Over the past 5-ish years I’ve been almost obsessed with the idea of creating a better health experience for people. My journey didn’t start with HealthBeMe and I don’t think it even started as an obsession. But my obsession became my vision and my vision has shaped my story. And now my story has become the HealthBeMe story… which is really the only story I have left. Because I know that its my purpose and at least now my story has a title. HumanCare!
The Obsession Questions
My obsession with change doesn’t come from a state of madness. But instead, my obsession has comes from a state of absolute clarity.
My purpose and clarity were found while working in and with healthcare as a consultant for the three years before HealthBeMe. This experience frustrated me to no end. I watched the decision makers, the executive, the people running healthcare companies repeatedly ignore or overlook what was best ‘the patient’ when making decisions. Their failure to understand or even consider the impact their decisions had on the lives of real humans was almost nauseating. I felt like I was beating my head against a way to show them how to see things differently… and this was far too often met with very little desire to change their outlook or to right and any wrongs.
Two main questions fueled my obsessive fire and ultimately my vision for HealthBeMe.
1. Why is the healthcare experience so bad a helping people feel better?
2. Why do we all just accept this experience as it is?
Note** When I talk about ‘healthcare’, I am referring to the industry as a whole, which includes Doctors, Nurses, pharam Co.’s , Insurance Co.’s, Regulators, Lobbyists, etc.
THE VISION TAKES SHAPE
I realized that fixing the healthcare experience from inside was going to be nearly impossible. That would require trying to change the behavior of a ton of people who have no incentive or desire to change.
So I was convinced that the solution needs to completely flip the way we look at the people who depend on healthcare. Instead of seeing them as the problem (as healthcare does), HealthBeMe redefine an experience to make them part of the solution.
THE PROBLEM — (Why is the healthcare experience so bad a helping people feel better?)
Being diagnosed with a chronic illness or depending on healthcare for any reason can leave us feeling incredibly vulnerable. Our fear and anxiety creep in, we often feel overwhelmed or confused. But most troubling, we feel like we’ve lost control over our futures.
To make it worse, we are tossed into cold, clinical environment and given the new, shitty title of ‘patient’. Being seen as a ‘patient’ makes us feel/act like a patient, totally dependent and utterly powerless. Our question are laughed off, our opinions aren’t taken seriously, so we are basically left in the dark. So we cross our fingers, read fortune cookies, or shake our Magic 8-Ball just kinda hoping it all works out.
This problem is even more troubling because we only see our doctors five times a year (on average). This means lots of us just have to spend the other 360 days feeling alone and powerless.
The healthcare experience is also bad at making us feel better because they only offer us half of the solution. Their ‘thing’ is treat disease with medicines. I rarely hear any talk of nutrition, fitness, natural treatments, etc. They love to push a drug though. Yes, some of these drugs are very necessary and helpful. But we’re not sure if we are prescribed the top rated drug or the drug sold by our doc’s favorite pharma rep.
I could go on and on with examples like this, but the reality simply is, the healthcare environment just isn’t designed to empower or involve us. It’s designed to make us passive and compliant ‘patients’. It’s designed to over charge us and under communicate. It’s designed to maintain control. The goal is to keep us alive at the lowest possible cost. But we are humans. We are strong and we deserve to do more than just stay alive. We deserve to thrive.
THE PROBLEM — (Why do we all just accept this experience as it is?)
Most people I know won’t buy a new laptop without doing at least a little research first. Yet millions of people put blind faith in potentially life altering decisions without so much as asking a single question? But why?
From the outside, we believe healthcare is going to take care of us. It’s not until we need healthcare that we find out how broken it can be. But at the point that we need it, we are vulnerable and desperate and we have no control or leverage to do anything about it. We now need what they have. We’re stuck. So… this is when we grab out Magic 8-Ball and rely on hope.
