Shrinking Barriers to Patient Centered Care

Mark GrengaBy Mark Grenga, Business Development Analyst, DICOM Grid
Twitter: @dicomgrid

As technology remains at the forefront of prominent healthcare trends, growing mHealth Solutions and global telemedicine markets have reified the predictions of many who previously envisioned the healthcare industry’s tech driven evolution.

In 2015, we witnessed healthcare organizations continue to integrate the use of connected devices, apps, and remote consultation services alongside shifting patient-care models. This enabled patients to seek access to care from anywhere at anytime. One the patient side, the growth of mHealth app usage has provided evidence towards patients’ willingness to adopt these new technologies being offered by providers.

In a market estimated to be worth more than $59 billion by 2020, healthcare apps account for roughly 20% of the share. Led predominantly by the adoption of fitness, nutrition, health tracking and recently surging chronic care management apps, PWC reports a two-fold increase in the percentage of consumers with at least one medical, health, or fitness app on their mobile devices. The use of apps is representative of increased access to data for patients, physicians, and developers alike. However, the more immediate impact is seen in the way remote monitoring and chronic care management apps, amongst others, have streamlined the growth of telemedicine.

With increased mobile device usage and the introduction of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile platforms across new healthcare spaces, The Global Telemedicine market is poised for continued growth in 2016. Some predictions estimate that within two years patients could be experiencing 65% of interactions with healthcare organizations via mobile devices and in 7 out of 10 cases, healthcare organizations will at least offer the use of apps, wearables, remote health monitoring, and virtual care to patients (IDC). However, as Venture Beat points out, there are important elements that could prove to make or break the market’s growth. These include efforts to combine virtual diagnosis and on-the-spot treatments, develop interoperability between wearables/connected devices, and maintain compliance while also implementing processes for post-treatment care. Health Data Management goes further to highlight the need for telemedicine systems to integrate across EHRs and to provide data around the ways in which systems are enhancing overall care management rather than simply enabling consultations.

The impact that healthcare technology has had on trends centered around patients’ access to care has been witnessed on a global scale. As mHealth Solutions and Telemedicine markets continue to grow, the manner in which patients and physicians interact with data, care-models, and most importantly, each other, will continue to evolve and shrink the barriers between patients and top-class care.

This article was originally published on DICOM Grid and is republished here with permission.