Thursday, September 24, 2009

Telemedicine: A Good Trojan Horse?

There is no denying Americans' fascination with gadgets. Those electronic and single purpose doodads are supposed to make life easier, but let's face it: do we really need devices dedicated to creating the perfect cucumber slice or illuminating martinis for proper mixing or capturing solar energy to power miniature helicopters?

The Disease Management Care Blog is convinced our affinity for things technologic is part of the business case for telemedicine. Whether it's a USB compatible peak flow meter, Bluetooth enabled glucose meters or weight scales connected via modem, their electronic beeping, digital interfaces and diode lights can be the irresistable luster that tips the precontemplative to the active. Call it 'telemedicine,' and even a marketing piece will be run by the Washington Post.

The Disease Management Care Blog doesn't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Medical gadgets are often linked up with human case management. As a result, the DMCB thinks gadgets can be the 'sizzle' that gets the less sexy yet important care management into the boomers' homes.

Think of it as a Trojan Horse: the attractive shell that gets wheeled into the city so that the soldiers can do their thing.

A DMCB prediction for the future: population-based care management programs that are aligned with monitoring devices will be favored by the market. While the devices will 'lead,' the real heavy lifting on the back-end will be the care managementblocking and tackling. Devices will be the channel used by disease management to provide value that leads to the economic return. What's more, device value will be defined by a low price point backed by high service.

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