Last year, we saw a lot of disruption of the healthcare industry that improved the patient experience for the better. In 2017, we can expect a continuation of this as the industry shifts to a more value-based model. Many of the new technological advances used in hospitals have brought on a greater emphasis on preventative medicine, reduced costs and patient-centered and patient-powered care. Other aspects that have been making an impact are telemedicine, wearable remote monitoring and Electronic Health Records. Here are a few changes that we can expect to see in 2017:
1) Clinical Trials
Medical devices can be used to monitor the patients who are participants in clinical trials for new drugs and other therapies. Pharmaceutical companies rarely have the ability to monitor trial participants on a 24-hour basis. If electronic data can be sent via devices around the clock, researchers will be able to come to conclusions much sooner. According to a 2016 survey by digital device enterprise Validic, devices are being used more and more for clinical trial data collection. When data is generated by patients and streamed directly to clinical trial managers in real time, the information is much more accurate than it would be if patients visited periodically and relied on memories.
2) Digital Monitoring
Wearables are able to monitor aspects of a patient’s health like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, weight, mediation and levels of activity. When a patient uses any kind of wearable, whether it is a small device or a patch, a steady stream of data can be sent to healthcare providers and used to evaluate a patient. Recent research shows that in 2015, the medical device industry market totalled approximately $5.1 billion, and it will probably triple by 2020 and more healthcare providers will begin to take the concept on board.
3) Consumer Use of Digital Health
Consumers are gaining awareness of the need to monitor their own health to prevent future health conditions. Digital technology is being used in a much more abundant way than it was before. In 2016, a venture that invests in health-related startups called Rock Health released its annual survey about summer trends in healthcare. The survey found that 56 percent of respondents were utilizing at least three types of digital health, a huge increase from 19 percent in 2015.
Only 20 percent of respondents said they did not use any digital health technology. Of the respondents, 10 percent of them were considered avid users of digital health technologies such as telemedicine, wearables, electronic access to medical records and more. Unsurprisingly, millennials dominate the digital health market. In a constantly changing world, technology is truly altering the healthcare market for the better. Advances in digital healthcare changing the world, and we can expect this to continue in 2017.