shopping-cart-guyRetail health v1.0 encompassed the pharmacy, then embraced urgent care and retail health clinics co-located in brick-and-mortar pharmacy chain stores.

In v2.0, retail health encompasses all health/care, really, because people, patients and consumers are essentially self-insured up to the point when their health plan kicks in some cash. The high-deductible health plan era is ushering in the retail health era, broadly writ.

Hospitals & Health Networks magazine (HHN) ran a story titled Think Like a Retailer to Engage Patients, covering founder of WEGO Health Jack Barrette‘s and my panel presentation at the 2015 HIMSS conference in Chicago last week. Writer Lindsey Dunn (@lindseysaaren) wrote, “If trust is the first step to engagement, hospitals and physicians may have serious competition. According to a report by Strategy& and PwC, 40 percent of patients surveyed reported they trust large retailers with their health. Thirty-nine percent of patients said they trust providers, and 38 percent said they trust digitally enabled companies, like Google or Amazon.”

That’s why we’re witnessing link-ups between legacy healthcare organizations — hospitals, pharma, medical devices manufacturers — and new entrants like digital companies, retailers, and food marketers, among other consumer-facing branded entities.

I covered this from the health IT perspective on the HIMSS exhibit floor in my latest iHealthBeat column covering the conference, HIMSS15: IT Enabling Health/Care Where People Live, Work and Play. In this summary, you’ll read about the Walgreen’s Connected Patient Gallery, showing how the pharmacy chain’s expanding list of strategic alliances are channeling health to people living every day life; IBM linking with Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, and others for collecting and analyzing data in the Watson Health Cloud; and Practice Fusion, the electronic health records company popular in community based physician practices working with AstraZeneca and Propeller Health on consumer DIY respiratory disease management and shared decision making with doctors.

Eric Topol MD and JSKHealth Populi’s Hot Points: As consumers continue to evolve as homo informaticus in a multi-channel, multi-screen world, these health IT partnerships will enable traditional healthcare players to be relevant in peoples’ everyday lives.

The Holiest of Holy Grails in DIY Health will be shared decision-making between people and doctors: a long-time trusted relationship that’s wearing on both due to the time constraints imposed by mis-aligned payment and incentives. This is changing: more people are willing to change providers for amenities of retail like online appointment scheduling and in-depth conversations with clinicians to understand treatment options. Dr. Eric Topol was signing copies of his book, The Patient Will See You Now, in the Walgreens Connected Patient booth at HIMSS15. This digital doctor is at the leading/bleeding edge of this message. That he was walking the floor (and walking the patient-empowerment talk) at HIMSS is a harbinger of a sea-change in health/tech/care, with patients at the helm.