The Next Phase of Connected Health: Connected Personalized Health

Our Center just launched a company called Healthrageous.  It’s exciting to see them get going.  One of the things they are doing is refining their message. They’ve come up with the concept of ‘Connected Personalized  Health’ and their ambition is to be the market leader in that space.  The more I think about it, this represents the next phase of maturity for connected health as a concept.

A colleague from the U.K. wrote recently to ask my reaction to the idea of taking connected health in his geography from pilot stage to real scale by engaging in a roll out of remote monitoring to a population of >150,000. After I stopped to admire both the vision and the leadership, I thought about why I was cautious in my endorsement of the concept.  I came up with a three way matrix (management consultants inevitably have a two by two matrix to break down any problem; I tried but could not reduce it to two variables, so my matrix has a third dimension).  My reply was that to reach the kind of scale suggested AND to have a real impact on health outcomes would require attention to customization along three axes.

The first is the severity of chronic illness.  At our Center, we have become comfortable offering a pretty different program to the patient with class IV CHF (congestive heart failure)  vs. the patient with mild, uncomplicated hypertension.  The sicker CHF patients need more human intervention, almost constant oversight and inputs from multiple sensors.  The hypertension patients are much lighter touch.

The second dimension is the patient’s readiness to engage in a connected health intervention.  This turns out to be a critical component of program design.  The outreach to an individual who is motivated enough to do the data uploads and view his/her own information online is different than to a patient who will not even bother to set up the equipment.  Our goal is to predict these states (and those in between) before putting a person on a program. This will enable much more efficient use of program resources.

The third dimension is technology readiness.  If we encounter a patient who has a home WiFi network and knows how to add devices to it, our approach can be different than to a person who is Internet-phobic, has no PC and only an analog phone line for communication.

I suggested to my colleague in the U.K. that these are the three most important variables to work with in scaling a program and avoiding a ‘one-size-fits-all’ mistake. I’ve invited him to comment here and I am curious on your thoughts too.  What are the best variables to consider when taking connected health programs from pilot to scale?

Connected Personalized Health is our next big step forward. My friends at Healthrageous are creating an amazing software platform that will collect information about you from all manner of sources and create the absolute best program for you to achieve health behavior change, constantly customizing and refining according to your progress.  I am excited to be a part of their success as we build this next phase of connected health and take the concept to scale.