Three principles form the foundation of our approach to technology and our solution to the problems in the health system today:
Commitment to user experience
Given that compliance is one of the central problems we hope to address, bad user experiences
are worse than annoying — they're actually dangerous. A person who won't reliably take her
pills also won't stick with an app that's irritating to navigate around or takes forever to load.
Good user experiences are important, but UX has not been a focus of medical technology
development to date. Tools for doctors and patients alike are kludgy and difficult to use, often
requiring training or at least deep reserves of patience. Tools to connect doctors, caregivers,
and patients are inconsistent and disjointed. Content is often highly technical.
At My Own Med, we believe a great user experience is critical to the long-term engagement of
patients, but also understands that users in this context are very different and therefore their
needs are different. An 80-year-old arthritis sufferer taking care of himself doesn't need half
the functionality that a 55-year-old mom taking care of her daughter and her mother needs. A
doctor needs different functionalities altogether. My Own Med serves each of these categories
of users with a different set of tools, functionalities, and reporting capabilities consistent with
their role in the health care system and in the individual's care, each built to high standards for
My Own Med has a highly customizable user platform, which creates a
personalized experience that presents tools and reporting capabilities in the
context of the user’s needs, while still maintaining consistent backend reporting
for the ease of data integration.
Nearly every website in every vertical that's successful today is social. The health care industry
is ready-made for community-building — just look at how many single-disease advocacy
groups have emerged organically. Yet most people continue to navigate their complex medical
situations in isolation from others who've handled the same problems, and no technology
solution has emerged to enable them to form connections and seek or give advice.
My Own Med is designed to solve this. People don't need one-size-fits-all guidance from a static
webpage that purports to know their life and needs — they need to be engaged in dialogue,
advice, and even companionship with others who are going through what they're going
through. This is the value-add that users desire and respond to and it is critical to long-term
utilization of the tool because it is this community that will make users become invested in My
Own Med and keep coming back, month after month, year after year.
My Own Med supports communities in a number of ways. We know that the most important
relationships in the health care system are between patients, their loved ones, and other health
care professionals. Our platform allows patients to communicate and engage in their care and
with their caregivers online, in real time, without having to wait for a phone call to be returned.
It also allows caregivers to be proactive in tracking their patients (presuming, of course, that
permission has been granted) and contact them as the need arises. This simple functionality has
tremendous potential not just to save time and money, but to help detect how drugs interact in
We know that for some users, a deeper social layer is necessary - not just new
tools to make existing relationships more efficient, but new ways to connect with
people they don't already know.
My Own Med will support two forms of community. The first allows users to join or create
native groups along whatever lines they define as important to them — regional, demographic,
disease-specific, etc. We know from our research and experience that these sorts of ties are
important to people and have been underserved by the health industry. The second allows
users to ask and answer questions in a forum-styled way, allowing users to get quick advice
without signing on for the full community features.
Putting Data to Use
Unfortunately, the health care industry lags behind other sectors in the sophistication of its use
of these kinds of approaches. As a result, even as spectacularly advanced treatments are being
developed, individual patients (and their family members), as well as health care professionals
and hospital systems, are surprisingly underserved by technology and big data today.
My Own Med is dedicated to putting the user first. To us, that means serving them with content
that will inspire them; providing tools to empower them; and allowing them to take control
of their health outcomes, whether they use the app to connect with each other through
communities or to communicate with their health professionals and family members.
Targeting techniques deployed in other sectors through digital outreach can be used in the
context of healthcare. Healthcare matters very deeply to people. Like other sectors, it inspires
them to connect with one another and share their stories. And in health, as in other sectors, each consumer
has his or her particular reason for seeking remedy — and may turn away if that
reason is not attended to in a narrowly tailored way.
We will be able to generate actionable information from data provided by hundreds of
thousands of users — data that will be visualized and shown back to users themselves to make
them better patients; to family members who care for sick loved ones; and to doctors who
need efficient ways to know where to focus their attention and better tools to recognize PRO
patterns to provide better care. Hospital systems and other large companies will be able to use
the data to gain insights as to when and why their products and approaches do and don't work.
An advanced analysis engine allows you to dig deep into aggregate patient data
to review potential cost-savings, learn about patient experiences, and gain a
deeper understanding of consumer markets.