Connected care will revolutionise health, but concerns stifle adoption, claims Philips research

Healthcare industry recognises importance of connecting patients and care providers as a key driver to improve the quality and cost of healthcare, but adoption remains patchy

  • Extensive international study sheds new light on the continued challenges and opportunities global health systems face in transitioning to seamless, integrated healthcare models
  • Most-significant benefits of connected care technology are seen in diagnosis, home care, and management of chronic diseases; with more needed on preventive care
  • Future Health Index builds on data from over 33,000 participants in 19 countries and advisory input from leading academic and global non-profit organisations

The drive to deploy connected care technology across the NHS gathers pace with a new study claiming it will revolutionise diagnosis, home care and the management of chronic disease.

The majority of the healthcare industry recognises the importance of connecting patients and care providers as a key driver to improve the quality and cost of healthcare, but we continue to see limited adoption

Philips last week released its second annual Future Health Index – a global study which has identified a significant gap between healthcare professionals’ and the general population’s perceptions and the reality of the readiness of health systems for the future.

The study also finds the most-significant benefits of connected care technology are seen in diagnosis, home care and in the management of chronic diseases.

And the international study uncovered that some of the biggest barriers standing in the way of a truly-integrated, seamless and connected health experience are centered on the technology itself.

The research looked at the readiness of health systems across five continents to meet future healthcare challenges, clearly revealing that the largest perception/reality gap globally – with an average of 31.5 points – is centred on system integration.

Almost one-third – 30% – of healthcare professionals polled believe accessible, secure information sharing platforms between healthcare professionals would have the most-positive impact on citizens taking care of their health.

And 42% of respondents said they would be more likely to use connected care technology if they could see proof that it would make processes more efficient.

Both healthcare professionals and the general population polled saw potential for connected care technology to bring improvements across the healthcare continuum; particularly in diagnosis, home care, and the management of chronic diseases.

Among the general population and healthcare professionals, connected care technology is most often seen as important for improving elderly healthcare services/services for geriatric care (78% and 82%), treatment of medical issues (77% and 81%), diagnosis of medical conditions (76% and 77%), and home care services (74% and 81%).

Although healthcare professionals were concerned with the quality and accuracy of data from connected care devices; 22% said they would be more likely to use connected care technology if there were case studies of its use and success.

And 19% would be more likely to use this technology if there were randomised control trials of its use and success.

Where there are distinct gaps between reality and perception, it is harder to design a clear plan for future development

Responding to the findings, Jan Kimpen, chief medical officer at Philips, said: “The majority of the healthcare industry recognises the importance of connecting patients and care providers as a key driver to improve the quality and cost of healthcare.

“However, we continue to see limited adoption of connected technologies, which is one of the biggest barriers to the advent of seamless, integrated care.

“The 2017 Future Health Index highlights that it is not only important to adapt healthcare delivery across different healthcare systems, but in the meantime address the differences between perceptions of users of the health system and the actual performance of the system in a particular country.

“Where there are distinct gaps between reality and perception, it is harder to design a clear plan for future development.”

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