Wouldn’t you know: The other day, on our way home from the oncologist nearly 100 miles away, we stopped at our favorite, world class Bar-B-Q joint, Jim ‘N Nick’s. We ordered big so we’d have enough take-home for at least one more tasty meal. And we bought and brought home, too, a bottle of Jim ‘N Nick’s ‘secret sauce.’
The very next day, while researching information on healthcare mobile apps for this weblog, I came across this post: Mobile Health Apps: Pass the Secret Sauce.
[How could I not give it some serious attention? Here’s a hint.]
According to David Harlow, health care lawyer, consultant, and healthblawger the ‘secret sauce’ for mobile health apps is patient engagement. Says David,
A foundational element necessary to any finding of efficacy and value — even assuming that there is some science or medicine backing up an app, which the IIHI report calls into question for most of the 40,000+ health apps out there — is the secret sauce of patient engagement.
This synchronicity (a meaningful acausal coincidence) is doubly significant, for just recently I provoked an invitation to write a guest post on PHR for Andrew’s Blog. Andrew Shorr is the host and founder of the outstanding website, Patient Power and author of The Web-Savvy Patient: An Insider’s Guide to Navigating the Internet When Facing Medical Crisis.
Using David’s delicious metaphor, I’d like to suggest that patient portals and mobile health apps may well become the ‘secret sauce’ for patient power. The recipe is: patient portals and heath apps → patient engagement → patient power. And that leads to better health outcomes. But, mind you, it won’t be a piece of cake.