Can You Trust Digital Health Firms To Trust You?

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When you’re alone and scared, even the “pseudo-compassion” of an AI chatbot can provide comfort, but … [+] building lasting trust requires much more.

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What kind of health care organization would let a 10-year-old child make an instructional video for patients? And what might that decision teach health tech companies trying to gain the trust of consumers? 

I found myself pondering those questions while listening to Dr. Peter Margolis, co-chair of a National Academy of Medicine committee on health data sharing and stakeholder trust and a speaker at the recent (virtual) Health Datapalooza annual conference. Margolis is also co-director of the Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence at Cincinnati Children’s, the institution that allowed 10-year old kids with a condition necessitating a feeding tube to create videos showing other children how to insert one. Parents, meanwhile, were recruited to help develop new technology to help their child.

The payoff for this and similar efforts by the shared learning communities Cincinnati Children’s has birthed has been significantly improved outcomes and national renown. But for this type of initiative to succeed, Margolis told me when I visited a few years ago, clinicians and administrators “have to be comfortable with a very different kind of role…

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