Adapting to a distributed healthcare ecosystem
In this moment of unprecedented disruption, healthcare providers have new opportunities to improve patient outcomes and save money by pushing care beyond the traditional bounds of the hospital.
The home is the most important real estate in health care
The rapid adoption of telehealth has clearly demonstrated that patient care is by no means limited to the hospital. With telehealth, patients can access more care, more easily in the comfort of their own homes. While telehealth is not optimal in all cases, when it is, it also enables doctors and healthcare staff to operate more efficiently by spending less time on patient processing, cleanup, and other inefficiencies. Investments in telehealth technology and experience design will easily be recouped in savings on real estate and operations.
Personalized care, driven by data.
Besides saving money, telemedicine has the potential to make healthcare more inclusive, compassionate, and effective. Geographic and mobility barriers will no longer be an impediment to receiving care. More frequent, longer, or off-hours consultations might all be possible, shifting the focus of healthcare from treatment to sustained well-being. Self administration kits could allow more patients to care for themselves in many situations. Direct-to-consumer testing and healthcare app tracking will allow patients, doctors, and providers to monitor patient health in real time, detecting problems before they become acute. Of course, all of this is dependent on an integrated telehealth platform that puts user experience first.
The rise of telehealth doesn’t just mean more care taking place in the home. It also enables many more “third spaces” for healthcare. Neighborhood clinics could become more accessible when patients have immediate, easy access to all of their healthcare information. Retail healthcare facilities, hosted by major retailers like Walmart, could also become a bigger part of the healthcare mix. As the healthcare sector begins adapting to a more distributed ecosystem, now is the time for providers to develop the platforms and partnerships that put them at the forefront of this transformation.