In this article, Untitled Kingdom explores some of the challenges facing our healthcare system and explores how advances in technology can serve to address, mitigate, and transform it for the better.
There are 5 key takeaways of the current system from which we should guide the future of healthcare.
- The system should be focused on the patient and his or her needs in the future. It is the physicians who serve the patients, and not the patients who are just the numbers (and money) in the doctor’s calendar.
- Instead of spending more and more money on treatment, we should focus on disease prevention, which will ultimately be more cost-effective and less burdensome for the health service.
- Physicians and clinics collect many data about one person. It is time to centralize them so that they can be best used to create a consistent picture of the patient’s state of health.
- The patient’s state of health is not only physical and mental condition. The context and elements of the environment in which a given person functions are also essential, such as place of residence, diet, interpersonal contacts, physical activity.
- 7% of Google searches are questions about health issues in some way. The world’s largest search engine takes seriously the expectations of users for whom it wants to provide the best search results.
Advancements in technology have a key role to play in shaping how we can transform healthcare into something more powerful and effective. With the ubiquity of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the vast amount of data, we can access real-time information about patients as well as their environments. Data about patients as individuals, their vitals, how they live their lives, and where they live their lives can help doctors have a richer and fuller picture of their patients from which they can provide more effective diagnoses and more holistic treatments. Furthermore, with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data analytics, we can begin to start transforming the healthcare paradigm to one of prevention and prediction rather than treatment.
However, the current system still has some more hurdles before this can be the case. Patients are not at the center of the system and their data is fragmented, which inhibits technology and the doctors that use them to have the proper tools and information at their disposal to provide the best possible outcomes. Centralizing patient data would go a long way to improving healthcare for us all and allowing technology to be maximized in its effectiveness in getting us to that end.