More and more innovative companies are platform based and everywhere around us it is all about personalization; personalized ads, personalized online search, personalized composed outfits etc. Another trend fuelling personalization is real-time tracking/data. The technological changes and the overload of information alter the way people communicate, work together and create value.
The healthcare sector is no exception to the aforementioned. In healthcare the changes are notable in that it is shifting to remote healthcare, also called home care. This results in healthcare at a distance where the patient him-/herself gets a more prominent role. This central role allows the patient to self manage their (mental) health in collaboration with a healthcare professional (Swan, 2009).
A recent news item in the Netherlands concerned the amount of people suffering from a depression. One out of ten men and one out of five women are depressed, which added up to 1 million people in 2014. Depression is the biggest source of absence through illness and accounts for 1.5 billion euro per year spend on healthcare and a loss of work productivity. The Dutch government will dedicate 10 million euro to research on prevention, early signalling and personalized care. Although it is not only about lowering the costs, but also about making the topic acceptable for conversation, this indicates the importance of the issue.
PsyQ (a mental health organization) and Sense Observation Systems (a technology startup) recognized the issue and developed the platform Goalie. This is a so-called mHealth platform for people with mental disorders including depression, ADHD and agoraphobia (an anxiety disorder). Goalie is a platform that brings the treatment to the patient at the moment and place its needed. It consists of a smartphone app for the patient and a web dashboard for the coaches. The app allows the patients to see their goals and progress. In addition, it incorporates real-time behavioural tracking of the patient. The dashboard enables the professional to manage the patients’ data and provide therapy and coaching based on his/her individual needs.
In short, Goalie entails a platform establishing personalized intelligent treatment through real-time data. Value is created by active participation of the patient resulting in a better understanding by the professional and therefore a more effective treatment. The app is said to transform the mental healthcare sector and has already won an award, indicating it is a promising platform with an excellent goal.
Goalie is focussed on mental health, but there are also other eHealth platforms with a quite similar purpose. One example in this area is the HealtSuite Digital Platform of Philips focussed on a broader application area, including healthy living, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips also aims to tailor healthcare to the patient’s individual needs. In essence, this offers opportunities for the transformation of healthcare through co-creation with consumers/patients (Hofstraat, 2015). The transition in the healthcare sector enables new patient-driven healthcare models providing new services (Swan, 2009). Goalie has already proven to be effective, since the following quote is from a patient involved in a trial:
Hofstraat, H. (2015). The Digital Transformation of Healthcare, Philips Research
Swan, M. (2009). Emerging patient-driven health care models: an examination of health social networks, consumer personalized medicine and quantified self-tracking. International journal of environmental research and public health, 6(2), 492-525.