While there are many amazing people in healthcare who do amazing things to help us, they too are stuck in a broken system. Profits, regulations, lawsuits, egos, and many other things are prioritized. Our individual ‘care’ becomes a ‘nice to have’ component rather than #1 priority. This is just plain wrong.
But healthcare has little incentive to create a better experience for us, ‘the customer’. In all other industries, the customer is king but in healthcare, the customer is often times invisible. WTF.
Two articles I’ve previous written are kinda fun and help provide a little more perspective. Walmart Treats It’s Customers Better Than Healthcare Does and If Uber Was Run By Healthcare.
The Solution — (What can we do about it?)
Since the healthcare environment is the cause of our powerless health experience, creating a new environment is the solution. This meant creating a place for ‘people’ and not ‘patients’. A place where people could feel strong, confident and important as an active part of their health experience.
The HumanCare Experience
So we are creating an environment that brings us together to use our strengths, knowledge and experiences to provide everyone with an opportunity to feel strong and confident. We call this experience HumanCare.
A HumanCare experience allows us to use the knowledge and experience of a connect and caring community to help ourselves and others.
HealthBeMe’s social platform changes our health experience by providing us with three core things. A HealthFile, Hives and Good Vibes.
Your HealthFile is like a personal health record, that is controlled by you. It gives you the ability to add/edit everything relevant to your health, all in one place. You can add or update all of the regular ‘healthcare’ info relevant to you (such as treatments, diagnosis, meds, procedures). But you can also do the same with info that healthcare doesn’t record (such as diet, fitness, alternative treatments, hobbies, etc). That’s just the beginning, your HealthFile offers many more features to help you feel confident and in charge of your future.
You can now reserve your HealthFile here.
Hives are HealthBeMe’s health communities. And in true HumanCare fashion, each Hive is names to represent the collective strength of the people.
As part of your Hive(s), access to care is universal, unlimited and constant. You will be able to access all health options and information will be easy to find as you connect with people who share similar health concerns/interests. You will be able to share stories, ask questions, and rate/review your health experiences (i.e. medications, doctors, a diet change, procedures etc.). Is your doc wanting to change your treatment or medication? With your Hive you can see how others like you have rated the same treatment. Also, each question you ask on HealthBeMe (to any Hive) gets saved to your HealthFile. No more fear of forgetting what to ask your doc at your next appointment. It’s in your file!
You start by joining one Hive, but once inside HealthBeMe you can add as many Hives to your HealthFile that are relevant to you.
There are a group of strong, caring already helping to create this environment like Bobby, they are called webes.
Good Vibes are a points system designed for rewarding you for interacting with you Hive(s) and adding/updating your HealthFile.
Each time you do something to help yourself or others, you earn points (Good Vibes). This type of reward means that you aren’t just chasing likes or followers. Instead you are being rewarded for actually adding value to your Hives. The goal is to make achieving a higher status as an individual on HealthBeMe, directly benefit everyone. So, the people who do the most good will earn the most good vibes and thus be regarded as a badass, expert, doer of good. We want to make people famous for all of the good that they do!
So… basically you don’t have to go play any stupid follow/unfollow games if you want more status. On HealthBeMe, if want to earn more Good Vibes, it’s simple. Go do more good.
Good Vibes will ultimately be able to be redeemed for all types of tangible perks as well (running shoes, airline tickets, yoga gear, etc.)
IT ALL COMES TOGETHER
The goal is to create a health experience that makes the health of the people the #1 priority. At HealthBeMe, it always will be. We always say that we will do one thing better than any other company in the world. Care.
The goal for those people who use HealthBeMe, is to help them feel strong, confident and important in their health experience. But we also want HealthBeMe to be a place where people inspire each other as they are now part of movement. People are more than a diagnosis or treatment. They are humans with untapped potential. With this, we believe that HealthBeMe can also help provide a renewed sense of purpose. We are fighting the same fight. Why not fight together!
HealthBeMe By The Power Of We!