What is the future of health care?
I work in the U.S. health insurance industry and over the last decade, I have seen increasing complexity in all aspects of health care.
With new technologies, drugs, and regulations constantly emerging, there is a ton of pressure on insurers, providers, and everyone else involved to react quickly and appropriately.
Besides the fact that health care will continue to become more complex and more expensive (I don’t see these trends reversing anytime soon), I’m not sure what the future holds for us.
I can only speak to what I intend to do personally, as a consumer, which will likely give you some insight as to where we’re headed as a society.
When it comes to improving my health, life, etc., I’ve always tried to find practical ways to think and act differently and better than the crowd. This is what I take pride in.
As an avid reader of health and fitness material, I’ve gotten more useful information from the best bloggers and researchers in the niche than I’ve ever gotten from a local doctor or the government.
My vision, as ambitious (or naive) as it may be, is to optimize my health and become the best version of myself naturally through diet, exercise, and lifestyle.
Most doctors, including those I’ve interacted with in the past, are quick to use textbook protocols and prescribe drugs to address issues.
Once I discovered through self-study, that I know more about nutrition and weight loss than many of them, I knew something wasn’t right.
When it comes to health, I’ve come to trust the advice from people who have rigorously studied the nutrition and exercise side of things more than a random medical professional with some credentials.
It’s worth noting that the people who really know what they are talking about when it comes to nutrition and exercise are few and far between, so when one of these people also happens to be a medical professional, it’s like a golden goose in a world of goose crap.
I recently came across a new service offered by a doctor who is one of these golden geese that I think will transform the future of health care.
I heard about this service from Mike Matthews, one of the top health and fitness writers on the web and one of the few people I actually trust when it comes to this stuff.
Despite it costing nearly $1,000 a year, I put my name on the waiting list within five minutes of reading about it.
In short, it’s online, concierge-style primary care from a doctor whose values are aligned with mine.
I first heard about Dr. Spencer Nadolsky on Mike Matthews’ podcast. The guy really knows his stuff and focuses on all the right things: proper nutrition and training to name a couple. Not to mention, he is a physical specimen.
Dr. Spencer is “a physician who pushes lifestyle before pharmaceuticals,” which is refreshing and totally the type of care I want to get involved in.
I remember thinking, “Man, I wish he could be my PCP.”
So, of course, when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it and immediately put my name on the SteadyMD waiting list.
In his words:
Our healthcare system is broken. The typical primary care doctor has between 2,000 and 5,000 patients. Seriously. That’s not a typo. The average patient visit? 15 minutes. You find a doctor, make an appointment (sometimes several weeks out), drive to the doctor’s office, wait in the waiting room, wait in the exam room, finally see the doctor, have a short visit, leave, drive home. Hope that you’re billed fairly / correctly.
The moment the doctor sees you is the first moment he thinks about you. And the moment you leave he stops thinking about you. Why? He needs to see about 30 patients per day to meet his quota / make a decent living.
And what if you have a follow-up question? What if you forgot to ask something? What if something happens a few days later?
I’m proud to be pioneering a completely new model of primary care. With modern technology, I can focus on a limited number of patients, anywhere in the world, and provide really great care. I can be your health partner for the long-term, in the same way that you might have an accountant or financial advisor.
That last sentence is what sold me.
The reason I want to test this out, and the reason I think many others will follow suit, is that demand is increasing for more personalized care.
Not only is it more effective, it’s just an overall better experience.
And with similar advancements in other industries (Uber, AirBNB, etc.), it’s inevitable that the health care industry will follow.
Again, I can’t speak for everyone else, but I do know that I want to take more responsibility for my health, not less.
When it comes to major areas of my life, like health, personal finance, and family, I want to learn from and partner with the best in the business to make sure that I bring my A game to the table.
So, this is what the future of health care looks like, at least for me.
Note: If I am accepted as a patient, I’m sure I’ll write more about the service and my experience. Right now, I’m just a hopeful guinea pig because I think this is an amazing opportunity.
Featured image by Luis Llerena.
First published on Quora.