In recent history and throughout the development of our modern healthcare system, healthcare providers have provided medical intervention. When something is wrong with a patient, doctors instantaneously react to the problem and try to fix it. But as demand for healthcare increases, the old way of acute care intervention is becoming impractical. Most of these medical problems can be more effectively and more affordably managed or prevented. According to Chuck Gallamore, two trends in the future of healthcare are leading the way: intelligent information technology and patient accountability.
Intelligent information technology arms medical professionals with new insights into an individual’s health. By analyzing large sets of data, IBM technologies can predict possible outcomes so that they can be prevented. Access to this improved, personalized information means medical professionals will not need to rely on generic old formulas. Instead, previously disparate medical professionals will be able to collaborate and create a custom protocol for a patient’s care.
Patients might feel like a pinball bouncing around the medical system, but with smart care, they will know exactly what to do in order to prevent problems that would need medical intervention. This new predictive ability also puts more responsibility on the patients.
In a medical intervention model, hospitals are always 100% responsible for the outcome of a patient’s care, but that will need to change. With a shift in focus from intervention to health management and prevention, patients are just as responsible for their health as a doctor. Health management tools help doctors, but these tools are ultimately for the patients. By providing patients with access to health management tools, data and social media, they can take control of their own health.
The healthcare ecosystem is going through major changes and the future is still uncertain. What is certain is that technology will play a fundamental role in healthcare reform. A patient centric model for these technologies empowers everyone. Hospitals will have improved capability in providing care and patients will be more able to share the responsibility of managing their own care.