The MyHealth Application

My Health app

The MyHealth App is envisioned as the mobile-enabled portal to enable each individual public health patient to access their own secure, personal health data. The goal is to empower patients to monitor their own health via a next generation cloud-based highly secure app. This would reframe the seeker as a key participant in their own healthcare — able to better work in partnership with the Ministries and government who are providing the care.

Today the public healthcare system successfully gathers patient specific data across a key however this data is optimized to flow upstream for systemic decision-making. Most private sector medical insurance and medical aid scheme suppliers take a more patient-centric view of data, embracing the philosophy that patients are experts in how treatment and prevention fits into their lived experiences and will stay healthier and empowered with access to their personal data. The patient as a co-owner of their data also addresses a major friction point in the public health system when patient files remain clinic specific and often inaccessible to health care providers as a seeker pursues a lifetime of healthcare.

In the future, innovations in low-cost personal monitoring devices and dna mapping will enable individual seeker and health care professionals to have a much more accurate picture of individual health. Sophisticated AI engines by consumer-centric companies like Apple, Google and Amazon will aggregate billions of individual data points and outcomes as they unlock new health impact possibilities via highly tailored prevention and treatments. 

To expand data access to the currently underserved, there are challenges to consider.

Important ethical and security considerations exist; such as access to patient information for close family members and health care professionals across a national public and private health system and secure access on mobile phones in communities with high crime rates.  This is especially critical in cases where confidentiality is key to a patient’s safety and social health.

Real time data is only possible through connectivity.  While mobile networks continue to expand coverage and lower data costs, significant vulnerable populations globally live in difficult to reach locations where the only viable connectivity strategy is expensive satellite connectivity, requiring meaningful public private partnerships to realize.

MyHealth patient-empowering programs don’t typically integrate cultural norms and the more expansive health metrics uncovered in the ARC strands model.  Until more life-holistic algorithms are pioneered which address key attitude and behavior realities in vulnerable communities, apps may struggle to be universally impactful.

Framing opportunities is an early step to address these challenges:

  • How might we design data access inside apps for the most impactful outcomes that addresses diverse cultural populations?

  • How might we design apps to be natural extensions of in-person health care engagements in public health facilities, delivering additional value to clients?

  • How might we better co-create short, medium and long term horizon visions for better personal data use together with policy makers, data security experts and UX designers?