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Vital Directions from the National Academy of Medicine
October 25, 2016

Democratization of Health Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1IBM Watson Health, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 2University of California, San Francisco
JAMA. 2016;316(16):1663-1664. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.14060

As the US health care delivery system transitions from its transactional fee-for-service basis, which reinforces testing and intervening, to a model that rewards improving health and well-being, the United States needs to explore a different approach to health care—one that supports health. Making this cultural change in medicine requires a reimagining of the traditional power relationship between health care professionals and their patients—in short, a democratization of health care.1 Individuals, their families, and their communities are largely untapped resources in promoting and maintaining health but very willing and able partners.

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