One area where personalization can make a real difference is in managing and preventing chronic illnesses such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, the global threat – and the cost – of chronic diseases is a very real one. And while we know that almost 90% of cases can be prevented with the right lifestyle changes – exercising more, eating better, quitting smoking – getting at-risk patients to make those changes remains the primary barrier to effective prevention.
We know the technology exists that can help patients start to proactively develop better habits – indeed, at Philips we are instrumental in developing several of these devices and solutions. However, what we have found is it takes more than simply hardware or software to shift ingrained behaviors; true motivation comes from that which makes us human – connections with other people.
Devices can offer meaningful measurement, and algorithms can provide logical recommendations, but it is often the social element – the ‘human touch’ – that is likely to make an individual take action. For any personalized program to work, it is hugely important to factor in the relationship between the people who deliver and receive it.