Digital transformation has become a growing trend in most industries, as business leaders implement new strategies to increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs using the latest technology solutions.

Momentum has been building in healthcare and providers are turning to new connected health solutions that allow them to more effectively communicate with and treat patients.  Connected health not only offers physicians new ways to treat and manage patients but creates new ways channels for patient engagement to help them become more informed about their healthcare and, ultimately, to create better health outcomes.

Recent research shows that disease state and medication management technology has seen the greatest increase in adoption, up 19% from 2018 to 2019.  That is followed by telehealth, which has seen a 12% increase in adoption, and referral database/tracking (9%) and consumer technology-driven engagement tools (7%).  This represents a two-pronged approach to solving some of the problems facing the healthcare community, including an increase in elderly patients and patients with chronic conditions, and a growing shortage of medical professionals to handle their needs.

These connected health technologies that are seeing increased adoption can not only help physicians operate more efficiently, but they can also increase engagement between providers and patients, keeping patients more aware of healthcare needs and empowering them to become more involved in their own health.

Democratization of Data

Integrated EHRs, telehealth platforms, patient portals, remote patient monitoring solutions and devices, and other technologies are creating a massive amount of data that can be used on an individual patient level, but also to identify trends in conditions, treatments, and even preventative measures across population groups.  The ability to share data between physicians enables them to more easily seek consultation from peers to provide better treatment options to patients.  Data from connected devices and portals can also help physicians more effectively monitor medication adherence and effectiveness, and can give them an opportunity to intervene before conditions worsen or hospitalization is required.

Patient Empowerment –

Patient-facing apps, online portals, and connected health/RPM devices not only deliver data to physicians, but give patients access to more information about their own health than ever.  That includes delivering information about treatments, conditions, trends, preventative care, and other helpful items to patients.  The hope is that by having easier access to their health information, patients will take a proactive role in managing their health.  That includes treatment of existing conditions and medication adherence, as well as lifestyle management to reduce the chances of health complications in the future.

Doctor-Patient Relationships –

Physician interactions have typically been on an as-needed basis – when a health issue arises, when treatment is needed, or for post-treatment follow-ups.  Telehealth, messaging apps, and other digital engagement channels make it easier for patient and physicians to more easily – and more frequently – interact without the strains of scheduling and traveling to in-person visits.  By enabling easier access to healthcare professionals, connected health can help drive deeper doctor-patient relationships and ideally motivate patients to be more engaged with not only their providers, but also their ongoing wellness.

There are many opportunities for connected health technologies to improve the state of the healthcare system, including bringing greater awareness of options for access to healthcare services and facilitating more frequent communication between providers as well as with patients.  The increase in adoption shows more providers are recognizing the value of connected health and are working towards implementing solutions that will enable them to deliver more efficient and better care to patients.

To find out more about the benefits of connected health technologies, visit us here.

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