Health has always been tied to individual attitudes, aspirations, and behavior. Although not sufficient to ensure a healthy life, these personal components are core elements of physical and emotional well-being. For too long, the healthcare system diminished the importance of individual engagement and activation in achieving health care outcomes as well as reducing costs. The role of the physician, medical advancement, and the health care setting were promoted as the core elements of achieving health. In the last decade, research and payment models have proven that health is impacted far more outside the exam room. Individual engagement and activation are vital to impacting individual and population health.
As a result of this shift, there is a resurgence of interest in how health systems and individual providers engage those receiving care. At a larger level, there is exploration of how those receiving services can influence or design the entire system of care, and how communities can further engage and activate the population to create healthier residents.