Digital clones of real-life medical experts that give personalised advice and support on a vast range of medical issues around the globe — far-fetched? Not at all.
Medical avatars that look and sound like your own doctor, are under development at the
University of Southern California. Virtual reality technology and artificial intelligence come together as an interactive and responsive virtual physician — one that maximises quality time spent with you, in partnership with your regular physician or health professional.
This paper further extends our thinking on participatory health. We examine shifts in emphasis, direction and focus necessary to realise a new and disruptive paradigm.
Based upon conversations with a broad group of health and wellness industry executives in the United States, Europe, South East Asia and Australia, desk research, and a pulse survey of professional young adults globally, this paper outlines shifts that will move healthcare into an entirely new space — that of participatory health becoming embedded as business as usual in the health industry.
Breaking out of old models requires a new way of thinking
To change course, many things need to be in place and where the stimulus for health system transformation will arise — whether through consumers, government, private sector or public-private partnerships is not yet evident.
Three key elements that we consider important to system transition are:
|1. Capitalising on the advances of technologies||2. Empowering platforms that combine technologies, people and processes||3. Cultural shifts that enable the system to transition towards an ecosystem|
Creating a cadence for change
“What is the burning platform event where people will say OMG we have to change healthcare” Joseph Kvedar, MD Vice President, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare
In this paper, we have sought to understand the changes necessary to embed a participatory ecosystem within the core business of healthcare — something that we believe is inevitable as technologies mature, disruptive solutions succeed and health systems become participatory.
- Gaining public and clinician trust, particularly around the safety, validity and integrity of devices is of the utmost importance. Gaining and sustaining consumer engagement is also critical.
- Industry transformation will need to be built upon innovations that truly make healthcare simpler and seamless.
- Disruptive technology-based responses that drive patient engagement, deliver population health outcomes and deal with the burning issue of costs are paramount.
- Concerns around purpose and payment were voiced, especially how to benefit from the opportunities afforded by participatory care and avoiding increasing health inequities.
- Data fusion ecosystems that capture and make sense of massive data flows and platforms that glue the multi-pieced jigsaw that is a healthcare system together are vital.
- Shifts in industry culture and in how we conceive and think about health and wellness in a globalising and interconnected environment is also important.
- Geopolitical differences and the absence of expensive infrastructure may well see emerging/developing economies take advantage of advanced technologies and promising platforms to leapfrog into a participatory healthcare model.
In our first paper, we concluded that opportunities emerge at the intersection of consumerism, technology and markets for those willing to explore beyond their traditional boundaries.
Our views have not changed — the convergence dynamic continues apace. Healthcare will need to reconfigure to reach its digital potential.
To avoid being on the wrong-side of an emerging and disruptive trend, health industry players need to recognise that preserving the status quo is no longer an option. It is timely to be bold.
Three things to consider in a forward-leaning world:
Maturing healthcare consumerism and changing technologies are a powerful combination. Leveraging the power of the crowd through technology (such as crowdsourcing and social networks) will likely be an effective force for change.
Changes in consumer expectations and new patterns in consumer behaviour will arise from and be shaped by such networks and platforms and will ultimately be a key lever pushing the health system to adapt. This will require a clear appreciation of the market and where disruption is most likely — whether this is upcoming generations caring for aging family members, baby boomers vigorously redefining their future or in a newly-formed healthcare system in an emerging/developing economy.
2. Convergence between science, social, technology and industry demands a re-think of business models
Convergence opens the doors to new opportunities. A shift in mind-set requires core capabilities in partnering to operate and thrive in the new environment of partnerships, alliances, new locations and consumerist-orientation and identifying innovative ways to capture value. A new ecosystem brings a new set of players with opportunity to leverage expertise in adjacent spaces such as financial services, manufacturing and insurance.
Future success depends on the system-readiness of the health industry. In the future state, individuals will access care regardless of geography through teleconnected services and the core business of healthcare will be anchored around virtual delivery, consumer engagement, and an integrative and long-term orientation.
Platforms are key to new pathways by which to organise and deliver healthcare and a broad ecosystem of many players becomes possible including virtual care centres, smart homes, smart hospitals, smart technologies on/in the person and smart insurers.
Payment models, performance incentives, industry structure and staffing systems require redesign to account for new models of care and changing roles and responsibilities. New approaches in future services demand different talents including those such as data scientists, creative designers and behavioural economists.
The EY Health Reimagined collection
A new participatory health paradigm
Our first paper in the Health Reimagined series explores a vision for a radically different future based around the individual as an active consumer.
The future of health insurance
We discuss six trends disrupting health insurance, driven by two shifts: the need to tame runaway cost inflation and digital health.
Reshaping biopharma business models
Find out how new technologies, customers and competition are enabling biopharmaceutical companies to create and capture value.