Shifting From Volume to Value with Technology
Since 1966, Americans have received more Nobel Prizes in Medicine than the rest of the world combined with astonishing advancement in medical treatments, but how much of it reflected at the ground level is still a troublesome figure. The soaring costs of healthcare is a major issue because the amount spent on health care is approximately 20% of the country’s GDP and the amount spent on one person per year is going to be roughly $10,000 in 2017 which is much higher than any other country. Despite ACA, more than 30 million people in the U.S. are still uninsured. With so many concerns, the healthcare industry needs innovation to change this bleak picture.
Innovative solutions have emerged in these aspects – the delivery of treatments to patients, the technology as well as the business aspects. A few innovations in healthcare are here to stay, resulting in a more convenient and effective treatment for patients today, where time is of the essence and providing patients a better future is a priority.
Big Data. Big Use. Big Outcomes
Data-driven innovations are poised to do wonders in the healthcare industry. Big Data has been used to predict diseases, find cures, improve the quality of care and avoid preventable deaths. From increasing awareness in patients to transforming data into information, Big Data offers healthcare a paradigm shift. Instead of analyzing a single patient’s data, we can now explore entire patient populations and predict health trends.
Some healthcare leaders have already extracted value from big data and are already putting them to good use. Many value-focused healthcare organizations are working to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes by making an integrated technology system that will allow practices to deliver evidence-based care that is more coordinated and personalized.
Patient Engagement Technology
Patient engagement is not a new idea, but a crucial one that the health care industry needs to encourage. Patient engagement is one of the most underutilized aspects of the healthcare industry. Patient engagement increases knowledge and helps people to manage their health and their family member's health, hopefully leading to better health outcomes.
Better connectivity with Mobile Health (mHealth) is still a frontier. Every day a new app, or a gadget is introduced to make the delivery of healthcare services less cumbersome and to improve health outcomes. With the growth in mobile health, patients are now able to book and schedule their appointments, view their lab and test results, access their health records and interact with their providers. A rise in the number of apps facilitating health information indicates a positive response, and by the end of 2015, 500 million people were making use of these services.
In a survey of thousands of U.S. adults, 84% of them said their doctors have a patient portal for appointments and communication with their provider. And 61% of them regularly use these portals to access their health information. Although a convincing outcome on health stretches far beyond perfect implementation of patient portals, it’s encouraging to know that the idea is being advocated.
Telehealth has emerged as a vital solution to the most prominent problem in healthcare - remote and improved access. Providing health care services through telehealth has received a positive response from patients and providers alike; 76% of patients with children under 18 years of age would prefer telehealth, and 61% of physicians admitted they would recommend telehealth to their patients at least once.
Fitness trackers that record steps and calories are already popular and can be seen on the wrists of people as an everyday item. And now with breakthroughs in technology, we have smart hearing aids, blood pressure monitors, and devices designed to relieve pain with infrared technology.