10 Sep Digital health services that were great ideas even pre-pandemic
How do you put the “caring” back into healthcare? For many healthcare industry leaders, the drive to use digital technology to build a value-based care model was in the works long before a little virus had a global impact on our healthcare delivery systems.
Value-based healthcare focuses on standardizing the quality of care. Armed with data-driven analytics, healthcare providers can control costs and improve patient care by minimizing hospital readmissions and encouraging continuous at-home monitoring. In other words, focus on preventative care.
“Combining all the relevant sources of data offers the necessary underpinning for a preventive model of health where people have wellness as usual and clinical care by exception,” says Aloha McBride. “Data analytics can shed light on individual behavior patterns and predict future behaviors, barriers to change, and high probability solutions.”
The pandemic placed healthcare’s steps to digital transformation on the fast track. Although innovations like telehealth, wearable monitoring devices, and digitized medical records offered immediate solutions for healthcare providers, this technology will help providers shift to a value-based, preventative care model long after the pandemic subsides. Here’s how:
Interest in mobilizing health examinations was already gaining ground when it found the ideal niche during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now studies show it plans to stick around. A McKinsey & Company report found that 76 percent of consumers surveyed were “highly or moderately likely” to use telehealth in the future.
The same report found over half (57 percent) of providers surveyed viewed telehealth more favorably than before COVID-19, and 64 percent said they are more comfortable using it in the future. Physicians saw between 50 and 175 times more patients via telehealth than they did before the pandemic. As consumers and providers move toward telehealth services, experts estimate that up to $250 billion of the current US healthcare spending could be virtualized.
“Now that hospitals and medical offices know better how to treat those coronavirus patients, non-emergent and ongoing care for chronic diseases like lupus, autoimmune disease, and age-related diseases is picking up once again,” says Shama Hyder. “Thanks to wearable health devices that can track things like heart rate, glucose levels, blood pressure, and more, and then send that data to a provider, virtual ongoing care is becoming more and more effective.”
Wearable Health Devices
Don’t look now, but you are probably wearing the future of healthcare. Devices like Fitbits and smartwatches are designed to collect data about exercise, diet, sleep patterns, heart rate, and overall personal health. Many people are already using these devices to send real-time health data to their healthcare providers.
But here’s another way wearable device data stands to elevate patient care. Traditionally, healthcare relies solely on data collected from the latest clinical trials to improve diagnoses and treatments. For example, the largest clinical trial (no surprise, here) is the COVID-19 vaccine trial. Pfizer and BioNTech collected data from 43,538 participants to evaluate the vaccine’s success rate.
By contrast, when Google purchased Fitbit in 2019, there were 100 million devices sold and almost 30 million active users worldwide. Thirty million people are generating personal health data every single day. By pairing this data with AI technology, healthcare leaders can optimize recommendations for patients not only based on clinical trials but by local, regional, even global data from similar patients sharing real-world health outcomes over time.
Pairing CRM with EMR technology
Studies show that almost half of the medical practices in the US have implemented EMR systems, primarily to support growth. But the benefits reflect in other areas of healthcare. Credited as one of the main drivers of healthcare digital transformation, EMR focuses on providing more accurate patient information, support clinical decision-making and improve the accessibility of information for continuity of care.
Keep in mind, the incentive for developing EMR technology was to streamline the billing process. It doesn’t pull data from integrated platforms or handle patient outreach or engagement. In its pure form, EMR has little to do with promoting patient-centered care—unless combined with CRM.
Whereas EMR merely houses patient information, a CRM system like Salesforce Health Cloud uses this information to create a HIPAA-compliant and comprehensive view of the patient’s data as well as tracking interactions with the medical team. Health Cloud works seamlessly with healthcare insurers and health services. As for being patient-centered, along with other interactive features, if the patient needs to schedule a follow-up appointment or has questions about their treatment plan, the CRM platform supports communication via the patient’s preferred contact method.
“Without good data, health systems won’t be smart,” says McBride. “To deliver better care in the right place and at the right time needs an information architecture built around data liquidity.” With technologies that support remote care, real-time data, and encourages patient engagement are leading the way for digital transformation, patient care is destined for a healthy future.