Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Whole-Person Integrated-Care (WPIC) Wellness Solution

The Whole-Person Integrated-Care (WPIC) Wellness Solution: "What's necessary for people to change the way they think, feel and act in a way that promotes healthy living?

I assert that AWARENESS is the place to start. It's obvious that people have little incentive to change if they are unaware that they have health problems, risks, or are managing chronic conditions poorly. Things that can promote self-awareness are other people, media, and information technology. These people may be sick-care professionals (e.g., doctors, nurses and therapists); well-care coaches and counselors; family and friends; and even 'virtual acquaintances' through Internet-based social networking (Web 2.0)). Media include the web sites, TV, movies, newspapers, books, etc. Information technology includes health information systems, such as personal health records (PHRs) and online health data repositories.

In this post, I focus on the good and bad of health information technology for consumers since there is great debate about their usefulness.

I content that we are in the "Stone Age" of health information technology. Current day products are not very useful to the typical consumer, and could be much more useful to professionals. That's because the greatest value information is not obtained by simply having a place to store personal health data. Instead, value comes from using these data to help consumers and their healthcare professionals prevent physical and mental health problems, treat acute illnesses, and self-manage chronic conditions.

What's needed is an easy, low-cost way for data from health care providers and consumers, no matter where they are stored, to be transformed into useful information."

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