Harvard Business School recently released a white paper, The Power of Digitalizing Health Care, examining how technology has the potential to empower consumers and clinicians and provide greater efficiency in healthcare delivery. We know the current healthcare model is unsustainable. This white paper examines potential solutions to inspire change, including technology that does the following:
- Provides access to providers from more convenient settings, including a patient’s home.
- Includes the option of remote monitoring of patients.
- Provides patients with the ability to take ownership of their own health and wellness.
- Increases accuracy, standardization and efficiency.
- Enables seamless communication between patients and providers and across health systems.
- Leverages AI to integrate and analyze large amounts of data to improve health care using more accurate diagnostics and treatments.
Telemedicine is already well established and continuing to grow as patients and providers seek cost-effective ways to deliver better care. The global market forecast estimates telemedicine to be worth more than $34 billion by 2020, with the U.S. accounting for approximately 40% of that market.
Taking Ownership of our Healthcare
The growing interest in self-care apps is making a monumental impact on changing patient behaviors, leading to increased preventative care. According to the white paper, “People who are engaged in their own health care have better outcomes, and preventing disease or treating it early, is better for the person and more cost-effective; these apps offer a chance for individuals to identify problems early on while motivating them to adopt better health behaviors.”
According to the McKinsey & Company, research finds that venture capitalists have invested more than $14 billion in companies developing consumer-oriented digital and mobile health care apps in the U.S. over the past five years.
With electronic health records, health information exchanges and wearables, there will be an accelerated quantity of patient data available from more sources than ever before. This creates both a challenge and an opportunity. It does provide an opportunity to identify gaps in care and keeping patients on track for preventive care to keep costs down and improving health outcomes. But the challenge is also managing an enormous amount of data and analyzing it in an effective way so that it can be used effectively.
The Internet of Things
It is predicted that the healthcare IoT (Internet of things) will grow from approximately $95 million in 2015 to $646 million in 2020. That means everything will be “smart” from thermometers to electrocardiograms to hospital beds and medication dispensers, and we will see an increase in efficiencies, quality control and cost savings in the long run. This includes the use of video remote interpreting (VRI) technology to improve communication between limited English proficient patients and providers.
It’s inspiring to see how fast we are moving in healthcare to meet consumer demands for new, innovative technologies disrupting the healthcare industry. Advancements are occurring at a rapid pace, and patients are demanding more affordable, high quality patient care. This is an exciting time to be in our industry and I look forward to seeing what we will accomplish in the next 5 – 10 years.
To improve communication between clinicians and their limited English proficient, Deaf and hard of hearing patients, providers are partnering with high performing, technology-enabled, Healthcare interpreting solutions that improve communication such as video remote interpreting (VRI).