How Digital Creates New Business Models for Patient Organizations


By DJ Edgerton (@wiltonbound)

Who isn’t using technology to change their business models these days?

The Alzheimer’s Association has createdComfort Zone, an online GPS tracker for Alzheimer’s patients. It connects with a cell phone or a vehicle tracker and alerts acaretaker within 15 or 30 minutes if the patient leaves the predefined “safe” area.

Four reasons why this is great:

  1. It exploits existing technology, not needing to create anything new.
  2. It represents a new revenue stream for the organization.
  3. It improves healthcare for its constituency in a practical, potentially life-saving, way.
  4. It moves a patient advocacy organization, traditionally repositories of information and facilitators of education and emotional support, into a provider of tangible health services.

Tweak existing technology to meet health needs. Success is really that simple.

Online gadget and medical communitieshave already brainstormed how an iPhone could be modded to include a glucose meter, with charting and alerting capabilities.

A doctor’s office could useFlip cameras to record care instructions, as they deliver them in person, and then, before the patient leaves the office, burn them on DVD or email them.

Look around you and see how much technology is there. Email, cell phones, RSS, DVR – what could it do to help your patients?

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