, exercising, and monitoring their condition. For example, CHF patients checking their weight each day.
- The app would find seniors who would volunteer to help keep patients on track with their care.
- One issue that they would have to contend with is getting permission from the patients to share their personal information with the helpers. This would have to be clearly documented.
In my opinion, the above app could be a big winner because it could reduce hospitalizations and thus reduce the cost of care. It would also help the other seniors to stay vibrant and engaged and could help their health and quality of life as well.
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