NO WONDER they are called “patients”. When people enter the health-care systems of rich countries, they know what they will get: prodding doctors, endless tests, baffling jargon, rising costs and long waits.
Frustration is boiling over. This week three of the biggest names in American business—Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase—announced a new venture to provide better, cheaper health care for their employees. A fundamental problem with today’s system is that patients lack knowledge and control. Access to data can bestow both.
The internet already enables patients to seek online consultations when and where it suits them. You can take over-the-counter tests to analyse your blood, sequence your genome and check on the bacteria in your gut. Yet radical change demands a shift in emphasis, from providers to patients and from doctors to data. That shift is happening.
Read more: A revolution in health care is coming