Did better care become more affordable for more?

Looking at this interesting diagram in the BMJ – the gist of which is something like this: in the ‘old days’ worst case scenario was viewed as self care of your medical condition and best care was to see a specialist.

The problem is: best care is also the most expensive.  But now, get this…. best care is viewed as patients self-managing, because they are more able to so in this ‘information age’.  If this is true, then better care is more accessible to more people, because it is internet based, cheaper and not reliant on seeing specialists.

It is a shift from ‘Industrial age’ healthcare to ‘Information age’ healthcare.

Information Age HealthCare

Policy vision of specialist driven care shifting to patient driven care as information age replaces industrial age. Adapted from Ferguson* BMJ 2010;341:c5814

What I like about it, is the fundamental shift in thinking that has taken place with the advent of the internet and social media tools.


Adoption, non-adoption, and abandonment of a personal electronic health record: case study of HealthSpace, BMJ 2010; 341:c5814

*Figure adapted from Ferguson T. Consumer health informatics. Healthcare Forum J 1995;Jan-Feb:28-33.

Thank you BMJ for making this open access, and to Mike Bainbridge for alerting me to this superb diagram.