PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) releases a new report, Healthcare delivery of the future: How digital technology can bridge the gap of time and distance between clinicians and consumers. The report reveals a shift in attitudes among clinicians, suggesting an increased openness toward using digital technology, and offers detailed recommendations for how healthcare companies, clinicians, and new entrants can harness developing technologies to benefit patients and the industry.
“Digitally-enabled care is no longer nice-to-have, it’s fundamental for delivering high quality care,” said Daniel Garrett, health information technology practice leader, PwC US. “Just as the banking and retail sectors today use data and technology to improve efficiency, raise quality, and expand services, healthcare must either do the same or lose patients to their competitors who do so.”
As part of its research, HRI surveyed 1,000 industry leaders, physicians, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, including members of the board of the eHealth Initiative, finding that caregivers and consumers share similar views on how digital technology can:
- Put diagnostic testing of basic conditions into the hands of patients: About 42 percent of physicians are comfortable relying on at-home test results to prescribe medication.
- Increase patient-clinician interaction: Half of physicians said that e-visits could replace more than 10 percent of in-office patient visits, and nearly as many consumers indicated they would communicate with caregivers online.
- Promote self-management of chronic disease using health apps: 28 percent of consumers said they have a healthcare, wellness, or medical app on their mobile device, up from 16 percent last year. Roughly two-thirds of physicians said they would prescribe an app to help patients manage chronic diseases such as diabetes.
- Help caregivers work more as a team: Nearly half of consumers and 79 percent of physicians believe using mobile devices can help clinicians better coordinate care.