With the proliferation of hardware devices in consumer homes and hands, it’s only a matter of time before those devices turn into sensors that enable healthcare practitioners to continuously monitor their patients.
For a very long time, the U.S. as a whole and in particular those in the healthcare field, have griped about the rising cost of healthcare. Everyone knows of the skyrocketing expenses associated with caring for a loved one who is seriously ill or the pains of dealing with healthcare insurance.
And when the government steps in, they struggle to find a solution that can actually put us all on the right path to alleviating the problem. Well, maybe the tech giants can help us, at least that’s what some speculate.
Recently, John Scully, the former CEO of Apple who is now the CMO of health tech company RxAdvance, shared his thoughts on the matter. He predicts that sensors will play a major role in administering healthcare to the masses.
Take for example, the functionality of the Apple Watch and extrapolate the additional features it could take on to help each individual more closely track one’s fitness level. Or consider the ubiquity of Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Pixel phone, which has been catching on.
These tech majors which are increasingly deploying their hardware to consumers by the millions will have the ability to provide monitoring and detection functions. Afterall, Amazon is already secretly listening to conversations in the home wherever Alexa is plugged in.
Scully also commented on the trend of declining availability of hospital beds, which already decreased from 1.2 million to 931,000 beds, or 23%, over the past 30 years. And this occurred while the population grew by over 30%. With decreased capacity to take in and care for patients, more people will be cared for in their own home. Sensors will be used to ensure that the sick have proper oversight and when needed a healthcare professional can arrive on the scene at a moment’s notice.
The idea of technology solving our current day healthcare issues could prove successful. It turns out 5% of the population accounts for 50% of healthcare costs. These are the ‘super users’. If the tech majors can figure out how to care for the super users in a sensor-based efficient manner, we just may be on our way to getting healthcare costs in balance.