Mark E. Lutes
Mark Lutes, Chair of the firm’s Board of Directors, in the Washington, DC, office, was featured in a Q&A that addressed: What New Innovation Affecting Any Aspect of the Delivery of Healthcare Excites You the Most, and Why?
Following is an excerpt:
While not conceived of as a health care innovation, the smartphone has the broadest potential as a change agent in care delivery and financing. It has technological and algorithmic power. Most importantly, it is ubiquitous and thus has the reach to be a primary change agent.
Much of the opportunity to improve health status is in the wellness arena. The smart phone already gives vital sign and other readings. It is well suited to give feedback on diet and exercise.
It will be exciting to watch the multitude of ways that providers incorporate smart phone applications into diagnostics. The smartphone also promises to be the ultimate tool for attaining patient engagement goals. Patient engagement is often the missing link in chronic care management. As a result, particularly as boomer users age, we can expect that chronic care regimes will make liberal use of the technology.
We would also be foolish to underestimate the future role and power of the smartphone in provider selection and in price bargaining. When a mother needs to make a care choice decision and she can receive preliminary diagnostic input, an immediate appointment and cost information through a simple query, the “on ramp” to patient care will have changed. We can also expect Expedia/Price Line type competition to evolve as providers jump in with treatment quotes baking in insurance and copay information.
Remember, the medical consumer of the present and near future is shouldering material deductible and copay responsibility. She will welcome the assistance of new services bringing real time discount and quality information. That information will move market share.