The Leading Edge of Health Care Innovation: Yoga for Population Health

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The multi-faceted dysfunction of the health care system necessitates rethinking how health is achieved and health care is conceptualized and delivered. Innovation, including new, inter/multi-disciplinary alliances, is essential in order to reduce costs, increase value, and achieve better outcomes for individuals and populations. This paper calls for collaboration between public policy makers, researchers and community coalitions, and educators/practitioners of Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CIM) to address this need.

In health care, the term “innovation” has meant new therapies, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and more recently mHealth or eHealth. These clinical and communication advances are important, however they tend to be responsive only to the paradigm in which they are embedded. A deeper and broader perspective on what creates good health is required, including viewing the current health care crisis through the lens of a holistically oriented biopsychosocialspiritual model.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a leading driver in health care reform, has called for strategies to reduce costs, improve patient experience of care, and address the needs of whole populations. This Triple Aim is designed to move care from volume to value and has been adopted into the Affordable Care Act. In the context of the Triple Aim, true innovation would encompass person-centered, evidence based interventions which encourage patient self-management across populations, and across the spectrum of public health – treatment, prevention, aftercare, and promotion.

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