Andover, MA – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) today announced the results of its second annual Future Health Index (FHI), an international study of the general population and healthcare professionals that examines their views on healthcare access and integration, and connected care technologies. Despite Americans’ love of their wearable devices, the study highlights both the general population and their healthcare professionals see the real value of connected care technology in diagnosis and treatment. Americans are open to using these technologies if recommended by a healthcare professional (45%), and despite the potential positive impact of an integrated healthcare system on the quality of healthcare, both Americans and healthcare professionals perceive cost remains as an issue.
Almost unanimously, 91 percent of Americans value health over wealth, and 84 percent would rate their health positively, but only 53 percent of healthcare professionals would rate the overall health of the American population positively. Both the U.S. general population and healthcare professionals believe connected technology plays a role in healthcare, but only 21 percent feel connected care technology will be the most beneficial for preventive care. Among the general population and healthcare professionals, connected care technology is most often seen as important for improving treatment of medical issues (78 percent and 78 percent, respectively), diagnosis of medical conditions (76 percent and 75 percent, respectively) and home care services (71 percent and 74 percent, respectively).
Both Americans (64 percent) and healthcare professionals (59 percent) believe that healthcare professionals should focus the majority of their time and resources overall on preventive care. While Americans are taking preventive actions such as making healthy eating selections (65 percent) and seeing a doctor on a regular basis (61 percent) to maintain their health, only just over half (56 percent) of those surveyed claim to exercise routinely. The general population does take advantage of connected care technology to maintain their health, though fewer Americans indicate the use of wearable devices (16 percent) or health-related smartphone apps (12 percent) among their efforts.
“The driving force behind building a healthier tomorrow starts with preventive care today. Much of the acceleration we’ve seen in healthcare costs come from diseases associated with lifestyle choices. We need to tackle the problem from all angles, including looking for ways technology can play a role,” Brian Donley, M.D., Chief of Staff at Cleveland Clinic. “As a medical community, from expanding access to care to enabling innovative treatments, we’ve been successfully integrating technology into treatment and care. However, with chronic conditions affecting so many globally, we also need to explore ways to use technology to harness data for prevention in ways that are meaningful to doctors and impactful for patients.”
While the majority of Americans do not currently use connected care technology to monitor health indicators (60%), those who do feel this has helped them take better control of their health. The study also finds that both Americans and healthcare professionals are aligned on which artificial intelligence (AI) tools would have the most impact on improving the current state of healthcare.
- Two-in-five Americans (40%) currently report using some sort of connected care technology to track health indicators and of those who do, 87 percent believe that wearable devices, specifically, have helped them take better control of their health
- Health monitoring devices (96 percent), including blood pressure monitors and medical alert systems, are seen as the most helpful devices among healthcare professionals whose patients use connected care technology, while mobile health apps (90 percent) and wearables (88 percent) follow closely.
- The majority of the population at large (77 percent) could be more likely to use connected care technology. Americans would be more likely to use the technology if a healthcare professional recommended its use (45 percent) or an insurance company paid for the technology (43 percent).
- Americans regard an AI health tracker wearable on their smartphone as the tool that would have the most impact on improving healthcare (23 percent), while one-in-five (20 percent) believe AI-enabled healthcare tools that offer guidance using historical medical data would have the most impact. Healthcare professionals are aligned with the general population on which tools they believe will have the most benefit.
When it comes to technology increasing the flow of information between healthcare professionals and patients, there’s tremendous opportunity for change.
- Both healthcare professionals (86 percent) and the general population (61 percent) think an integrated healthcare system would improve the quality of healthcare in the U.S.
- Nearly half of the general population feels that integration will make the cost of healthcare more expensive to themselves (46 percent) and overall (47 percent).
- More healthcare professionals believe integration (86%) will improve the quality of healthcare than the American general population (61%), and assume it will make healthcare more expensive to both patients (49 percent) and overall (54 percent).
- Just one-in-ten healthcare professionals (13 percent) and a quarter of Americans (24 percent) consider the current healthcare system in the United States to be integrated.
“With chronic disease accounting for the lion’s share of our nation’s healthcare costs, we’ve created connected care technologies that can help patients and healthcare professionals manage disease, but it’s time to help health systems extend beyond the hospital and support prevention,” said Brent Shafer, CEO of Philips North America. “Data and technology are the tip of the spear for enabling that change and creating better health outcomes at a reduced cost. Philips is committed to working with its partners like Cleveland Clinic to create efficiency and put in place the technology that can help bridge the information gap and create a more seamless experience for clinicians and patients. By working together to leverage our combined knowledge of healthcare technology and best practices, technology companies and healthcare professionals can deliver enhanced patient outcomes and lowered costs.”
For the complete results and research methodology, visit https://www.futurehealthindex.com/.