The healthcare industry is in the process of evolving. Long overdue advancements in patient-care are surfacing all over the country. In part, it is because consumers have been clamouring for an improved system. The world of tech professionals is also responsible for responding to growing demands for transparency, self-detection devices, and even the simplification of talking to a doctor for simple ailments, like colds and flu.
It’s exciting to see innovative technology that we consumers can use to monitor our own health and well-being. Currently, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of health-related apps that can be downloaded and used at a very low cost. Apps, such as My Surgery, can be used to track and communicate with an assigned nurse and your doctor before and after the procedure. Rather than running into Urgent Care for an incision that looks off, the patient can take a photo and send it to your doctor who can then determine whether you need to seek immediate attention. This alone is quite an advancement.
By now your physician’s office has likely developed an interactive website that manages your healthcare results, including tests, physicals, and standard vital statistics. Having an online history creates a space where all of your healthcare information can be found in one place. It’s an excellent beginning.
Yet, there are even more innovations coming our way, Most everyone will look forward to all-things-tech that are coming around as the healthcare industry evolves into a much more patient-centric industry. High-value care is the new norm, not a trend that will pass.
According to Hospital & Healthcare Management, the top healthcare game changers are going to make an enormous difference.
8 Healthcare GameChangers in Canada
- New Payment
- Health Analytics
- Point-of-Care Diagnostics
- Hospital at Home
- Artificial Intelligence
- Precision Medicine
- Blockchain Data Sharing
Possibly one of the most exciting advancements, new payment has arisen because of health reform, increased data availability and accessibility, and the increasing need to lower healthcare costs. This concept relies on “outcome-based” funding which basically means that there will be more funding for physicians, clinics, etc. that meet specific targets and for achieving quality outcomes.
Another impressive step toward making healthcare effective and reasonable, health analytics is the next step in data-sharing. The more data available from all related sources, the more informed decisions and recommendations that can be made. Additionally, this computerized future of health will save money for all concerned. Lowering healthcare costs is as important as improving healthcare.
As mentioned earlier, mobile technology and apps are common for everyday life for most people. Some of the more sophisticated apps can provide glucose reading, pulse reading, bio-feedback reading, and more - all the while providing extremely helpful healthcare tools at your fingertips.
The latest and greatest home diagnostics are called Point of Care Tests (PoCTs). These will become the new normal in the near future, as they are convenient and easy-to-use for most consumers. Referred to “lab on a chip”, this is the latest test method and only requires a few drops of blood. Additionally, results are available within minutes versus hours or days. Since this reduces the need for a large, centralized laboratory, costs are reduced thus helping to lower healthcare costs.
Many consumers love the new push for providing more services within the home, at this time the patient must meet certain requirements. However, in many cases, home healthcare can actually provide more quality care than in a hospital environment for several reasons. The personalized attention from a live-in or daily visit from a healthcare practitioner can not only lower overall costs but may also provide the specialized care required.
Wearables are the new data collectors. They can measure steps taken, heart rate, blood pressure, and so much more. They become more sophisticated every year and it is no surprise that our watch-like bracelets will be capable of monitoring all of our vitals and reporting chronic changes to your doctor’s database along with built-in alerts. 88 percent of consumers are willing to share the data with their healthcare providers. Plus, these wearables will help remind patients to take their medications and daily exercise routines.
No two bodies are alike. We vary in size, shape, genetics, and more. Our illnesses and conditions are somewhat different because of that, yet more often than not, people are being prescribed medications based on averages. Because of this, there are inefficiencies and trial-and-error treatments that often result in side effects and adverse reactions. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect responses to particular drugs, which will allow more predictive and preventive care.
Genome sequencing will be able to indicate a disruption in DNA that can increase the risk of specific illnesses and conditions. Both doctors and nurses will have access to this information which will allow more personalized treatments.
For those who aren’t aware, blockchain is a time-stamped series of data that exists on a number of computers not owned by anyone in particular. It was originally developed for digital currency (like Bitcoin) but the technology is now being incorporated into the medical community. Although it won’t affect a person’s health directly, it may become a key component for lowering medical costs.
For example, blockchain data that is stored cannot be altered, which provides the ultimate in transparency. This presents an issue for many in the healthcare field, as many institutions do not want this level of transparency. However, it is only a matter of time before this advances to the next level - permissioned blockchains. Healthcare records that are shared will ultimately help each patient that is being treated. In Canada, the immediate concerns are:
- Privacy legislation which allows patients to control their medical records and who they can be shared with.
- This legislation also allows patients to delete or alter their records, depending on the province in which they reside.
- Governance considerations are currently centred around “Health Information Custodian”, How it changes in the future will likely be a longstanding issue, as the current legislation is not capable of solving this quickly.
Healthcare Solutions supports these new advancements and you can count on us to supply the best quality and widest variety in medical supplies in Canada and the U.S. We hope you are also excited about future advancements and will come back and shop often. We are in business to make healthy living easier.