Redefining healthcare delivery

The doctor-patient relationship is deteriorating. Today's information technology solutions are exacerbating the problem by perpetuating paternalistic decision-making and episodic care. CollaboRhythm is a technology platform that enables a new paradigm of healthcare delivery; one where patients are empowered to become active participants and where doctors and other health professionals are transformed into real-time coaches. We believe that this radical shift in thinking is necessary to dramatically reduce healthcare costs, increase quality, and improve health outcomes.

The foundation of CollaboRhythm is a speech- and touch-controlled collaborative interface for the office where doctor and patient make shared decisions. Patients can actively engage with their data, so they can take action in their lives with doctors serving as coaches rather than commanders.

Patients own their data in CollaboRhythm: everything they see in the doctor’s office is available at home, or when they visit another doctor, or change jobs, or move across the world. Just as importantly, patients can contribute data of their own, things that doctors fail to see in the face of too many lab tests: data and perceptions about social support, diet, alternative therapies, and their effect on the patient;s quality of life. (Patients and physicians disagree on the reason for an office visit nearly 50% of the time.)

Although the hub of CollaboRhythm is located in the doctor's office, the system's goal is to connect with the patient from any place at any time. However, it is not a tele-presence system - which beams the doctor into the patient's life - but a system for tele-collaboration. Patients need support from their health-care providers, and doctors need to encourage patients to actively track their performance in collaboration with providers. No more letting patients fall through the cracks between visits every six months.

Working together, CollaboRhythm's components bring the promise of ubiquitous connectivity to primary care. For example, in the near future, the doctor may be able to push out medication reminders to the patient's bathroom mirror or television. The patient can interact with an intelligent conversational agent before doctor visits to prepare. The doctor can send the patients visualizations of their progress in fighting disease, providing detail on a microscopic level in a form that is understandable and actionable by the patient.

Patients of the future will know more about their health than their doctors. They have to. By making patients active, informed participants in their own care, we believe we can reduce health care costs, increase quality, and improve health outcomes.

* CollaboRhythm is supported by the 2009 CIMIT Prize for Primary Healthcare