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Containing Costs and Empowering Patients Through Digital Health

We live in a world today that's connected wirelessly. As healthcare delivery transitions to accountable care and the patient experience becomes the focus, technology-enabled care provides opportunities to meet the needs of rural populations, adjust to demographic trends, and contain the cost of inflation.

telemedicine-smartphone-doctor-male.jpgIn fact, digital health has experienced explosive growth, surpassing funding in other healthcare sectors including software, biotech, and medical devices. One of the reasons for its growth is that digital health empowers us to manage and improve our own health, which leads to better quality of life and fulfilling lives. For the healthcare system, it can reduce inefficiencies, increase quality, and make medicine more personalized and precise. The potential impacts of digital health and telemedicine on our healthcare system and society are huge.

For these reasons, Novatek has participated in MedTech’s Connected Care Exchange Conference since its inception. Last week, Ali Tinazli, Global Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences Strategy CTO Office – Strategy & Incubation, HP, shared the latest ways digital technologies are impacting healthcare.

Today’s Digital Health Landscape

Today’s dynamic healthcare landscape is focused on the convergence of two unique and relatively novel approaches to healthcare optimization. 

  • Decentralized healthcare focuses on prevention and the personalization of diagnostics and treatment. Decentralized tools support the increasing demands of patients, caregivers, and organizations that compete for greater access to personal healthcare data and clinician consults.
  • Democratization focuses on access of information to everyone, anywhere, anytime at low cost. The healthcare metrics and analytics derived from diagnostic democratization tools relay health information derived directly from the patient to clinicians, which eventually circles back to the patient, creating a continuous loop of patient engagement and desired improvements.

The marriage of these two approaches and use in personalized patient health plans have tremendous opportunity to save money in our healthcare system.

As our healthcare system moves from “fee for service” (doctors and hospitals are paid based on the number of services they provide versus the actual value of the healthcare services they deliver), value-based care is emerging as a solution that addresses increased healthcare costs and clinical inefficiencies. In a value-based system, providers are paid for keeping their patient population healthy through high-level patient engagement programs and devices that support real time diagnostics and patient communications.

How to Engage Patients in Digital Health

  1. Educate

    Educating patients on their condition and preventative actions is critical to decreasing healthcare costs, particularly with chronic diseases. Takeaway: Utilize digital health technology, such as the smartphones and tablets already in patients’ hands, to educate patients quickly and conveniently.
  1. Train

    With remote-monitoring devices, patients can self-monitor their condition and prevent problems themselves, thus reducing unnecessary doctor visits and emergency room costs. Takeaway: Invest the time and resources to train patients on available devices. A Quick Start Guide or video tutorial can increase patient adoption and eliminate time practitioners spend training patients.
  1. Improve their experience

    Digital health can be used in many ways to enhance the patient experience. Takeaway: Offer videos, patient navigators, or digital avatars. Consider offering telemedicine to give patients access to their doctors in a stress-free and convenient environment through use of a web-cam and personal computer.

Initiatives like this, coupled with the successful integration of patient data and analytics, will provide critical healthcare information that will support the programs, diagnostics, and treatments that providers need to initiate high-quality health measures in environments focused on cost containment.

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Topics: training solutions, trends, Digital Health, Telemedicine