“We will need to address the health literacy problem in order to make the next great advance in postponing cardiovascular disease.”
International Society for Vascular Health. “Vascular Health and Risk Management 2006”
The wicked problem
The gatekeepers: health illiteracy and innumeracy
The American Medical Association defines health literacy as: “...constellation of skills, including the ability to perform basic reading and numerical tasks required for functioning in the health care environment.”
1 in 5 American adults read < 5th grade
Most health care info is written at 10th grade to college level
90 million Americans have inadequate health literacy. In urban areas, 80% of indigent and minority populations are health illiterate.
60% of Australians have deficient health literacy.
In the UK, 5 million people are functionally illiterate.
In New Zealand, 80% of Māori males and 75% of Māori females have poor health literacy skills.
This means that people disadvantaged by health illiteracy have a reading level of grade 5 and below.
Millions of people are unable to understand and apply health information; unable to complete healthcare forms; unable to read and understand brochures and health websites; and unable to understand medication instructions and dosage concepts.
Health illiteracy impacts health outcomes and massively drives cost
A Conversation at any Time
There is a visceral human need for conversation when accessing healthcare and other services. Regardless of ability, as humans we seek understanding in context through our conversations.
What if we could find a way for people including people disadvantaged by health illiteracy, to access and understand cardiac health information…and ask questions...in simple language...in their own words...at any time.
The Digital Human Cardiac Coach supports patient education through natural conversations, and through co-design, minimises the barriers of health illiteracy.