No appointment necessary: How the IoT and patient-generated data can unlock health care value
Published August 27, 2015 Deloitte University Press
Herewith I provide a few citations from a study by Deloitte which is exceptionally detailed and based on numerous sources. The full text may be accessed HERE – and it is worth your while!
Doctors have gathered data on patients’ ailments and histories since Hippocrates, and current, accurate information is critical to effective health care. By making measurements and analysis automatic, IoT applications promise to help improve and personalize care—and create new value for industry players.
Over the last two decades, the data-driven suite of technologies dubbed the Internet of Things (IoT) has transformed some industries and disrupted others,1 with increasingly sophisticated analytical capabilities fundamentally altering the ways businesses serve customers.2 Health care providers have lagged behind other industries in adopting IoT innovations and using available customer data to inform decision making, but the shift is taking place.3
Where data about consumers have been critical to the transformation in retail, in health care the key is patient-generated data (PGD), defined as “health-related data created, recorded, gathered, or inferred by or from patients or their designees to help address a health concern.”4 PGD includes patient reported outcomes, medical-device data, and wearables data, in addition to the application of consumer-generated data in a health care setting. Of course, patients make the bulk of their health care decisions outside a clinical setting, and most of those decisions are lifestyle choices rather than doctor-advised medical actions. Cumulatively, these decisions have a major effect on an individual’s health, and employers, insurers, and health care providers have much at stake in changing patient behavior. After all, it has been estimated that in the United States, everyday behaviors lead to conditions that cause 40 percent of premature deaths.5 Given that digitally collected patient-generated data are more reliable than the self-reported alternative, IoT applications can be critical to improving and personalizing health care, even encouraging behavior changes before they result in illness.6
Not only can IoT technologies help organizations improve health management, the personalization of care and improved patient engagement through IoT technology will make health organizations more competitive and attract more customers in an ever more consumer-driven market.7
Health care’s transition to embracing IoT technologies, while not the first of its kind among consumer-facing industries, faces unique challenges. The IoT is about data and in its most mature form will be an ecosystem of a diverse set of organizations, companies, and consumers, all creating and using different types of data—some significantly more sensitive than others. Complexities arise when non-health organizations are players in an ecosystem that creates and transmits sensitive health information. Thus, the benefits of the IoT and PGD will rely upon an effective answer to this and other complexities, including market adolescence, clinician adoption, big-data challenges, and regulatory modernization.
In health care delivery, PGD passes through the same value loop as it informs behavioral and treatment changes to improve health, extend access, and reduce costs (see table 1).
“Within five years, the majority of clinically relevant data . . . will be collected outside of clinical settings.”
Health care organizations typically adopt technologies slowly, requiring a greater degree of evidence to demonstrate significant impact and efficiency. As PGD’s use increases, three areas in particular offer a growing evidence base for value in improving health outcomes, reducing cost, and expanding access to care:
- Short-term care planning
- Chronic-disease management and home care
- Population-based evidence creation
PGD—whether generated via mobile technologies, medical devices, or patients’ personal computers—carries tremendous potential to lower costs and improve outcomes by helping patients track key health information while assisting providers in more effectively tailoring treatments for the individual or public overall. These technologies save health systems money by lowering readmission rates, reducing appointment no-shows, and promoting adherence to care plans.
In the coming decades, demographic changes will increase opportunities to apply IoT technology to support wellness and health care for particular segments of the population. An aging Baby Boomer generation will drive market growth for technologies, such as glucose monitors and motion sensors that allow them to manage their chronic conditions and age within their own homes. As health care systems begin to shift toward bundling payments and developing accountable-care organizations, providers are increasingly rewarded or compensated based on health outcomes. PGD not only provides ways to streamline care delivery and improve outcomes—it may help to define value in the context of care.
Opportunities for PGD in chronic-disease management
- As of 2012, 133 million Americans (approximately one in two adults) have a chronic disease
- Chronic diseases account for approximately 70 percent of deaths in the United States25
- Chronic disease accounts for 86 percent of America’s direct health expenditure26
- Remote patient monitoring is expected to save up to $36 billion globally over the next five years27
Challenges and recommendations
Challenge No. 1: Lack of clarity regarding where to use PGD, given its nascence in supporting clinical care
Challenge No. 2: Clinical reluctance to change care paradigms
Challenge No. 3: Data privacy and security limitations
Challenge No. 4: Data integration and analytical complexities
Challenge No. 5: Slow pace of regulatory modernization
RJ Krawiec is a leader in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Health care Strategy practice and has led numerous enterprise strategy efforts for commercial, federal, and nonprofit health clients. He has a range of industry experience and considerable expertise in strategic planning, business development, market entry and competitive strategy, and commercialization.
Jessica Nadler is a leader in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Translational Medicine practice, with experience developing and implementing strategy and policy pertaining to genomics, clinical research, comparative-effectiveness research, health information technology, patient experience, and patient-centeredness. She has worked with life sciences and health care organizations in the commercial, government, nonprofit, and academic sectors.
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