For years, healthcare IT was mostly focussed on billing. But the rise of electronic patient records and computerized billing caused physician burnout, with less face time for patients. Today, healthcare technology is changing rapidly. Healthcare marketing is changing too.
Today, patients are self managing their healthcare and wellness. As healthcare is the fastest rising cost to taxpayers in the west, it’s needed. Yes, Dr. Google provides some worrisome results, but awareness and interest in wellness in general can help alleviate healthcare costs, even in an aging population. (The oldest boomers will turn 72 this year!) From apps and activity monitors, everyone armed with a smartphone has tracking tools with data that can be shared with healthcare professionals.
For true accountability, patients and their doctors and nurses need the right tools and the data needs to be managed in both directions. To keep costs down, consumers need to be encouraged to follow preventative medicine and wellness best practices. Patient mobile data needs to be integrated, not dismissed. From gamification and crowdsourcing to virtual assistants, patients are expecting fresh healthcare experiences. Mobile apps and patient data could change caregiving as well, giving family and caregivers realtime actionable information.
It’s estimated that 70% of all visits at a doctor’s office could be virtual. In the future, AI may be able to diagnose us from our mobile data, but consumers already expect immediate access to healthcare via text, phone or live video chat, with diagnoses or instructions to seek immediate in-person care. In the book The Patient Will See You Now, Dr. Eric Topol examines truly democratized medicine, the rise of citizen medicine, open, online datasets and even rapid tests results from drops of blood analyzed by smartphones. Web-based interactive tools and social platforms will be part of the healthcare landscape.