Last week I found myself in the emergency room at 1am, voluntarily checking myself in.
I ended up there after being sick for several days. A throat virus, turned into an infection, and made it almost impossible for me to eat because of the pain. The doctor I saw a few days earlier didn’t prescribe me antibiotics, which I finally got at the ER. She saw me at the beginning of my illness, but wasn’t there to check when things got worse suddenly.
This is a pretty frequent scenario that applies to a lot more than just sore throats. Despite our affluence, the US Healthcare system is broken.
Way back in 2002, some smart folks at Forrester research postulated it can be solved with technology — an idea they called Healthcare Unbound:
Healthcare’s costs, coverage problems, and demographic pressures mean system overload; its formal institutions can’t cope with the future. What will ease the pain? A major shift, enabled by technology, to self-care, mobile care, and home care.
Seven years later, as we face doctor and nurse shortages, and swine flu, this apt solution hasn’t taken hold, but here’s hoping it that will change.