We dream of a world in which healthcare isn’t about curing and illness – but actually about caring and health.
Almost every language has a version of the following proverb: prevention is better than cure. It’s a piece of advice that everyone agrees on: if you can prevent something from breaking at all, then doing so is always better than repairing the damage afterwards. Repairs cost time and resources. And: not everything can be repaired. That which breaks seldom becomes fully whole again.
Our current healthcare system, however, focuses on repairs entirely. Doctors are educated to recognise anomalies, the pathological, the unhealthy – but in order to recognise illness, they had to learn about health first. Medical organisations contain a wealth of information on the human body: knowledge currently only applied to curing. But it could be applied to meet other objectives, too.
At Gociety Solutions, we have a dream – one born from dealing with medical organisations for years, and witnessing the frustrating amount of preventable suffering these organisations deal with; the amount of money spent on repairing damage – both mental and physical – that could have been prevented with the simplest of strategies; and the pressure exerted on medical professionals. We dream of a world in which hospitals are not places people go to get repaired, but places they go to in order to stay healthy.
We dream of doctors that tell their clients about all the ways in which they can hold onto the gift that is their health, instead of solely seeing them when they have lost this gift already, hurriedly writing them medical prescriptions. We dream of a world in which health insurance companies have the foresight to cover clever e-solutions like our GoLiveClip – which prevents 30% of all falling incidents – instead of just operations costing about 9000 euro per fall survivor. Survivors who will never quite become whole again.
We imagine a world in which local governments recruit volunteers to introduce older adults to technologies that can change their lives – such as robotic cooking aids, or even something as simple as a smartphone or computer in order to stay connected. Above all, we dream of a world in which people take care of each other: not just when they get ill or infirm, but always. In our individualised society, people are increasingly treated as numbers on balances, while they get lonelier and lonelier. This applies especially to older adults – whose share of the population is reaching a record high. The chance of mental illness increases as we age, and not due to any internal change: it’s the change in our circumstances, with loneliness being strongly correlated to depression and anxiety.
What if we started focusing on the roots of our – physical and mental – challenges? What about an online network through which older adults can find each other, or children looking for someone to read to them, or teenagers happy to go for a walk? The ageing of our population is not simply a ‘problem’ that needs to be fixed: older adults are some of the most interesting members of our society: full of life experience, wisdom and stories about times past. After all, humans of all ages benefit from connection.
And this is just one example. We envision a whole world of positive healthcare, directed towards prevention – in which cure takes its proper place: as a last resort. Employing clever technology, we can prevent a hundred afflictions with the energy it takes to cure a single one. All we need to do is change our focus: from looking backwards, to looking ahead. From seeing problems, to seeing opportunities. From fighting the negative, to strengthening the positive. And above all: from curing illnesses, to caring for people.
Do you share our vision? Please share!