Connected Care, The New Way to be more Patient-Centric & Deliver Value
Technical innovations have touched every pillar of healthcare, making it safer and easily accessible for patients and physicians. From robot-assisted surgery and fraud detection to admin workflows and more, technology and healthcare have been moving together at a great pace!
By the year 2025, the connected care market in the US is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 16% by revenue. It’s time that health-tech focuses beyond Covid-19. But, in my view, the most futuristic change awaited is patient-centered care.
Over the past decade, I’ve been collaborating with healthcare experts over developing transparent, patient-driven healthcare systems. In a truly patient-centric medical space, patients have easy access to their complete health history; they are explained what’s going on with their health, they can choose their providers and take better health decisions.
Here’s how technology can help healthcare organizations deliver connected care.
The era of wearable tech
Wearable tech in healthcare includes medical devices like smartwatches. These devices can monitor a range of parameters from heart rate, sleep patterns and exercise routine to patterns of texts and calls, and screen time. These vital data points can lead to key insights into a user’s profile outside of the clinical check-ups. This results in more involved remote patient monitoring and stronger patient engagement.
With time, wearable sensor technologies need to be less invasive and more undetectable. Self-adhesive skin patches can collect data on users’ movements. When treating chronic illness, the physician can oversee the patient’s activity. With regular monitoring, the devices can help reduce and control preventable cardiac or respiratory arrest in vulnerable patients.
Further, in cases of mental illnesses, the devices can log patterns of texts or calls, sleep patterns and so on. This can help therapists measure a patient’s progress in their daily life activities and ensure a strong social support group.
A world of patient portals
One of the major transformations in healthcare is brought with patient portals. It gives them direct and quick access to lab test results, diagnosis and easy reference of their health history. I feel that the way ahead for patient portals would be to enable appointment requests, improve patient-doctor interactions and simplify bill payments and insurance concerns as well.
ePrescribing is the way to go
A patient’s past treatments and medications can guide doctors to prescribe more effective medicines. Doctors can view the history on the patient portal and choose an ePrescribing tool to suggest the course of future treatment. This tool makes it simple and easy for patients to get the medicines without visiting a pharmacy. When coupled with online buying of medicines, it can enable patients to get those easily.
How to enhance connected patient care?
The first step towards achieving patient-centered or connected care is to bring various stakeholders on the same platform. We need to break down the barriers between clinical practice physicians, researchers and technology organizations. For instance, the language used by a radiologist should be the same as that used by a data scientist who builds the math for the radiology tool. Connecting the people driving the technology and healthcare fronts will lead to better adoption of solutions. Then we can offer a truly connected experience for the patients.
Is connected healthcare really effective?
Some people believe that tech innovations may put too much power in the hands of patients who are not trained to make informed medical decisions. A fair point, I say. But what the merger of technology and healthcare has to achieve is a balance between “only doctors know the best” and “I can manage it all” mentality.
I think the goal right now is to empower patients with better tools for overall wellness, easy access to information and convenient interactions with healthcare providers. What’s your take on this and technology’s role in making patient-centered care a reality? Put down your comments.
As the CTO of Rishabh Software, Srinivasa Challa (a.k.a CS) defines and drives the technology solution roadmap for global customers. CS is responsible for the seamless execution of the company’s technology strategy, development & cross-functional delivery. With 25+ years of experience, he is instrumental in creating CoEs across domains like Healthcare & Fintech. CS is a constant learner who loves to stay updated on technology, healthcare, digital transformation and customer experience design & more.