The Future of Medicine is the Engaged Patient Who Makes Their Own Decisions

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John-moore (2) John Moore who is currently a PhD candidate in the New Media Medicine group at the MIT Media Lab, is working to fundamentally change the role that patients can play in their care by empowering them with knowledge, understanding, confidence, and channels for communication.

He is studying the effect that new technology-mediated paradigms for doctor-patient collaboration can have on education, adherence, and behavior change.

In the future of medicine, his goal is to design systems to make the patient help decide what medicine to take, where the doctor acts as the “guide.”

He gives us in the Idea Festival audience a few sad facts. People retain only 15-20% of what they hear from doctors after they leave the office. Very few actually follow through and take their medicine even after picking up the prescription. He says that the reason that the stats look so grim is because the system we have today has been designed so poorly.

As a result, Moore and his team are working on transforming systems and creating programs that are more integrative and effective. For example, with Parkinsons disease, they can monitor patient’s activity by wearing a device and matching that back to the medicine they’re taking. Patients can also correlate their behavior as well so they can take their medicine in a timely manner. This is being done through online video conferencing and games.

Games are being developed so patients can set goals with their physical therapist in real time and then have the game results and feedback sent back to the clinician while they’re playing at home. This feedback can help adjust and re-adjust exercises and medicine that they do so improvement is more dramatic. Much of this can be monitored at home so a lot can be diagnosed without the patient having to come into the doctor’s office, saving both time and money.

Moore wants to empower patients to change how they view their own conditions through experience not through reading or simply doing what a doctor tells them to do. He believes that patients should be able to get interactive feedback in real time.

“The future of medicine is the engaged patient, where they participate in their own ‘care’ program”, ends Moore.

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