Why we need greater integration of consumer technology in healthcare

Healthcare is long overdue for an overhaul in consumer technology to bridge the gap between innovators who work tirelessly to improve patient care and the people who eagerly await it. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Consumer technology has profoundly changed our decision-making habits when purchasing a product or service. It is a rapidly growing, evolving and expanding industry that aims to make consumers’ lives as easy, informed and efficient as possible. We are increasingly seeing consumer technology dominate in many industries, especially throughout the COVID era, which has taken technical and virtual innovations to new heights. But one sector where it lags significantly behind is health care.

It’s quite amazing and paradoxical that for the most important decisions we make in our life, we have the least resources to make them. When it comes to making decisions as a consumer, there is a huge difference between choosing a place to eat, for example, and deciding whether or not to have hip replacement surgery. With the current pressure on the healthcare industry, professionals and consumers alike are suffering due to overloaded staff and resources, less attendance and reduced networking. Unsurprisingly, this means that consumers’ healthcare decision-making resources are currently very limited.

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It’s no secret that healthcare is hugely complex and faces more regulations and compliance issues than any other industry, which means it has delayed its own ability to drive innovation from people. consumers. One of the most worrying issues is confidentiality, which actually limits the potential for significant improvement in healthcare. The consumer technology solution would be a framework that encourages increased connectivity and transparency through patient-to-patient and patient-to-physician networks.

A Report 2019 identified that technology-driven consumer innovation has the potential to create between $ 350 billion and $ 410 billion in annual revenue by 2025. One of the ways these emerging technologies would reshape healthcare is how consumers are accessing it, and the same report predicted that “personalized care ecosystems” centered on patients and families could be one of the most significant changes.

As healthcare technology continues to innovate rapidly, it must do so with the intention of being more consumer-oriented, thereby enabling patients to better understand the increased options in care. This will allow consumers to better understand how new emerging technologies could be the best choice for their health. In short, mainstream technology in healthcare simply means better access to healthcare.

The more accessible something is, the more people use it, which is essentially what is at the heart of all mainstream technology. If health care accounts for the largest portion of our gross domestic product, and if it is one of the largest costs for consumers, there must be a rapid development of its consumerization to help spur innovation. and change, to enable patients to have the best treatments and achieve the best possible results. Technology sometimes offers an overwhelming number of options, but there’s no doubt that it has made our lives easier as well.

Consumer decision-making is so embedded in the fabric of our society, yet virtually unobtainable when it comes to life-changing decisions. Technology where it matters least appears to have the most accessibility and innovation, while healthcare has fallen flat in comparison. The point is simple: more innovation is urgently needed, and the benefit it would bring to all parties is undeniable.

Healthcare is long overdue for an overhaul in consumer technology to bridge the gap between medical innovators and scientists who work tirelessly to improve patient care, and the people who eagerly await to benefit. These consumers are armed with hundreds of questions and concerns they have every right to ask and answered with care and time. But we are still waiting to see this democratization in our most essential but inaccessible industry. When we start putting the consumer first and putting them at the heart of our innovation, that’s when the healthcare industry will begin to see significant change.

Patrick Franck is the co-founder and COO of Patient Partner, a platform that connects pre-surgical patients with fully recovered patients who have undergone the same surgery. Frank has worked in consumer technology in a variety of industries including retail banking, law, real estate, and healthcare. Frank was included in Forbes magazine’s 2021 list 30 Under 30 and PatientPartner received an honorable mention in the 2021 Fast Company World Changing Ideas list for healthcare.

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