With healthcare technology trends at an all-time high, fitness apps, telehealth apps, and electronic records are all evolving to a patient-centric model to shape the future of healthcare. It seems we are all learning along the way, but one truth remains; patients who are more engaged, have better outcomes. Health tech companies, including the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and insurance industries will focus on creating digital solutions to engage patients. Engagement opportunities are an area I find the most important to examine when creating a digital product that truly engages patients. How will the product enhance the health of the patient? How can the product aid the patient when they need it most?
In the last couple of years, we’ve seen patients take a more active role in their health. The internet puts millions of health information at our fingertips giving us the tools we need to research and learn more about our conditions, relevant treatments, and future prevention. We can now take a proactive approach to our health and see a physician and receive a prescription in 20 minutes from our smartphone. This ability to access healthcare in the palm of your hand allows patients to seek immediate care that otherwise would have been pushed off due to convenience and time. When patients seek treatment earlier, they prevent a worsening condition and spend more time healthy. Mobile healthcare also allows ERs and immediate care clinics to focus on patients with severe issues that need immediate attention, rather than patients who have ailments that can be cared for via virtual consultation.
In 2019, successful solutions and applications will have features that promote patient engagement. Whether this is patient marketing or online engagement tools, the more opportunities for the patient to interact the better the outcomes. Healthcare technology companies will begin working to personalize content and tools based on the patient’s needs in efforts to finally move away from the traditional “one size fits all’ healthcare model. “There’s a real opportunity for a future of patient-centricity where the patient is empowered and is an active partner in their healthcare through the digital medium.”