The journey to digital wellness is being shaped by unprecedented forces of technology. Patients have evolved into savvy partners in their own wellness. These changes are causing life sciences and health care companies to totally recalibrate their approach to healthcare products and services.
In the digital world, a patient is no longer a passive recipient of care. Technology is re-shaping traditional healthcare relationships: what was once about a doctor caring for a sick patient is now evolving into a journey to wellness. Reports suggest that in 2023, 60% of American patients will have access to their health data using a technology of their own choice .Healthcare’s objectives have changed: to ensure that the patient doesn’t get sick to begin with. Technology is enabling this shift that allows for interventions early or pre-emptively in the cycle of a disease.
Evolution of the digital patient
Patients around the world are in a perceptible shift when it comes to their attitude to wellness. Individuals are now ready for a role in their own care. They're going to doctors armed with perspectives on what their disease may be. Today's patients see digital technology as an enabler in their journey to wellness - they are always connected, and this has fundamentally changed their expectations and behaviours. They are in control of the healthcare information, not only do they trust online reviews from peers, they are vocal in their digital advocacy of positive experiences. They are quick to gauge intent when it comes to a company taking part in conversations on social media, and are quick to see through inauthentic behaviour. They greatly value the quality of experience when they interact with companies online; this is being shaped by their experiences across all parts of life, not just those involving healthcare.
Evolution of Technology
Technology has always been a part of the patient's wellness journey. But only now has the technology developed to become pervasive and meaningful. It is now able to handle the volume and velocity of data to contribute to the wellness experience. Here’s how technology is disrupting the wellness space and putting the digitally savvy patient at the centre of the journey
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) is great at performing repetitive tasks, and the healthcare industry is full of them. American physicians spend less time with patients than they spend filling out electronic health records (EHRs). If AI could take on the record keeping tasks, it would definitely free up a lot of quality time doctors could spend with patients. AI will have an impact in spotting trends and preventing illnesses, and in interacting intelligently and automatically with patients via chat bots that mimic primary healthcare conversations.
- Big data in healthcare is about a large volume of structured and unstructured data collected from health records and clinical decision support systems. Once this data is organized and managed it can be made available for healthcare professionals to leverage in order make better decisions, improve outcomes even as they reduce cost.
- Wearables are leading a new wave in Remote Patient Monitoring where the impact on the management of chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes is likely to be massive. With devices sending in reliable readouts of vital signs, healthcare systems will be able to take proactive steps to prevent expensive emergency treatments that complications could cause.
- Robotic Process Automation drives process efficiency and enables optimal patient care and profitability. Let’s take examples of reporting adverse-event cases or product quality complaints: these are manual processes that are error-prone and time consuming. RPA provides solutions that could greatly increase efficiency and accuracy in such processes.
The time is ripe for healthcare to take the digital step forward. It is estimated that there will be at least 10 leading life science companies that will deploy AI based proofs of concept by 2020! Also, 30% of the top 100 life science companies will use AI to improve patient monitoring during clinical trials. Technology is enabling the wellness journey as it delivers more value and better experiences to patients at each stage. Many entities intersect on the patient wellness journey, each with their own role to play - Providers, Researchers, Drug Developers, Governments and regulatory bodies.
If you’re a stakeholder in any of these organizations, how do you see technology as an enabler to serve the patient’s needs better? We would be keen to hear your views on it. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org