Telehealth is another form of connected health that is allowing physicians to connect with patients and is proving to be pivotal in healthcare. A studyreleased in April 2017 by global consulting firm KPMG found that about a third of U.S. healthcare providers are using telehealth to connect with patients and with other healthcare providers, with most anticipating that usage to grow. The study, which interviewed 147 U.S. c-suite healthcare executives, also found that a quarter of them find that despite the increased usage in telehealth and its obvious benefits, the business case for using telehealth is still sometimes challenging.
Compare the KPMG study to the latest Future Health Index, released by Philips, which surveyed over 33,000 healthcare professionals, insurers and members of the public and combined it with data from the World Health Organization to discover where gaps exist between perceptions and the realities of connected care technology, and how these tools might influence the future of medicine. Philips found that 42% of healthcare professionals would be more likely to use connected care technology if they could see proof that it would make processes more efficient.
These two studies show that though the promise of better care is possible through connecting patients and physicians with technology, the doubts still remain.
New horizons are opening, to encompass the smallest of data in the human genome and the largest of data — big data– being collected on human diseases. As is always the case, technology will baffle while it first comes into our view. But soon, we will begin to see the benefits that all of this interconnectedness is creating. And just like those physicians who couldn’t see their way, at first, from paper to electronic health records—all physicians will likely soon embrace the world of technology that is beginning to light a path for them to practice medicine like they never have before. Connectedness is not something to fear, but something to embrace. Technological connectedness in healthcare can save lives.