IMAGE: McMurryJulie — Pixabay

Healthcare management is about to undergo a radical change

Diana Manos, a Washington-based freelance journalist, sent me some questions about the near future of health care and medicine from a management perspective, and has published them in an article in HealthData Management entitled “How to assess the winners and losers with disruptive technology” (pdf ).

My comments were mainly about the potential of taking a proactive approach to medicine and health care thanks to technology and how cost such not be the key issue, as well as the ways in which this new focus could also benefit research. We are now in a position where something as easy to wear as a smartwatch can detect arrhythmias better than doctors can, and in addition can monitor patients 24/7. This is only the beginning: imagine what we will be able to do when we have amassed huge collection of data from millions of patients and algorithms are able to identify conditions that were until now undetectable or that we thought developed without symptoms.

Health care costs should be evaluated in the broadest possible terms, taking into account as many factors as possible. Providing every patient with a smartwatch-type device may seem expensive, but if it allows us to diagnose certain conditions before they become critical, we could save the health system a of money. I believe the use of this kind of technology will start in private health care but will be adopted by national health services as soon as the positive impact they can have on public health and costs in the long term is understood.

In addition, we need to think about how we are going to manage these kinds of methods to avoid discrimination and the creation of systems that are only accessible to the privileged, while adequately safeguarding privacy.

This is an important issue that has come to fascinate me and that I have written extensively about, in part due to my own experiences in dealing with some health issues, and one that we will be hearing much more about in the coming years.

(En español, aquí)