Friday, December 06, 2019

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BLUE stands for “Best e-heaLthUsEr

A best e-health user will be any person taking benefit from enhanced awareness and control of her/his own biological and clinical data, recorded manually or via connected devices through lifetime.

Each day, a large amount and variety of biological and clinical data are generated but only few are captured or recorded and even less are effectively used to meaningfully monitoring and improving personal/public health.

BLUECompanion conveys the concept of empowerment: the individual taking better control and responsibility of her/his health through digitally enabled routines.

If current healthcare organization of Western countries assigns limited capacity to individuals, available and incoming digital technologies greatly modify the terms of the equation regulating the interplay of responsibilities in medical decisions. Physicians traditionally bear the highest responsibility for diagnosis and treatment, regulators (defining the appropriate/allowed use of pharmacological treatments and medical devices in given indications), payers (e.g. social security or insurances, the ones actually weighing the most in limiting therapeutic options based of pharma-economic assessment ), all play a key role in determining the therapeutic options, while patients/at-risk citizens are at the best “informed” about regulated medical options, and play a relatively limited role in influencing/control major decisions ahead concerning their own health.

The respective responsibilities among the stakeholders may vary across cultures and depend on national healthcare organizations.  What would be a good proportion between stakeholders in taking such decisions? That will bring into a complex bioethical debate, for which we may remind to many published papers.

On practical grounds and thanks to the internet, the smartphones, the connected devices, the social websites etc., we assist to a mounting curiosity, interest and willingness of common citizens to capture, monitor and use biological and clinical data for influencing the type and intensity of medical interventions and this is de facto the objective start of patient empowering.

Several structural obstacles limit and even make unsuccessful this strong trend, like payers enforced reimbursement grids; patients low medical literacy with respect to required clinical reasoning standards, or impossible dialogue among healthcare many actors.

Bluecompanion would like to enable this dialogue, facilitate appropriate and effective use of health related data at the level of individuals, and catalyse structural actions for facilitating/enabling a responsible and balanced patient’s empowerment versus traditional stakeholders.