At best, no one could ever accuse the U.S. health system of being perfect.
Many would say the current system is an unsustainable, shockingly expensive disaster that is about as relevant to the 21st century as buggy whips. The healthcare system does not fail everyone, but people with higher income and good insurance plans may simply notice rising premiums and deductibles without noting in any gaps in care.
This is certainly not the case for poor Americans, who disproportionately suffer from preventable illnesses, poor nutrition, obesity, diabetes and other illnesses. Helping lower income Americans has become an even bigger challenge as of late: even with chronic diseases, they often can’t afford repeat visits to clinics or doctors’ offices simply to monitor their conditions.
The William J. Clinton Foundation, a not-for-profit founded by former President Bill Clinton, says the situation is unsustainable.
“Our nation’s rising tide of preventable health problems is alarming because it is ruining the quality and length of life for millions, and driving up healthcare costs in a way that can’t be sustained,” the former president said in a statement. “The Clinton Health Matters Initiative builds on my Foundation’s work to address global health crises and the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States by engaging not only with individuals but also with the systems and places that affect individual health.”
President Clinton notes that technology could help fill the gap, particularly for patient monitoring, reports the website Mobile Health News.
Remote and home patient monitoring technologies will be a key component of the Clinton Foundation’s efforts to eliminate health disparities between communities of different socioeconomic and racial strata. It will do so with a little help from U.S. telecom carrier, Verizon.
Verizon will support technologies such as wireless networks for patients to take vital signs at home and send readings to their physicians, as well as systems to alert doctors when patients with chronic diseases need medical interventions, Verizon’s chief medical officer, Dr. Peter Tippett, told Reuters.
The telecommunications company also is providing connectivity for telemedicine networks that will bring much-needed specialty care and image interpretation services to rural areas.
“We are proud to partner with the Clinton Foundation on this innovative and potentially life-changing initiative,” Tippett said. “As the foundation’s technology provider, we believe we can empower individuals to take better care of their health. We have barely scratched the surface on using technology to improve health and well-being and reduce medical costs.”
Edited by Braden Becker