Will a doctor be more concerned with prevention than cure in the coming years? And will digital resources replace a visit to the doctor? Currently, many care processes are designed in such a way that they are initiated by a patient with complaints. This patient comes to a (general) doctor, is diagnosed and is treated or referred, after which the medical mills start turning. But will these processes remain structured in the same way in the coming years?
We, Supply Value, have researched the priorities within healthcare. In our previous insight to have we briefly took you through the first two developments in our report: from islands to networks and from hospital to home. In this second sneak peek we share the following two developments with you: from reactive to proactive and from face to face to digital first.
From reactive to proactive
When do people go to the doctor or to the hospital? Until now, this happens when people start to experience health problems. A visit to a healthcare provider is therefore basically about investigating the complaints and finding out how they can be remedied. However, this will change. The moment when people contact a doctor will shift, but the contact itself will also look different.
In the future, more resources will be deployed at the beginning of the health chain instead of at the end. This shifts the focus from treatment and aftercare to lifestyle and disease prevention. Rather than waiting for care recipients to show up with problems or complaints, technological developments and data will enable care providers to recognize a problem before it manifests itself in complaints or becomes acute.
In order to be able to discuss the lifestyle of a person requiring care as well as possible with a care provider, up-to-date, reliable and the correct amount of data must be obtained from the person requiring care. Thanks to technological developments, data exchange about the person requiring care is made possible, because smartphones and wearables collect and combine data from the person requiring care. The data obtained helps health care providers to understand an individual's behaviour, habits, desires and triggers, in order to provide the right feedback at the right time.
From face-to-face to digital first
Before the crisis, care for those in need of care consisted largely of logistics: calling (with complaints), making an appointment, traveling to a hospital or general practitioner and waiting in the waiting room. The only alternative to this were home visits by GPs and home care. The curtailment of visits to GPs and hospitals due to measures as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak have initiated new ways of communicating between care recipients and care providers. For those in need of care, this means, for example, a new way of making appointments: it is no longer obvious to go to the hospital hospital or the GP for an appointment, having an online appointment is becoming more and more common. In this way, a person in need of care gets more control and flexibility in the provision of care.
An online intake or screening has two advantages:
- A more efficient approach for the person requiring care and the care provider. When a diagnosis can be ordered remotely and complaints can be treated at home by the person requiring care, the person requiring care does not have to travel to the care provider unnecessarily. At the same time, this method ensures that the care provider has more time for people who really need care on location.
- The technological applications make it possible to monitor important health values of people in need of care remotely (digitally). For example, the person in need of care does not have to come by for every periodic check-up, but can be intervened if necessary.