CONNECTED HEALTH CONFERENCE • Boston, MA • October 25-27, 2017
By: Dr. Carla Kriwet, CEO of Connected Care & Health Informatics, Philips
Aging and increasing populations paired with rising costs of care are taking a major toll on today’s healthcare system. In fact, in the U.S., the total national health expenditure is projected to account for nearly a fifth of the economy by 2025 1 - about three-quarters of which is tied to patients with chronic conditions, many of which can be preventable with care delivered the right way2. This is not a sustainable use of the health system’s resources and connected health technologies are the solutions needed to ease this burden and focus on preventative care.
Creating a more seamless and holistic view of a patients’ health journey is key to supporting every stage of a population’s health. Technologies that pair the power of digital, connected health with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence will empower patients and care professionals across the health continuum – from prevention to precision diagnosis and personalized treatment through to patient-centric care in the home. These innovations create new efficiencies, reduce costs, optimize treatment and provide new diagnostic techniques and forms of therapy.
Connected Health in a Clinical Setting
Clinical care is one area where connected health technologies are poised to create value through continuous monitoring and communication of patient information. Solutions exist today, for instance, that can help address unrecognized patient deterioration – a dangerous and costly issue the ECRI Institute listed as the second top patient safety concern for healthcare organizations in 2017. Connected health solutions that use continuous monitoring and Early Warning Scoring (EWS) can aid clinicians in preventing adverse events through early detection of the subtle signs of patient deterioration (present and measurable six to eight hours prior to an event ). Connected health technologies in this setting give care providers the opportunity to intervene more quickly and improve their patients’ chances of recovery.
Putting Power in the Hands of Patients
The value of connected health is not limited to clinical settings, however. Nearly half (45%) of the general population reported using connected care technologies over the past year, according to Philips’ 2017 Future Health Index, demonstrating a shift towards patients that are now more involved in their own health than previous generations were. These tools give them access to their own medical information and allow them to communicate with physicians about the status of their health or discuss treatment options. Using connected health technologies to empower patients to become more regularly involved in their health can lessen the probability they will end up in a care facility, allow them to handle more of their recovery at home and ultimately free up hospital resources for others.
One of our aims at Philips is to improve the lives of 3 billion people by the year 2025 – envisioning a future where patients will live well for longer, recover faster, have fewer complications and greater peace of mind due to connected health technologies. Creating a more comprehensive and seamless view of each patient’s health journey will be the most important step toward lessening the burden on our health systems that are already tapped for resources – a step that will hinge on prioritizing the adoption of connected health technologies. I will be discussing the topic of connected health at the upcoming Connected Health Conference in Boston on October 26 – I hope you can join me there!
1 CMS.gov, NHE Fact Sheet; 2017
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Preventive Health Care; 2013
3 Schein RM, Hazday N, Pena M, et al. Clinical antecedents to in-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest. Chest. 1990; 98: 1388-1392.