The dynamics of healthcare are changing across the globe and nowhere is this truer than in the United States, where the rollout of the Affordable Care Act has introduced unprecedented uncertainty about access to quality medical care.

In response, many affluent families have turned to concierge physicians as their primary healthcare resource. This is a good initial response, but it is only a partial solution. There is an emerging trend that suggests that future healthcare delivery will be better organized, easier to access and have demonstrably better outcomes.

This trend is best described as “continuously connected concierge care,” where the healthcare organization operates like a personal medical mission control, providing the immediate doctor and infrastructure to effectively deal with any problem on a moment’s notice. The key lies in the use of the client’s personal technology, of which the smartphone is the principal asset. Up until now, relatively clunky things like laptops and videophones were the means to connect with patients. Now, it’s merely a matter of plugging and playing the right device or protocol into a smartphone. The best part? It works everywhere patients can go. For the affluent family member stricken with a sudden or serious illness, the margin of medical safety has gone up dramatically.  

For the high-net-worth family, the connected care model offers several key advantages:

    • Very “short time to treatment.” Emergency room physicians call it the Golden Hour—the critical opening moments of a crisis (for example, chest pain or an overwhelming allergic reaction) where immediate diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference in the final outcome.
    • High-quality medical care for mobile family members. Clients can receive state-of-the-art medical diagnosis and treatment, regardless of their location and travel agendas.
    • The preservation and easy access of information.  Because this model ensures informational continuity, when outside specialists need to be involved or historical information needs to be referenced, the process is both quick and secure.

There are several additional benefits to the connected care model. Principal among them is the ability to monitor chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and atrial fibrillation in real-time, enabling small incremental adjustments to treatment and keeping the patient on his or her target goal. The marriage of technology and highly developed systematic processes means the connected care model is evolving and is going to become the standard for delivering high-quality healthcare.

While the price is currently beyond what most of us can afford, the cost of continuously connected care will no doubt drop as its supporting technologies and operational efficiencies increase. The wealthy are funding the development of the processes and methodologies that make this possible. These lessons, when combined with ever more innovative technologies, will make continuously connected care available to everyone fairly soon.

Daniel Carlin, M.D., is CEO and founder of WorldClinic (, a concierge healthcare organization dealing with the wealthy, family offices and executives.