Healthcare consumers today commonly are shopping online for insurance, digitally tracking fitness and diet goals, getting health incentives from employers and emailing with physicians. But thats simple online activity compared with technology coming in the next few years, according to a new report from Accenture.
The consultancy predicts hospital patients requesting a blanket or pain medication via their smartphone, sharing information with all providers with a single click, getting a streamlined and understood bill, and even receiving a real-time text alert if blood pressure rises. Health insurers will get in the game as well by offering plans with financial incentives for using wearable health devices that include analytics.
Here are more examples of how healthcare could soon be delivered:
* When driving to the hospital for an appointment, a patients phone will show the most convenient available parking spot, Accenture predicts. A wearable band sent before the appointment will enable a patient to bypass the check-in process and a phone app will show the way to the appropriate room. The patient also will be digitally notified of the treatment nurse (with bio), the wait time and what the nurse will be doing during the visit.
* Smarter technology platforms will influence daily health and wellness choices, such as identifying when pollen levels could trigger an asthma attack. A device attached to a phone will enable a consumer to self-conduct a finger-prick lab test, giving immediate results to the consumer and his or her physician.
* Consumers will be able to take a picture of a rash and analytics will triage the issue. A device will perceive that a consumer is running a fever, diagnosis the illness and contact the appropriate provider. Electronic health records will include a lifetime of data, generations of family history and genomics to select personalized protocols. Analytics also will predict patient behavior and needs, and hospitals will predict emergency room volume based on history, weather patterns and local events.
* Automated appointment scheduling will be common within five years, and patients will be able to share their electronic records with other providers without going through their physician. Social platforms will let patients develop their own care team. Ingestible or implantable devices will inform physician decisions, and wearable devices will give surgeons real-time data from monitors without turning their heads.
The complete Accenture report, Healthcare Technology Vision 2015, is available here.
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