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Will Applecare Work?


The rumor mill has it that Apple is putting its toes in the turbulent waters of sick care.

The rumor mill has it that Apple is putting its toes in the turbulent waters of sick care. Democratizing and digitizing medical information has become big business, and the business model canvas has a fundamental hypothesis that patients are willing and able to take better care of themselves by improving their medical and insurance IQs. They are seemingly getting more engaged and are doing a better job of eliminating risk factors for disease and changing their behavior. It is one of the main tactics companies and payers are using to try to change sick care to healthcare.

Unfortunately, personal health records have not worked in the past, and there are several opinions about why:

1. Large numbers of patients are not that interested in disease prevention and wellness

2. Most patients have a low health and health insurance IQ and they are not that interested in improving it

3. Despite the noise and talk about patient centered care, shared decision making, and patient empowerment, when push comes to shove, particularly in emergent or semi-emergent situations, most would rather just have a trusted physician tell them what to do

4. There are not enough incentives to motivate patients to change

5. Patients are more interested in their financial health than their personal health and they don't want to spend more and more out of pocket

6. The lack of transparent, valid quality and pricing information makes coming to an informed customer value purchase impossible and subject to sales and marketing tactics.

7. Few marketers, doctors, or payers have figured out how to consistently change doctor and patient behavior

8. It is too painful getting access to all of your medical information. Try getting yours in 72hrs.

9. The patients who need the most help are the least interested in helping themselves

10. Third party reimbursement and the moral hazard reinforces the attitude that "I'll think about doing it if my insurance pays for it."

Driving behavior change by simply providing information has rarely been a winning strategy. Does standing on your bathroom scale every day make you lose weight? Maybe Tim Cook should just buy Twitter and forget all this sick care business.

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