Apple iWatch is more than a gimmick. It is a link in the scanning process that will change the health care sector. Existing players face difficulties: their lead is shrinking and startups seize the opportunities that present themselves in a market to clear. Think Scanadu, the Belgian entrepreneur Walter De Brouwer launched in Silicon Valley and markets a device monitoring. Or more recently: West, a start-up that brought together a group of entrepreneurs in an initiative to market a smart bracelet for seniors.
According to Jo Caudron, digital innovation consultant and media strategy, we’re still at the beginning of digitization in healthcare. “The technology will change people’s behavior, he says. A bracelet of this type can track all health parameters. In the UK, young people get a reduction in their auto insurance if they authorize surveillance their conduct. Regardless of the ethical issues, it therefore appears to me not inconceivable that one grants any tax benefit to patients who are followed with a smartwatch. ”
Jo Caudron is certainly a technology melted, but it is not alone to analyze that digitization will change business models in health care. Eric Nys, who heads the department of Life Science & amp; Health Industries at Deloitte Belgium, he also believes in the new technologies and the opportunities they offer for this sector. Deloitte is one of those consultants who believe that their mission is to advise clients on the digital revolution. And they do not relate only to the needs of industry. “Our customers are not found only in the pharmacy and technology, said Eric Nys. We also advise public agencies or government departments.”
The patient, a key factor
The health care sector differs from the rest of the economy. Everywhere else, the client and the buyer are one and the same person. In health care, no. The patient is for a health care provider, but it is paid by the insurer or public health insurance. Nevertheless, the patient is the key to the transformation that awaits the sector. Firstly because it is aging, which leads to higher chronic disease. And then because it consults more often, which increases costs.
“The rising costs in health care makes untenable the current model, says Eric Nys. Meanwhile, prevention is gaining importance. I am optimistic about the potential for miniaturization and mobile accessories make it possible remote monitoring of patients. An example of this trend is the collaboration between Google and Novartis announced in order to monitor diabetic patients with a contact lens. Of course, all is not yet developed, but it will create opportunities. ”
also asks the patient to play an active role in the management of health care that concern him. With the Internet came the time of informed patient. The doctors find they must change their practice. “Patients want to participate in the decision, says Eric Nys. They are thus just as consumers patients. And the Web helps them.”
“Let’s start with wanting to walk before running, shade Frank Robben, public manager who runs for five years the federal authorities eHealth project. I am not a doctor, but I am convinced that remote monitoring needs beyond the simple stage of cardio counter pedometer or while jogging. We need systems where patients monitor themselves a series of parameters, related to an artificial intelligence that interprets the data before reporting to caregivers. In the If not, the doctors, who averaged 300 chronic patients at risk of flooding from automatic messages. This is not feasible. ”
The future that we dangled’s not for right away. Eric Nys and Jo Caudron are well aware. “The prognosis is always something random, says Jo Caudron. But when we see the rate at which mobile devices have conquered the world, this does not surprise me that in a decade, transformed the smart watches at all the culture of health care. ” Frank Robben confirms the undeniable interest of certain trends. “The benefits of a multidisciplinary and transversal approach are admitted, he said. Health care institutions and health care providers must work closely, of course, but the first thing to do is to communicate the correct data.”
And this exchange of data is the backbone of the eHealth platform, the federal response to the trend towards digitization in the healthcare. Currently, 7-8% of Belgians have agreed to the use of their data. “It’s relatively small, but it is important to maintain user confidence in the system. A forced passage discredit it. It already makes us regularly criticized for going too fast,” says Frank Robben. His department has 30 people. Especially computer scientists, charged with a specific mission. “A structure like ours did not exist a few years ago, he says. I note that the Scandinavian countries are further, but their plan for health care gives them less freedom of choice than at home. This makes things easier. Compared to neighboring countries, we are in a catch-up maneuver. We already some 200 million exchanges per year. Every day 4,500 doctors are already making use of our e-Healthbox system, our mailbox electronic letters. The availability and performance pose more problems. ”
But there remain barriers. As the issue of privacy: in health care, who has access to what data? And what can they be used? “We agree that only those therapeutic relationship with the patient may access the data. In addition, not everything has to be visible to everyone. But there is still the brakes, says Frank Robben. Before talking of evidence based medicine requires that the data is available in a coordinated, structured and semantically interoperable. Whoever consults must use the same concepts as those covered by the person who supplied the database. In health care, this sometimes a problem. The look of the GP is not the specialist. Where the family doctor noted symptoms in a medical record, the specialist will not speak of fever, cough or phlegm, but will recognize pneumonia. ”
In fact, with the eHealth platform, the authorities have opted for escalation. “The technology is still evolving. For this reason, it is better to take guidance and seek to resolve, along the way, the problems that complicate digital exchanges care data. There are 25 years, I created the Crossroads Bank social security. Of the 800 papers processes that existed at the time, we eliminated three out of four and the other computer. When I was asked to take care of the eHealth project, I decided to act in the same way. You can try to lead the transformation to digital, but it is far better to offer good ideas and an environment without technical barriers, legal and privacy. We eliminate the brakes so that people can seize opportunities. ”
No real cost saving
The business models in healthcare is expected to change. “Regardless of the barriers, a wealth of information about your health are directly transmitted to your doctor says Eric Nys. Now it may be that a patient visits every week a doctor or hospital service. With technology, we can imagine that chronic diseases will be monitored remotely and the patient will have less often go to the hospital, ultimately, better control the cost of care. ”
The digitization of care does not automatically lead to lower costs. “There will be more of a slip ways, says Jo Caudron. The balance between curative and preventive care will change. Technology will play a supportive role in this process. In other areas, we often find that conventional actors focus too much on their core business and that then, the platform players such as Apple and Google are the biggest winners. I believe that, faced with this changing future, the best assets are in the hands of those who leave home with a mentality -up. ”
For the state, controlling costs is welcome. This is an additional motivation to change the eHealth platform. The technology helps to avoid duplication in radiology, allows physicians to access diagnostics when needed, a second opinion can be anonymous and reimbursement of care is faster, all this today.
Every revolution makes its victims. The digitization of healthcare will not escape the phenomenon. Will the doctors soon be superfluous? Even if a doctor establishes ultimately diagnosed in a tree, he realizes simultaneously interpreted in the light of experience. This practice will not disappear right away, obviously. “But we have no doubt review the method of payment of physicians, announces Eric Nys. They are currently paid at the time to see a patient, but if their role evolves, we will have reviewed closely the nomenclature.”
And mutuals? “The computer is a means, not an end, claims Frank Robben. We need to establish processes that optimize the operation in a given environment. The mutual societies are part of this environment. We must therefore ensure that they can modernize their activities. Watch the SIS card. This card is one of the achievements of the Crossroads Bank for Social Security. Today, it is replaced. That to me he sad? No, because when we launched the Card, Internet did not exist. And today this no longer makes sense to keep data on a map if you can resume a database. Whether a patient is insured or has With the prior authorization of the medical adviser for drugs of Chapter IV, it is now possible by his eID and eHealth our platform. I also expect the approaching end of green papers for reimbursement by mutual. It goes without saying that mutual societies must, too, evolve in their practice. But they work there. It’s like social secretariats. Their role has also evolved: buffers paperwork for Social Security, they have evolved into service providers which companies may delegate their HR administration “
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