“It’s All About Me”: The Personalization of Health Systems

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Health systems have experienced unprecedented change in the last several decades, resulting in new ways for consumers to seek and engage health services and revolutionary technologies that have completely transformed how health challenges are managed. Consumers can connect virtually to global experts to access information about health. Discoveries in genetics are providing a mechanism for consumers to evaluate their risk for disease. Pacemakers are able to wirelessly transmit heart rhythms, enabling individuals with cardiac arrhythmia to connect to a cardiologist. Yet, these impressive advances may not have realized their potential in the populations they serve. Why?

Health systems around the world are challenged by increasing demands for healthcare services in the face of diminishing economic resources. Every developed country in the world expends substantial economic resources on healthcare which has driven health system priorities to focus on cost containment and sustainability. Yet, as health system costs continue to increase over time, the value health systems are able to achieve for the population they serve remains unclear. Why is it that despite decades of advances in science, health systems struggle to deliver value to populations they serve?