Obamacare vs. Crowdcare

Here are two facts that might seem unrelated: 1) Most Americans now have a Facebook profile or use a Smart Phone (probably Apple or Android); and 2) Over the past two years, one of the most pressing problems in the country has been the debate over the future of healthcare. What if I told you leveraging the first will help us fix the second? Read on for the solution.

While the financial markets continue to soar higher (they are now at almost the same level they were before the great recession of 2008), unemployment seems to be stuck at or above 8%. At the same time, the technology market appears to be reliving the booming years of the Internet of a decade ago – only this time with real revenues, cash flows, and earnings. More importantly two front-runners, Apple and Facebook, power the ascent. Apple sports the world’s largest market valuation and has more cash on hand than many countries have in their treasury and Facebook is the third fastest growing nation – with 900 Million customers (members) and reaching the size of China and India in sheer size. But in many ways, Facebook and Apple have more power given their global and electronic reach.

So Why do I think connecting healthcare (as one of the largest sector of our economy) and social and mobile networks might help solve this sticky problem – simple? By harnessing the power of 900 million people worldwide, along with today’s mobile and cloud technologies, we can create a new and more appropriate solution to our healthcare issues - one that adds patients and their knowledge of, and personal experiences with, diffiult diseases to the doctor and researcher mix.

This past week's article about the continued deterioration of the healthcare relationship between doctors and their patients in Newsweek is proof that the healthcare system is broken. Whether you are a believer in Obamacare or not, is not the question. We need to  find a new approach to this industry if we intend to make a true dent in the problem at hand. My recommendation: use today's digital technologies and  social networks to connect everyone with a dreaded disease (Alzheimers, ALS, Failed Back surgeries) with anyone who has a potential solution - be it a doctor, researcher or patient.

If we want to fix what ails us as patients, let alone reduce the cost and burdens on the health care industry - it is time for the health care leaders to tap into the wisdom of crowds - nearly billion people around the world with a social profile - and create a vibrant and growing social network of caregivers, doctors, researchers, patients, and insurers. Think CAREBOOK -- a healthcare version of Facebook -- and you get the picture.

It's time that we use today's social, mobile and cloud technologies to find the cure to our health system and who better than to drive this change than all of us! Its time for crowdsourcing healthcare's wellness. Its time for CROWDCARE.

Cailin Darcy