The circle with the N at the top of our company's logo represents a compass with the N symbolically pointing True North. True North is the actual direction to the North Pole while Magnetic North refers to the location of the Earth's Magnetic North Pole. What is less known is that the position of Magnetic North is constantly changing in various cycles over centuries, years, and days. True North, on the other hand, refers to the earth's celestial pole, and this position does not vary. It is important to note in this story that the locations of these two poles do not coincide. Thus, a relationship is required between these two values for users to relate compass bearings in order to arrive at the right destination.
In recent years the advent of the Internet has ushered in an era of unprecedented information flow and consumerism. If one visits Google and types in a search query, regardless of the subject, one will almost certainly be provided with a litany of responses and choices to learn about a subject matter. The same principle applies to individuals seeking health information. Today there are more "consumers" of healthcare information than ever before. Consider all of the choices, such as Google, the National Institute of Health, WebMD - the list is endless. But how do consumers of healthcare information determine what search results are germane to their specific conditions? Ask an individual at Starbucks Coffee the difference between stable and unstable angina and you will most likely get a sideways glance and a quick dismissal. In fact, it is more than likely that the same individual will not even know what angina is, never mind understanding the difference. But that same person is logging on the web at home, searching for that very information when he or she learns that his or her mother or father has been recently diagnosed.
Consumer healthcare information is defined as that healthcare information that an individual possesses without the direction of a physician. Consumer healthcare information is not altogether that different from Magnetic North: It is constantly changing in various cycles over years, months, weeks, and oftentimes days. At the medical specialty level, it is not difficult to conceive that individuals who receive healthcare information without the guidance of their medical specialist could easily find themselves lost, misunderstanding the information, if one were to take a charitable view. A less than charitable view could dictate that perhaps some consumer-oriented healthcare information could be not only plain wrong, but also perhaps dangerous or life altering if acted upon improperly.
Patient healthcare information is defined as that healthcare information that is prescribed to the patient by the physician. Patient healthcare information is not altogether that different from True North: This position is always the same and does not vary. It is dependable, peer reviewed, sourced, and presented in a regime beginning with conditions, then tests, and finally treatment options. It affords the patient the opportunity to learn and to make choices in concert with family members and under the governance of his or her physician.
Like the story that the company's logo tells, the location of these two poles - the consumer pole and the patient pole - do not coincide. Often the magnetic North, information that healthcare consumers glean from Google, varies from True North, healthcare information that is provided to patients through the stewardship of their medical specialist. As the story goes on to differentiate, a relationship is required between these two values for users to relate bearings in order to arrive at the right destination. So, too, is a relationship required between the physician and the patient to guide the patient to the right choices. That relationship is NorthPoint Domain, our company.