As part of this material, we are in a team
multifunctional service Wirex, which provides instant money transfers worldwide without banking intermediaries, decided to go beyond the usual for us theme of payment innovations and tried to understand how the widespread digitalization can affect other areas of modern society.
Over the past few years, the digital revolution in medicine has helped to advance automation, artificial intelligence and even surgical robots. Whether it is a virtual specialist recording data on medication use or sensors monitoring symptoms, digital technologies are undoubtedly pushing the industry forward. However, there are concerns that they will also replace living medical staff.
This is not what we would like to see. And not what really seems inevitable.
In fact, the healthcare system is moving away from a model based on manual labor and technology to one that relies on digital tools and human resources.
In the future, companies will be at the forefront of health care, “putting people first,” supplementing human capabilities with new technologies, rather than replacing people with machines. Technology will expand medical capabilities and facilitate decision-making, freeing up space for the development of personal qualities and social skills from which individual elements of the health care system are built.
Accenture Consulting Agency identifies five main factors that form the new health care system, which puts a person first. These include intelligent automation, a mobile workforce, a platform economy, a predictable transformation and trust in digital technology. Together, these five pillars enhance the role of man in healthcare: the role of doctors, administrators, researchers, payers and, of course, patients.
Let’s look at intelligent automation. About 70% of healthcare executives are increasing their investment in artificial intelligence, 69% in machine learning. For physicians, intelligent automation enhances diagnostic capabilities and speeds up diagnosis. Sensors in every part of the healthcare system – from laboratories to post-institutional care – collect data that can be used by physicians, nurses and caregivers, as well as patients themselves, to improve treatment outcomes.
And while intelligent automation helps to isolate useful information from huge data sets, human resources are still an essential part of the equation. As Bruce Broussard, President and CEO of Humana Corporation, recently noted:
In the field of mental health services, where demand is high and supply is insufficient, SilverCloud uses intelligent automation to deliver therapeutic care to patients online on all available platforms – mobile phones, tablets and PCs. Over the past decade, SilverCloud has realized that the combination of automation and human capabilities can significantly improve therapeutic outcomes.
Now let’s move on to a mobile workforce. About 42% of healthcare workers are expected to become contractors, freelancers and temporary workers by 2019. Telemedicine enables service providers to serve a large number of patients, regardless of their physical location.
The Kaiser Permanente Medical Consortium plans to virtualize its work with the majority of its patients by 2018. A survey conducted by private telemedicine company American Well showed that two out of three patients consider video consultations acceptable.
In response to the demand for virtual services, American Well launched the Exchange telemedicine service, which allows healthcare providers to serve patients online. Customers have access to 24×7 service on any platform (PC or mobile device), and vendors can integrate Exchange services into their own applications and kiosks. And here comes the third factor – the platforms.
The platform economy is already transforming the healthcare system and other sectors. 39% of CEOs in this area believe that platform-based business models will be the foundation of commercial success. And industry analysts expect the available APIs to grow tenfold by 2021.
Jiff is a company that provides a platform for medical services and specializes in corporate medical programs, collects data from disparate sources and creates proposals tailored to the specific needs and preferences of employees of client companies.
The service also uses predictive analytics to provide personalized recommendations on prevention and healthy lifestyle. Derek Newell, CEO of Jiff, notes the following:
Just as Jiff is revolutionizing traditional corporate healthcare programs, other companies are at the forefront of a predictable transformation of the industry. 86% of healthcare executives feel the need to rethink their approach to doing business before they are overtaken by competitors.
Note that the traditional healthcare system, represented by hospitals, health insurance and biological research centers, feels a strong competition from startups and digital businesses.
This is because consumers, especially millennials, consider innovative services more accessible, transparent and efficient.
One such innovative company, Zipdrug, is challenging traditional pharmacies. In particular, the average waiting time at an American pharmacy is 45 minutes. Zipdrug customers can order prescription delivery simply by downloading the app and placing an order there.
And here we are moving smoothly to the role of trust in digital technology. Accenture estimates that hospitals will lose about $305 billion in the next five years to cyber attacks. And the personal health data of every thirteenth patient (or 25 million people) will be stolen.
Innovative companies that shape personalized medicine are more interested than anyone in increasing consumer confidence in digital technology. Although for 65% of those using health services, the ability to access health information electronically outweighs the risk of potential data theft.
A new solution to increase trust in digital technology is blockchain, a decentralized public register of all transactions on the p2p network that uses cryptographic principles to record who has accessed what information.
At the same time, the necessary anonymity is ensured. Blockchain is actively used in Estonia, a country that has become a leader in e-government development. Everyone has a digital identity that ensures the safety of medical records.
The British Government has recently assessed the role of blockchain in the protection of electronic personal health records (EPMRs) in a recent report:
These five factors form the necessary basis for improving the staffing of the industry, creating a system of virtual health services, self-service and personalized medical training, delivering prescription drugs on demand and protecting EPMH.
With their introduction into the healthcare system, physicians will be able to use digital technologies to further change and complement human labor, personalize service and free up resources for use in areas where they are most needed.
As a result, the time and accuracy of diagnoses will be reduced, medical literacy will increase, waiting times in queues will be reduced and patient routes within the healthcare system will be simplified. Simply put, by combining the capabilities of people and machines, doctors will be able to work with maximum efficiency and truly take care of our health.