Benjamin, 68, is a widower living alone in Florida since he retired. Jena, his 31-year-old daughter, lives with her family about 100 miles away. She is always worried about her father – is he taking his pills at the right time? Does he return home safely after his evening walks? What if he slips and falls in the shower?
Jena is not alone. Hundreds of people with elderly parents face the same challenge. They are always looking for comprehensive, end-to-end, and non-intrusive elderly care solutions that support the independent living of elders in their homes. Apart from the senior population, people suffering from chronic diseases are also looking towards remote care programs to enhance the quality of their lives. They want to continuously track their daily activities, monitor their health and well-being, keep the caregivers informed and notify them of any critical or untoward events. As six out of ten adults in the US suffer from at least one chronic disease, technology is being increasingly used to enable a shift from episodic to preventive care. This shift is evident in healthcare consumers as they are looking for on-demand, patient-centric care outside conventional clinical settings.
Today's healthcare consumers are highly empowered. They demand more control and freedom when it comes to managing their health and that of their family members. They want to be in direct contact with the caregivers and participate in the decision-making process. With a rapid increase in the consumerization of health and increased adoption of connected devices, wearables, and fitness-tracking apps, consumers expect on-demand, personalized, and value-based care. Moreover, a growing elderly population and numerous reimbursement options are helping patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals (HCPs) to avail telehealth and virtual care services.
Embracing the Emerging Ecosystem
Rapid technological advancements in IoT, AI, and ML and the availability of huge volumes of data allow real-time micro-interventions and precision health management. These technological advancements are enabling healthcare organizations to adopt a wide range of patient-centric approaches to deliver tailored experiences and seamless care. Organizations are increasingly using the healthcare ecosystems to enhance the consumer experience while delivering affordable, high-quality care. These technology-driven ecosystems serve as a digital framework, supporting interconnectivity among healthcare organizations' legacy systems, doctors, payers, patients, and other healthcare consumers.
However, many existing healthcare systems are plagued with process inefficiencies and a lack of system interoperability. Recent studies have shown that challenges around data security, privacy, siloed systems, and capability gaps restrict most healthcare organizations from implementing patient-centric strategies. Today, healthcare organizations need to embrace a holistic digital approach to a connected ecosystem that allows consumers to enjoy a truly seamless experience across channels and care settings.
Decoding the Data Deluge
The interconnectivity of a healthcare ecosystem results in data exchange – historical and real-time – that provides a more accurate picture of the patient's health condition and identifies gaps in the care provided. This data can also be leveraged to identify high-risk patients and prioritize preventive care. With a better knowledge of patients, healthcare organizations can perform effective risk stratification or sort patients based on vital health signs, lifestyle patterns, and medical history to understand their health risk quotient and address their needs accordingly.
Harnessing data insights enables healthcare organizations to provide targeted health management programs and improve outcomes which is the aim of any healthcare provider. Apart from introducing new services, healthcare organizations must utilize the Quadruple Aim framework to reimagine existing processes and implement new ones. This is possible as they have enough data to spot inefficiencies, identify improvement areas, and enhance operations. If the providers can make patients happy, keep staff motivated, improve outcomes, and reduce costs while delivering value-based care, they have a rock-solid foundation for long-term success.
Delivering the Promise of Continuum of Care
Experts believe that empowered healthcare consumers, interoperable data, and technological advancements will completely transform the healthcare industry by 2040. With the focus shifting from healthcare to health, virtual and remote care will play a decisive role in ensuring that consumers have more active control over their well-being. As healthcare is a lifelong activity, organizations will gradually realize the need to develop capabilities of understanding how patients and their needs evolve over time. The goal will be to extend the reach of care and improve the outcomes through a connected ecosystem. The future of the healthcare industry will need to include further patient empowerment, where market players will see patients as equal partners rather than passive care receivers. In such a world, economies will change as early disease predictions and prevention will reduce system costs drastically.
How can HARMAN Help
With extensive experience in delivering innovative digital products, HARMAN partners with healthcare payers, providers, and digital health platform players to build and deploy patient-centric products that are designed to address the gaps in the current delivery system. For more information on our end-to-end healthcare platforms, feel free to connect to a HARMAN expert here.