In our previous blog, we talked about how the healthcare sector is undergoing profound change due to the rapid digital transformation of both patient experience and healthcare services and its resulting data. This goes far beyond speeding up information transfer – from a patient’s doctor to a hospital, for example – or improving hospital inter-departmental communication.
This disruptive innovation is allowing the healthcare sector to become a patient-facing industry by presenting more and more personalised service options to patients.
At the heart of this is the fact that no two patients are the same. Different age groups certainly share broad concerns that differ from others – mobility and dementia largely affect only those in later life, for example, while sports-related injuries are more prevalent in younger groups. Yet a more granular view of any specific age group reveals health issues relating to different sexes, occupations and even those with differing lifestyles. Drill right down through the data to every single patient and you will have a unique set of health issues.
In many ways, meeting these demands is something that the healthcare sector has always done by providing the equipment, drugs and services that healthcare providers need in order to treat each patient. Yet in its 2016 Survey of US Health Care Consumers, Deloitte noted that advances in technology-enabled care have fuelled a growing appetite for even more personalised services from both the business side and from patients themselves. This was quickly confirmed by Deloitte in its ‘Top five trends for 2017’ report ¹ on the the life sciences sector, which used one of these limited slots to address ‘Connecting with customers and consumers’ as an emerging trend.
What does this mean exactly and how is it affecting the healthcare sector? Well, as a greater range of mobile devices with Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity have appeared, patients have become aware of the expanded range of services and treatments they now offer. These devices tend to offer patients greater mobility and more information, letting them become more engaged in their own treatment. Since patients regard customised medical services and solutions as being more convenient, they also tend to view them as premium services. For businesses, the ability to charge premium rates for premium services is a strong incentive for them to build even more patient-centric services, fuelling the rollout of a wider range of products.
This innovation cycle is emerging to produce better, more personalised care for patients, yet all this would be impossible without patient data being reliable, secure and available only to those who need it, when they need it. How businesses handle the data being generated by these new connected medical devices is crucial, as too is how providers manage and manage its use. Patients can be only be actively involved in their own healthcare once their medical records reside outside of silos and inside a secure, accountable and well-documented environment.
The value of this data – to patients, hospitals and healthcare businesses – is what we’ll be talking about in our next blog, although if you want to know more, please download Insource’s white paper ‘Life sciences in flux: global opportunities for a global industry’.
Deloitte 'Top five trends for 2017', [website], 2017, https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/Life-Sciences-Health-Care/gx-lshc-2017-life-sciences-outlook.pdf (accessed September 2017)