Consumerism, Telehealth and Patient Access To Health Data
Q&A with Life Image president and CEO, Matthew Michela
Seventy-five percent of consumers are willing to share their health data with their preferred local healthcare institution, according to a recent survey. That is a significant increase from the approximately 53% surveyed pre-COVID-19 who were willing to share data to help a doctor provide better care.
The drastic shift to virtual care and a population focused on the dangers of COVID-19 spurred the acceleration and adoption of technology tools bringing healthcare to the Digital Age. And, as consumers become increasingly more active and engaged in managing risks to their health there is a notion that tools to access and manage their health data remain available in a post-COVID healthcare setting.
How can organizations adapt to the COVID-fueled consumer revolution and exceed patient expectations for healthcare?
Consumer-oriented healthcare technology remains significantly behind other types of services. Not because healthcare technology is inferior but because mature technology present everywhere in our lives isn’t applied to healthcare. The tools and patient portals available today fail to help consumers manage the logistics, payment, evaluation, and coordination of their care. Consider the way medical information is actually available to patients, and try not to be frustrated when you realize that getting rid of faxes and CDs in healthcare will be considered a major industry breakthrough.
Starting from this context, the digitization of healthcare, more specifically, putting healthcare data at patients’ fingertips through the app economy, is now understood by consumers as essential and recognition of its importance has been accelerated by COVID-19. Unfortunately, it took a pandemic to fully realize that giving patients control of their medical data improves interoperability and moves clinical information more quickly to where it is useful.
The pandemic also presented to healthcare organizations a direct need to manage patient records longitudinally. With many more consumers surprised and frustrated to learn that something so seemingly simple as medical records is so difficult to access and share. Patients are waiting for their service providers in earnest for a practical and bonafide digital experience to materialize. COVID-19 has been a catalyst to drive adoption of more comprehensive portals to store and share complex medical data and successful organizations will address these needs.