How is the healthcare sector going to change in the near future? What role is technology going to play in this? How will it affect the people receiving healthcare? Gonnie van der Vegt den Brok is a Customer Intelligence Consultant at Cmotions. She attended the eHealth Convention, which was organised by Emerce and Skipr, and gives you a glimpse into the future of healthcare.
In Summer 2014, Minister Schippers stated that 80% of patients with a chronic condition must be given access to part of their medical notes within five years. Not only will they be able to see their own notes, they will also be able to take their own measurements and add information, readings and test results and share them with healthcare providers.
The Personal Health Record (PHR) is the ideal vehicle for this. Sweden decided to adopt a nationwide PHR, but in the Netherlands it has not been organised on a national level. The Netherlands Patients and Consumers Federation (NPCF) studied what a PHR needs to feature. There are currently various platforms from a number of different suppliers, but it is currently still unclear how their use will evolve.
Many innovations require the use of mobile devices and apps. This is no different in the healthcare sector. Mobile devices can be used to receive information, collect data and gain insights. It can give you an overview of your own situation and an understanding of your condition. All in the palm of your hand.
What’s more, it is highly unlikely that technological developments will render doctors redundant. What we have seen, though, is that smarter systems can help with analysing and interpreting the vast quantities of information. On this basis, it is then possible to make predictions that will assist doctors in their decision-making. Technology thereby acts as a sidekick for the healthcare provider.
Deloitte decided to summarise the innovations and technological options in the healthcare sector, and defined four game-changers: Quantified Self, Artificial Intelligence, Individual Profiling and Digital Healthcare Platforms. These four game-changers are bound to increasingly shape Personalised Health, which means the healthcare can be fine-tuned to better suit the needs of the individual patient. These are developments worth keeping a close eye on.
We can conclude that innovations in the healthcare sector are opening up new opportunities. It is for this reason that we will continue to closely follow the developments with a critical eye. Many of these innovations focus on technology and big data. Data that often includes personal and sensitive private details. Any discussion on healthcare innovations will therefore always entail a discussion on data protection. Furthermore, innovations always mean a more restricted target group: after all, not everyone is able to embrace the latest technologies.
Essentially, we don’t know what the healthcare sector will be like in the future but it is clearly going to change a great deal. Technology, particularly big data analysis, is certain to play a prominent role in this. We are looking forward to playing our part in this too.
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