I was the firstborn to a single mother of what would soon be three children by 1979. We lived well below the poverty level and my mother relied on vital government social services for our family upbringing. When it came to healthcare, we were members of the Medicaid health program and also received assistance from nutrition programs such as WIC and SNAP. While we did receive access to vaccines, primary/specialized care, and food, it was far from perfect. Nutrition in particular was a severe challenge. There was little guidance from our providers or nutrition programs to help support typical nutritional needs and we established what would become long-term habits which, I believe, led in part to my own costly chronic conditions (GERD and peptic ulcers). While it took me 30-plus years to change my own habits, I can’t help but think of how technology, namely data and analytics, might have provided a more preventative course of action. It could have provided insight to my providers on my comprehensive medical history, nutrition, and other variables, in addition to a better understanding of how others have responded to treatment options. This level of technological maturity simply didn’t exist yet and our healthcare system was designed as a volume-based system that incentivizes based on the volume instead of the value of care. In an age where widespread digitization within the healthcare ecosystem is our current reality, data and analytics can play ...
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