By Karen Taylor, Samrina Bhatti and Krissie Ferris, Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions
This is week three in our staggered launch of our predictions report ‘The future unmasked: Predicting the future of healthcare and life sciences in 2025’. This week, we have released predictions five and six: ‘Care is designed around people not place’ and ‘Medtech and the IOMT are crucial drivers of value-based care’. This week’s blog explores these two predictions.
COVID-19 – has accelerated the adoption of new models of healthcare
A key stand-out from the COVID-19 pandemic has been the huge acceleration in the pace and scale of technology-enabled transformation across the health ecosystem as healthcare providers have reorganised services and trained staff to work in new ways in unfamiliar teams. Globally there’s been an acceleration in the adoption of virtual healthcare technology and new ways of working to design care around the patient and reduce the risk of infection for patients and clinicians. New business models have also been rapidly developed, with medical leaders and hospital boards collaborating with private providers to create the right infrastructure. This includes the tools and training to enable a digital-first health ecosystem to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Our reason for pairing our MedTech prediction with the prediction on care being designed around the patient is in recognition of the crucial role that the MedTech industry has in the digital transformation of healthcare. The use of digital and other medical technologies, especially connected medical devices has not only enabled individuals to record their behaviour, get an online diagnosis and manage their health more efficiently, but is also providing clinicians with new clinical decision tools and point of care testing, improving their efficiency and effectiveness during the pandemic. Furthermore, AI-enabled MRI and CT scanners and IVD tests have also increased the accuracy and speed of diagnoses.
Moreover, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has also played a critical role in ‘test, track and trace’ to curb the spread of COVID-19 by creating a virtual perimeter using GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth signal, and cellular network. The use of apps, wearable devices, and other connected devices as part of the IoMT, have been essential for contact tracing and to support and inform people on mitigation strategies. In all of these ways and more, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of large-scale partnerships between healthcare and MedTech companies in mobilising and coordinating public and private efforts to tackle COVID-19 and other global public health threats
Care is designed around people not place in 2025
Even before the pandemic, healthcare providers across the world were already in the process of digitalising their systems and processes as we discussed in our September 2020 report, Digital transformation: Shaping the future of European healthcare and also our UK focused reports Shaping the future of UK healthcare and Realising digital-first primary care in June 2019 and February 2020 respectively.
We therefore drew on this research, and initiatives more globally, to develop our prediction of the world in 2025. Specifically to envisage that care is designed around people not place based on an integrated, digital-first healthcare delivery model that signposts patients to the most appropriate care setting. In addition, networks of primary care providers will manage population health needs in a patient centric healthcare model. Moreover, technology-enabled HCP to HCP communication is the ‘golden chain’ that helps HCPs to provide more coordinated, efficient and cost effective care.
Most people who need to access face-to face care and support do so via a one-stop shop community health hubs, partnering with the voluntary, private, health and social care sectors to provide high-quality preventative, rehabilitation and minor urgent care services. New models of education and training equip staff to use not only digital technologies but also AI-enabled tools and genomics in designing services around the patient.
Integrated care budgets support population health management and evidence based funding models that have attracted new stakeholders, driving innovation across the health ecosystem including telehealth services and social prescribing to support equality of access to digital solutions. Compliance with robust cyber security standards has reduced risks, despite more people using connected medical devices and data science and cloud technologies which have improved the security, completeness and quality of health and behavioural data. Agreed interoperability standards accelerate data sharing among stakeholders, with 5G, cloud and edge computing providing the scale and speed to drive the new virtual health ecosystem.
Figure 1: Care is integrated and designed around the patient
MedTech and the IOMT are crucial drivers of value-based care
In 2025, MedTech companies are helping to drive the future of health, focusing on transformative technology to enhance products and services and enabling 4P medicine. They also use sophisticated data analytics capabilities and work closely with end users to leverage new cognitive and robotic technologies to improve outcomes. MedTech companies are also partnering with consumer focused technology companies to benefit from their experience of brand development, customer engagement and advanced analytics. Some MedTech companies have also become ‘Software as a Service’ providers, targeting preventative care at specific patient groups. MedTech is also playing a major role in driving value-based health care. In 2025, six new MedTech roles are emerging (see Figure 2), and leaders have acquired the capabilities and skills to match their organisations to the roles that are most suited to them and their products to help them thrive.
Figure 2. MedTech and teh IoMT are crucial drivers of value-based care (six new MedTech roles have emerged)
We believe that by 2025, care will be integrated, value-based and patient-centred. The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly brought forward a digital-first healthcare system. To capitalise on these developments and drive the future of health, we believe a number of key constraints will need to be conquered:
- Organisations and different professional groups will need to work together and successfully overcome organisational boundaries.
- Talent development will produce new types of professionals and equip others to use digital technologies.
- Healthcare funding will support risk-sharing and integrated and value-based, ‘per patient per use’ care arrangements.
- Regulators will work with providers from design to manufacturing to aftercare, will agree interoperability standards for safe and accelerated data sharing, to enable data insights to inform shared decision making and real time diagnosis.
We believe this positive vision of the future is ambitious but achievable. Next week we will bring you two more predictions, which focus on how we think the life sciences industry will look in 2025.
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