“Trust and Verify”

 “I’ll believe it when I see it!”  

Sound familiar?  No matter the culture, country or language, at the foundation of every human relationship is TRUST and that includes healthcare relationships. Trust is a willingness and ability to engage another without full knowledge of what might happen next and to hope that this leap of faith will be mutually beneficial. When faced with the unknown, humans rely on their close personal relationships and experiences to assess risk. In healthcare, people often reach out to family, friends and, increasingly, social platforms including Dr. Google for information. Healthcare literacy — the ability to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate decisions — is a meager 12% amongst US adults. Low health literacy rates make health and healthcare effectively a giant black hole for most people. 

For example, a survey of Medicaid enrollees who preferentially sought care in an emergency department for low-acuity conditions found that respondents reported trust in the hospital or health system and a feeling of attachment to the overall institution based on prior positive experiences.  Similarly, negative experiences like difficulty navigating health insurance plans have been shown to lead to distrust According to Collado et al, the “most common interpersonal quality […and one] very important for high-quality care is that a doctor makes time for patients’ questions and concerns.” Saul Weiner’s work (Contextualizing Care) goes further and explicitly states that “a physician must not only know evidence-based treatment guidelines derived from research on groups of patients, but must decide whether these guidelines will result in effective care given the life circumstances, or context, for each patient.” 

For health tech innovators this means that it’s not enough to code, build products and create services — to be successful they need to understand the human context and earn the trust of stakeholders.  At InSun™we believe there are six critical factors that impact an innovator’s ability to gain trust and reach healthtech’s tipping point. These are:

Human centricity

Real healthcare expertise

Solutions to actual needs

Verifiable outcomes and actual ROI

Intentional integration 

Meaningful strategic alignment

Our next blog posts will take a dive deep into each of these critical factors and share tangible takeaways that innovators and stakeholders alike can use to narrow the gap between the aspirations of health tech and the realities of health and care.  Until then…. Be Well