One of the trends that is changing the face of healthcare today is the use of tracking devices and offering care that is patient centered. Technology is at the core of these changes.
Technological advancements are transforming the entire healthcare industry.
The proliferation of new technology in healthcare is exploding. The following list highlights some opportunities and concerns for these rapidly evolving technological advancements:
Wearable Tracking Devices
I heard on the radio there are now 70 million people in the U.S. are using wearable tracking devices to monitor their physical activity, sleep patterns, calorie consumption, and a whole lot more. This is an exciting new frontier with so much potential to improve patient care. It will be fun to see the impact this trend has on improved patient engagement.
A significant change in the healthcare industry’s approach to providing care is underway—putting the patient at the center of care. The goal is to improve patient satisfaction scores and engagement.
There are also a number of challenges even though there are great trends. One of these challenges is that of health insurance. Health insurance providers are reporting losses. The other issue is that even though hospitals are increasing their salaries and wages, the required effect is still not yet seen.
1. Problematic individual health insurance policies. Individual health insurance policies sold on the public Affordable Care Act exchanges will remain problematic in 2016, as health insurers increase premiums while continuing to report losses, according to Moody’s. In November, UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, significantly lowered its profit estimates for 2015 and said it was weighing whether it will continue to offer individual coverage through the online ACA exchanges for 2017. Moody’s believes other health insurers will come to that same juncture in mid-2016. “Through the third quarter of 2015, many insurers continued to incur losses from these policies,” said Moody’s. “For the 2016 policy year, overall lower projected enrollment, combined with expected higher medical utilization by enrollees, will likely result in further losses.”
2. Increasing wages. Salaries and benefits are the single largest cost line item for acute care hospitals. Hospitals have seen overall wages grow as they employed more physicians. However, operating results have not been affected by wage increases for existing employees. “But as the economy continues to grow, we expect wage pressure to increase in 2016 and physician and nursing costs to begin to pressure margins,” said Moody’s.
It seems that healthcare providers who fail to conform to the new technological fields will be left behind. The techno-logy is so advanced that a patients data is collected from glucometers and phones. It is all about delivering great results.
First, Accenture analysts are calling it the “platform revolution” – that is the ever-increasing ubiquity of mobile and cloud platforms that far surpass merely the ability to track in real-time a patient’s health. Rather, this is a platform that addresses interoperability, “that captures the data from disparate sources such as wearables, phones and glucometers, and pulls it all together to give a patient and caregiver a holistic and real-time view of the patient’s health,” they write.
The second trend, as the report emphasizes, is around the “outcome economy.” In other words, “it’s about delivering results.” Hardware, nowadays, brings with it new intelligence. Better intelligence than ever before. And that’s going to make patient data accessible with a mere click. It’s going to give patients the convenience, and it’s ultimately going to lead to better outcomes, according to the report.