The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Most patients trust doctors over tech companies


Regarding the Feb. 10 Economy & Business article “The tech industry thinks it’s about to disrupt health care. Don’t count on it.”:

Disruption in other industries has come from giving consumers what they want and need. Why does this principle not work in health care? Probably because health care is complex and very personal. Most consumers know what they want — grow old and stay healthy — but may not know what they need to accomplish that. They rely on health-care providers to tell them what they need. They trust that their doctor puts the interest of the patient above anything else when coming up with a treatment plan that works for them.

For any new service to upend health care, it will have to come with the same level of professional trust and personalization as the current services. Who trusts the diagnoses that they have made themselves with the help of a self-care app? Who trusts a tech company or insurance company with health data?

For now, most of us will take the wait, the cost and outdated service delivery to visit a physician and get an opinion that is trustworthy and from someone who has our best interest at heart. When betting on disruption in health care, my guess is that it is the next generation of health-care providers that will take the lead, not tech or insurance companies.

Floor Blindenbach, Vienna

The writer is founder of Organizing4Innovation.