Livongo CEO Glen Tullman on Managing Diabetes and Other Chronic Conditions
In his new book, On Our Terms: Empowering the New Health Consumer, Glen Tullman shares a fresh take on one of the fastest growing crises in the country. Today, the majority of Americans are dealing with chronic conditions, and diabetes represents a large share of this total, with more than 30 million managing Type 1 or Type 2. The accelerating rate of this crisis underscores the current US healthcare system’s inability to treat ongoing medical conditions such as diabetes, depression, heart disease, and obesity cost-effectively, not to mention in a manner that keeps people satisfied, motivated, and able to keep their condition well-managed. Analyzing the reasons behind the poor performance of the current model, Tullman points to its design. The current model is crafted to treat conditions “that have a cure” such as sinus infections, fractures, etc. Given the temporary nature of these conditions, healthcare providers can treat them episodically and make their services costly. Yet, the model can no longer sustain itself when providers must treat conditions that never go away, and when people need access to care 24/7. Healthcare costs become unsustainable, people fail to get the treatment they need, and patients become dissatisfied, frustrated, and overwhelmed. And, as lifestyle behaviors continue to increase the prevalence of chronic conditions, these problems only grow worse.
Tullman writes of the current healthcare system: “In every way, the health-care system of tomorrow raises the bar on the requirements stakeholders take for granted today. Simply providing a service no longer counts. Performance—in the form of measurable outcomes and better care—matters, and everyone will share in the accountability for improving it.” In order to optimize consumer satisfaction, clinical results, and financial outcomes, the healthcare system must evolve from a model built around locations and treatment to one centered on prevention and real-time, remote care delivery. It must focus on chronic disease management. The healthcare system of the future must rely on technology to provide a solution to chronic conditions, but this solution, as Tullman describes, must design a better experience for consumers.
So, how does the nation respond to chronic conditions and curb its effect on our society and economy? Tullman calls for a new health-care model, one centered around empowering patients in healthcare. He calls for building a new healthcare system that empowers health consumers to take ownership of their health by giving them the tools and information to manage their condition beyond the “four walls of a hospital or physician’s office.” While today’s hospitals and treatment facilities constrict information-sharing and access to care, the healthcare system of the future provides people access to information when and where they need it, as well as care and the support of a growing community of people who understand their needs and can provide emotional, social, and psychological support.
On Our Terms provides readers with an early look at the changes we can expect in the near future to the current healthcare system. As Tullman explores, this transition is already underway, shifting resources and innovation beyond the traditional healthcare system to enterprises and industries that can transform the current definition of healthcare. The new definition means better transparency, access, convenience, care, and support. It shares many of the same characteristics as the most consumer-centric industries, industries that have discovered the value of personalizing solutions and using technology to provide those solutions at scale.
Related News & Events
Thought leaders, innovators, and practitioners in health care attended San Francisco this month for Signum 2019, an inaugural conference focused on solving the nation’s chronic condition epidemic.
The current healthcare trends seek to utilize smart innovations in other industries to empower people with chronic conditions to live healthier lives.
Livongo CEO Tullman’s new book explains how healthcare can evolve from a model built around cures to one centered on prevention and real-time, remote care.