Health IT

How do connected care technologies play a role in healthcare?

Philips’ recently released Future Health Index zooms in on Americans citizens’ and healthcare professionals’ views of connected care technologies.

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As technology progresses, so too do individuals’ views of how it can be used in healthcare.

Philips’ recently released Future Health Index takes a closer look. The results come from interviews with over 33,000 citizens, insurers and healthcare professionals in 19 countries and on five continents.

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Focusing strictly on viewpoints in the United States, 84 percent of Americans said they are in good health. But only 53 percent of healthcare professionals believe the American population is healthy.

And that’s where technology comes in.

“There’s clearly a chasm between people who are way into being healthy and those who are barely healthy,” Joe Robinson, Philips’ senior vice president for health system solutions, told MedCity in a phone call. “There’s a need for connecting healthcare and technology in a different way to gauge the readiness for those health challenges.”

The general consensus seems to be that solutions like connected care technologies are more useful in certain situations. Seventy-eight percent of Americans and 78 percent of healthcare professionals see connected care technology as most useful for treating medical issues. Seventy-six percent of Americans and 75 percent of healthcare professionals think it’s most useful for diagnosing medical conditions.

As far as specific devices go, healthcare professionals whose patients use connected care technologies lean toward health monitoring devices, mobile health apps and wearables as the most beneficial.

But most Americans aren’t using connected care technologies to monitor health indicators. Only 40 percent said they use such technologies to do so.

Healthcare professionals and insurers could help move the needle on connected care technology adoption. Most Americans would be more likely to use connected care technologies if they were recommended by a healthcare professional or paid for by an insurer.

Philips’ survey results are certainly insightful. But data in and of itself is only so useful. How can Philips make this information actionable?

Robinson listed two ways.

The first, he said, is artificial intelligence. One of the company’s products allows for a comprehensive look at a patient’s clinical information. “It pulls together all the clinical data automatically in the background. It takes a complex case and condenses it,” he said. “Granted, I would call this the early phases of that.”

The second is via Wellcentive, a population health management vendor Philips acquired last year. Wellcentive looks at specific patient populations, particularly those with chronic conditions. For example, Wellcentive can outline how a health system can better manage care for its diabetic population.

“They’re able to segment [data], analyze it and have actionable outcomes out of it,” Robinson said.

Photo: Pixtum, Getty Images