Mobilizing Health Care: How Tech is Transforming the Industry

Mobilizing Health Care: How Tech is Transforming the Industry

Nov 17 2014

Health care and technology are at a tipping point and everyone, patients, providers, care teams, will benefit.

By Krischa Winright

For the first time in history, the technology exists to solve issues faced within the health care eco-system.

Connectivity, condition management, personalization.

Let’s consider the smartphone. Sixty percent of Americans own a smartphone and 44 percent sleep with it to avoid missing updates, according to Pew Research. Additionally, most spend 40 minutes on Facebook a day compared to only 5 minutes on medical or self-care. The industry can capitalize on this phenomenon and mobilize health care by not only using it as a communication tool, but also using it to engage individuals in their health and well being.

Health systems and doctor’s offices have made big strides in incorporating more technology into their process. Digital medical records and online systems that access and track medical results are two examples. But there are many more exciting innovations on the horizon to make health care more efficient, connected and help patients lead healthier lives.

This video and the following tools provide a glimpse into the future of health care technology:

Managing Chronic Conditions

Half of all Michiganders have at least one long-term health condition such as heart disease, asthma, cancer or diabetes. They have to see many different doctors and seek treatment in different settings. Many health systems are offering secure apps that allow patients to message physicians across the care network and get a response within minutes – even after hours. CareZone lets family members plug into the process, helping patients stick to treatment plans and possibly prevent other health issues.

Personalized Health and Lifestyle Guidance.

Web and mobile soon will be able to tap into the “cloud” of information from a wearable device such as FitBit or iWatch and help guide people’s health in real time. Care teams will read this data through secure sites and apps, providing just the right health advice, video tips and encouragement that each person needs.

Access to More Options and Comparative Price Information

Just like online booking did for travel, tools such as the Health Care Bluebook allow patients to compare physicians, hospitals and pricing on health care services. Soon, mobile apps will allow users to check their personal health plan coverage, too – whether selected by an employer or chosen on the Exchange. Imagine finally knowing what your portion of the health care bill will be up front, before you even undergo a procedure!

Evolving E-visits.

Many hospitals and health plans currently offer video or “telehealth” visits with doctors. Patients have 24/7 access to a health care team and can avoid unnecessary trips to urgent care or the emergency room for routine questions after hours. As these e-visits become more advanced and integrated, patients can visit instantly with physicians, who will treat more types of conditions and more complex health issues.

Making medicine personal.

People value different things in health care experiences based on their lifestyle, level of independence and health condition. Like Amazon, health care will learn from personal preferences to share meaningful information with patients (and entire care communities) at key times such as connecting a patient to the orthopedist he needs after moving to a new city.

In the coming weeks, we’ll explore more ways that technology is making health care smarter and more convenient for you.

About the Author: Krischa Winright is chief information officer and vice president of Information Technology at Priority Health. She is responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s technology efforts. She is accountable for the use of technology today, and its applicability for future corporate innovation and growth. Krischa has 20 years of technology experience, and more than 10 years of health care experience.