In late 2017, Validic™ conducted a survey of nearly 200 hospital and health system executives, directors and clinicians to better understand their opinions on and current usage of digital health technologies, like in-home medical devices and consumer apps and wearables, in care today. This is the final blog in a three-post series. Read the first and second blogs, or learn more in the full survey results here.

Rapid changes in the industry have catalyzed the consumerization of healthcare, in which patients are acting as consumers and making decisions about where and how they receive care. As consumerization grows, patient engagement has become more crucial — if patients are not engaged, they will seek out a provider relationship that offers such engagement.

Digital health technologies, like wearables, health apps, and in-home medical devices are playing a large role in this uptick in patient engagement, as consumerization raises the bar for the expectations of quality patient experience and access.

Among US households with broadband, 40% of consumers had a connected health product in 2017. This number continues to grow year by year, suggesting that a large portion of the population is eager to participate in and contribute to their own healthcare.

As providers begin to offer remote programs of care to patients, such offerings can take advantage of the data that many people are already collecting outside of the hospital and integrate it into treatment to see improved outcomes.

Data shows that patients are interested in remote care, as well — 29% of healthcare consumers now prefer remote visits over in-person care, according to a recent report. By reaching patients outside the hospital, in a manner that’s convenient for them, providers can improve patient satisfaction metrics and improve patient health, which often ultimately results in lower costs.

However, according to the recent survey, there is a disconnect between patients and providers: 40% of respondents said that physician ability and willingness to use digital health technologies in their organizations was a concern complicating their usage of these technologies. This misalignment on the use of digital health technologies to power remote care requires that organizations look more deeply into the desires of their patient communities and the opportunities such technologies can offer.

A 2017 survey shows that 66% of patients would stay with their healthcare team if remote monitoring were an option. Furthermore, patients who have participated in remote care programs cite improved engagement, access to care, patient-provider relationships, and an overall increase in quality of life.

As patients continue to seek out healthcare options that meet their expectations in terms of access, engagement, and quality, providers must consider the opportunities presented by remote care to enrich the patient experience, and lower costs as a result.

To learn more about the value providers are seeing in remote care today, read the full survey results.

This is the final post in a three-part blog series. Missed the last post? Click here to learn about incentives to implementing remote care programs today.

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