From virtual doctor visits to flu shots delivered via UBER, healthcare delivery is changing. The experts at Accenture Research say 5 key digital health trends are driving these changes.
Accenture's 2016 Digital Health Technology Vision report pinpoints emerging IT developments that will have the greatest impact on companies, government agencies and other organizations over the next three to five years. The findings are the result of interviews with experienced individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, venture capital and entrepreneurial companies. In addition, the Technology Vision team conducted interviews with technology luminaries and industry experts, as well as with nearly 100 Accenture business leaders.
Algorithms that aid clinical decision making are just one example of "intelligent automation." Robots, apps and other advances in automation don't always replace people, says Accenture. Instead, automation allows people to work more efficiently and where they are needed most.
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Advances in telehealth are allowing care to be delivered anywhere, while locum physicians and contract IT workers are increasingly used to address healthcare workforce shortages.
Platforms provide the underlying technology that make healthcare more connected, says Accenture. Philips Health is one company betting big on platform-based solutions to connect medical devices and patients from hospital to home.
Disruption in healthcare is becoming commonplace and the line between healthcare providers and consumer products companies is increasingly blurred. Apple's foray into health research tools and the connectivity between your wearable fitness tracker and your electronic health record are two prime examples.
As healthcare security risks increase, so do opportunities to earn consumer trust. Organizations must have solid policies in place to protect patient privacy and data. "Furthermore, those policies must be disclosed and understood to ensure the right consent and access to information," says Accenture.