Anikto Health was launched in October 2013 to address disparities in today’s healthcare system for patients with disabilities. Everything having to do with healthcare—from lack of preventive care to the inaccessibility of personal electronic records—falls under the Anikto Health purview.
The Last Bastion of Discrimination
In 2013, the Center for Quality of Care Research in Springfield, MA conducted a study of 250 doctors’ offices in four major US cities. When presented with a fictional patient with a disability wanting to see a doctor, only half the physicians were able to complete a full examination, while 20% of the remaining offices refused to even book the appointment.
The irony that this preservation of cultural stigmatism precludes access to medical care—a fundamental human need—is not lost on health disability advocates. “Health care is really one of the last bastions of this kind of discrimination,” says Lisa I. Iezzoni, MD, and Director of the Mongan Institute for Health Policy. “It’s curious because we are talking about health care.”
Healthcare Communication for the Blind
Here’s an example: health literacy for blind patients is a critical issue, and it goes beyond mere web accessibility. Someone who is completely blind cannot detect blood in the urine nor conduct a melanoma self-check without assistance. Many ePHR diagnostic tools remain largely paper-based, and the needs of blind patients are not as well communicated among medical staff as those who are sighted.
“For blind patients it’s nearly impossible to dose medication properly,” says one blind mother of a sighted child. “A change advertised as being great for the sighted can be dangerous for us.”
From an accessibility standpoint, how patient-contributed information is handled will be the crucible of proof. With the FDA having removed consumer roadblocks to medical app innovation, much of the regulatory focus will now fall upon apps and devices tailored for specific patient populations. This is an opportunity to bring inclusive design to the healthcare space.
Anikto Health Service Offerings
Anikto Health serves patients with disabilities by providing a suite of accessibility offerings specific to health and wellness, promoting meaningful use across all touch points. Services include:
- Redesign of diagnostic reporting
- Digital accessibility services
- Low-risk medical devices
- Product development & commercialization
- Experience mapping and patient surveys
- Data analytics
As our population gets older, people live longer and our concept of “disability” evolves, we exist at an exciting (yet crucial) nexus in today’s healthcare. An accessible health landscape is one step towards breaking down the last remaining pillar of discrimination, ensuring greater engagement for patients of all ages and abilities. That is the goal of Anikto Health.