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Docs and FAs: Prepare for the Brave New World of Health 2.0 / Financial Services 2.0

| March 20, 2015
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Health 2.0 is healthcare with the full involvement of the patient and the doctor.  New web technologies, enabled by information, software, and social networking help increase participation and openness between the players.  This will permit health care professionals to work in a more suitable "patient-centric" demand driven environment.  Health 2.0 is evolving fast as the technology evolves.  The same technology deployment changes and increased public involvement are prevalent with Financial Services 2.0, including a quirky morphing investor driven landscape creating a more "investor-centric" atmosphere.

The move to 2.0 in healthcare and financial services is proving to be beneficial to all parties, but not without tribulations and some detractors.  Within healthcare, from the patient's perspective, the ability for patients to have ready access to their medical records, review doctor's notes, and engage in the process is refreshing and liberating.  Older doctors may be unwilling to adapt their practices, however.  Many practices are not equipped as strategic business units, which is required now to deal with the patient and is becoming the new norm.  Practices will need to evolve and healthcare providers will need to adapt.  Nearly 7 out of 10 physicians in a recent study by the MEDSTAT Group and JD Power and Associates considered themselves "anti-managed care"  indicating unhappiness with the financial reimbursement system.  Some physicians are packing their bags and moving out of practice, into more lucrative business ventures and other pursuits.  One criticism of the new Health 2.0 is that it is one more paradigm, one more monkey on the backs of the already exhausted physicians.  Another criticism is that some patients are not equipped with the knowledge or experience to interpret correctly all the newly available information, making it difficult for physicians to implement a proper course of action with the patient.  Nonetheless, early adopting physicians to Health 2.0 are having success and utilize e-mail office visits, video conference appointments, and matching online patient visits with convenient neighborhood locations.  The wise physician realize that Health 2.0 is here to stay, and must be confronted and dealt with.

Adoption of the new technologies with Financial Services 2.0 has been rapid. T he number of Financial Advisors (FA) in the United States has started to shrink as the end investor is increasing access to information and making more decisions without intermediaries.  Advisors that are surviving, indeed thriving in this environment are adapting and implementing new technologies.  Interactive websites with video, account and investment option access, and reductions in transaction costs while increasing services all seem to benefit the new consumer in Financial Services.  Advisors that are slow to adapt criticize the ease with which investors can now make investment decisions often at their own peril.  some players on both sides of the issue believe that the transaction cost savings touted by new "do it yourself" investing websites may not be worth the potential many fold losses that await the inexperienced investor.  As with physicians and the new realities of Health 2.0, the wise FA is adapting their practice to Financial Services 2.0 not just to cope but also to thrive.

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