Industry Trends in Health Care to Watch in 2015

Industry Trends in Health Care to Watch in 2015

2015 will further see a growing trend in health care that will transform the way we experience health care. While mobile health care applications (apps) on smartphones and tablets and wearable technology devices such as Google Glass, Nike FuelBand and Fitbit flex bands have grown in popularity in managing daily fitness and sleep patterns, there is a rapid growth movement in developing and getting to market personalized apps and devices that will even further expand a patient and clinician’s ability to remotely manage their medical data such as personal vital signs, eating habits, and fitness. In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be reviewing a record number of these apps and devices to determine if they meet the agency’s standard for medical use.

This movement of ‘Do-It-Yourself’ (DIY) health care is pushing tools that will get patients more engaged in their own health care. And it is going to get more important for patients to be active participants in their care and treatment.

Some of these apps and medical devices are becoming sophisticated enough to be capable of transmitting directly to a provider via an Electronic Health Record, or even just a secure internet connection. Hospitals and clinicians can analyze this data remotely and make decisions on whether a patient needs to come in for a hospital stay or some form of further treatment. This eliminates the cost incurred for the patient to visit the facility for tests and in person monitoring.

Devices and apps may also contribute to the rise of Telehealth, which is gaining popularity because of its excellent results at lowering costs, but more importantly improves efficiency, and ultimately results in healthier patients. According to a recent PriceWaterhouseCooper study, half of doctors believe e-visits could replace more than 10% of in-office appointments, and roughly 75% of doctors said they would prescribe an app or device to help patients manage chronic conditions such as diabetes. As a population, we need to embrace these advanced technologies which ultimately will produce more data, help identify risk, determine solutions, and monitor results—all while saving costs and making our health care system more efficient.