Health tech has to foster human connections

Health-related tech – like wearable activity trackers and voice-activated devices – is great for young, healthy people. But using that technology to help older people living with chronic conditions requires a more heartfelt approach and a focus on human connections, Humana’s Busy Burr told FierceHealthcare.

Busy, who is head of Innovation at Humana, said “the most effective apps are human-centered, not just about technology.”

She said older people “need ways to use technology in their natural lives, in a way that allows them to continue what they’re already doing and that makes it easier for them to connect with caregivers, providers and loved ones. Solving the ease-of-use and connection equation for patients with chronic conditions can be perplexing at times, but we’ve found that people achieve their best health by being connected, being in the world.

“Human contact doesn’t have to be a doctor,” she said. “It can be a caregiver or their family. If we’re enabling better human connection by preventing acute events so they can be at home with their family or by making conversations with caregivers and physicians more real and more important to them, we will have better health outcomes. Enabling better human connection can enable better health.”

Read the full interview here.

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