The Care Continuum Alliance is the nation’s preeminent business, government and NGO partnership with the mission to realize the highest achievable health status through the promotion and alignment of population health improvement through patient-centric models of care, implementation of innovative practice and care models, as well as the cost-effective application of technology in the delivery of care across the health continuum.
Joe Coughlin addressed the global audience gathered in Atlanta, reviewing the last decade of progress and implications of technology-enabled health engagement across the lifespan. Coughlin’s talk, “Care or Confusion? A Consumer's Perspective of the Healthcare Delivery System” identified how changes in public trust, an evolving patient-doctor relationship and the implementation of countless technologies may be providing great promise but may also be wrought with potential challenges ahead. Among these, he suggested that technology may be providing cost-effective patient engagement strategies by providing more personal data, e.g., everything from 24/7 monitoring of blood pressure to changing levels of stress. He cautioned, however, that data alone is not necessarily adding to understanding that would ultimately lead to better health behaviors and outcomes. Coughlin also noted that, given the limited face-to-face time physicians have with patients, 'high-tech' may substitute for 'high-touch', but may also risk attenuating the trusted patient-doctor relationship critical to healthy behaviors, especially in older patients, e.g., medication adherence. Coughlin reviewed AgeLab research that has identified successful consumer engagement strategies used in markets outside of healthcare, including finance, retail and consumer products, identifying possible behavioral science strategies to effectively use technology to gain the sustained attention of health consumers and caregivers.