“Once upon a time, going to your doctor was simple. You knew his first name, or perhaps just called him “Doc.” He lived just down the street and made house calls. And if you were sick, you would see him that day, because, well, you were sick” … that’s how the story starts for Hello Health! (founded by an American and Canadian in NY)
Hello Health attempts to make healthcare simple and accessible to patients and promises to taking medicine to its basics. With Hello Health, you can interact with your doc in your favourite means of technology. If you have query and you would like to just e-mail, you just e-mail and its Free! You make your appointments online and access your records as well.
At the primary care level, as the first point of contact for the patients, accessibility and responsive care is crucial for patients and especially for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and COPD.
So is Hello Health disruptive ? Absolutely in private healthcare market like US, its bringing the medicine back to basics and attacks the complex payer/physician centric model. In market economics, as the value propositions of the consumers change, new players emerge to provide the missing value and this is often called as invisible hand and works in most cases. It remains to be seen whether it will work in healthcare.
Can a service like Hello Health, work in a single payer system like Canada ? Of course, it can, provided it meets the regulatory requirements of the government and the docs adopt the government certified EMR
(Electronic Medical Record), of course with lots of incentives.
Accessing a primary case physician is relatively easy (caveat: if you have a family physician) in the Canadian Healthcare system and every one is aware of the improvement needed in terms of technology adoption.
In US, the question remains whether the proposed mandatory legislation by Obama administration can hinder a service like this. Boston Globe has a good coverage on this. http://bit.ly/WE67p
Also this type of pay for use service only serves the basic healthcare needs and Can it fix the completely ailing US healthcare system, where complex care consumes most of the resources in the system ?
It remains to be seen and the quest for solving the healthcare puzzle continues.