The digital health revolution
It is common knowledge that older people need more care and are the main customers of the health care industry. In the near future the baby boomers are retiring, which leads to a new problem in the healthcare industry. Is there enough capacity for the retiring baby boomers? And how will we bridge the gap off having less people to serve more people who need care?
The digital health revolution is the key solution. The health care industry is one of the industries where most processes are based on outdated techniques. There is still a lot of space for improvement, fortunately there are some revolutionary ideas to bring healthcare into the modern age.
In 2014 the U.S healthcare industry reached a funding amount of $3.5 billion to fund digital health startups. There are many ongoing innovations, too much to assess all. After reading a paper on the innovations in the healthcare industry I became very interested in an innovation based on big data. Epic is one of the organizations that began to tackle the challenge of monitoring and maintaining health data. Monitoring and maintaining this data could help doctors to recognize problems in an early stage, which enables easier treatment.
With the launch of the IOS 8 mobile operating system on an iPhone, a new feature is released. The health app. This app stores various types of our health data. Creating a large platform that connects all this health data on a daily basis will create a powerful information resource for health care providers and researchers.
You might think, how is this related to Epic? Well, Epic is running pilot programs for high-risk patients, it makes the data of the health app accessible for doctors. 23 Hospitals have rolled out this pilot program of Apple’s HealthKit service connected to the software of Epic. This service acts as a repository for patient-generated health information like blood pressure, weight or heart rate. This system allows doctors to watch for early signs of trouble and intervene before a medical problem becomes acute. It could help to avoid repeat admissions at a relatively low cost.
This is one of the hundreds of innovations that will allow the health care industry to prepare themselves for the baby boom tsunami. What do you think, will we be ready for this huge tsunami?
Nudd, Geoffrey (2015) How the digital health revolution will become a reality. http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/07/how-the-digital-health-revolution-will-become-a-reality/ (08-10-2015)
Sullivan, Mark (2014) EHR giant Epic explains how it will bring Apple HealthKit data to doctors. http://venturebeat.com/2014/09/17/ehr-giant-epic-explains-how-it-will-bring-apple-healthkit-data-to-doctors/ (08-10-2015)
Far, Cristina (2015) Exclusive: Apple’s health tech takes early lead among top hospitals. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/05/us-apple-hospitals-exclusive-idUSKBN0L90G920150205?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews (08-10-2015)