But That’s Not What I Wanted..
At this year’s Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech conference, hosted by investor, entrepreneur, and behavioral health technology expert Solome Tibebu, I spoke out against the all-too-common practice of ignoring patient preferences when it comes to treating individual mental health issues. When patient voices go unheard, care is often mismatched, problems remain unsolved and costs go up.
During my conversation with Solome on Next-Gen Digital Health Solutions, it was heartening to see so many people in the chat agree with the idea that patients must have more of a say about the care they receive.
Judging by the comments, and by the current state of digital health, it’s clear that solutions must move in the direction of providing options for patients or become obsolete. Not everyone wants CBT, or pharmacotherapy, or 12-step. People differ from one another, and they even differ within themselves. Some folks, for example, may prefer a therapist for certain things but not others. Or they may only want to see a psychiatrist after other treatments are tried. Deploying a solution that only offers one protocol is a ridiculous way to allocate care and it explains—at least in part—why we’re failing in mental health.
The Disruption that Will Win the Day
Rather than disincentivizing optimal care, we need to embrace it by screening up front and engaging patients with treatment they are likely to participate in, ranging from self-managed all the way through provider visits across multiple provider networks. And, if a patient isn’t getting results or wants to try something new, we need to adapt dynamically to those individual circumstances.
As a company with direct-to-consumer roots, DarioHealth has benefited from listening to and learning from customer preferences. This retail approach, in which solutions make things easy for customers and let their preferences drive care, will be the disruption that wins the day for digital health—not only for mental health concerns but also for other chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and pain.
Convenience and relevance drove telehealth adoption, and convenience and relevance will drive virtual care as well. Pure behavioral health plays, no matter how good they are, are headed for obsolescence. Whole-person, modular solutions that sit on top of a data-driven dynamic personalization layer are the ones that will win the day.
At Dario, we’re building a path that makes it easy for our customers to solve THEIR problems instead of asking them to solve OURS. We believe that listening to the voice of the patient is key to ensuring that our customers get the outcomes they want and deserve.
For a deeper dive, please watch my conversation with Solome at the 2021 Going Digital conference.