Healthcare in the Digital Age
Increased digitization is affecting all aspects of society – including healthcare. Citizens are more empowered and are growing more intolerant to delays or inconvenience in the services they consume. Citizens want to take charge of their health. As all general practitioners (GPs) know, there has never been a more informed generation of patients.
Many healthcare services were not engineered to cope with today’s rapidly growing populations. Social behavior changes in respect to diet and exercise are giving rise to new challenges for healthcare service providers. Obesity significantly increases the patient’s chances of developing cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. These and other chronic illnesses consume substantial healthcare resources.
However, there are significant opportunities to raise the bar in respect to healthcare. Improving integration between GPs and hospitals can improve the accuracy of data shared between these two parties. Location-based medicine can deliver treatments at a location that better suits the care provider and the patient. Efforts to strike a better balance between physical and mental health treatment will lead to better health outcomes. And, a greater focus on account management will offer ways to eliminate the growing divide between wealthy and less fortunate citizens who have vastly different healthcare experiences.
While we are striving for a humane healthcare service, technology will be critical in personalizing the experience. It will help create a single view of an individual’s wellness and healthcare needs. Care can be coordinated at the community level. And new insights can be developed that focus on prevention and wellness rather than treatment. Technology as an enabler, not a driver, will help practitioners make better decisions and put the citizen at the center of the process rather than the end.
Read the full paper to learn more about:
- The most pressing healthcare issues requiring improvement
- Three steps to wellness
- Seven advances that will significantly improve health outcomes