So much talk of data and testing to help people be healthier. It's amazing what information we are able to gather today with sophisticated testing from PET scans, blood tests to genetic testing. So much information to help guide physicians to helping their patients feel better. The thing that we seem to forget is that it begins with how a patient FEELS.
All this information must be put in the context of how they feel - why did they come in to see me in the first place. Do we end up chasing and treating things that actually don't need treatment? Are we digging too much finding things that are 'abnormal' that the patient may have lived with their whole lives and will die with anyway? The role of the clinician is large here to be able to decipher and listen to what the patient is expressing with regards to what's different or what's bothering them and then mining for the correct data and correlating results with what they hear.
That's why getting patients more easily connected to their own doctors is so important and a seemingly overlooked part of how we are approaching our healthcare solutions. The value of knowing and understanding your patients is overlooked from both a cost and value perspective. It sometimes seems as if when we are getting carried away with accumulating data but providing no context to it. 'How are you feeling?' while so non-tech is still an important question.