A perfect storm of market conditions is forming that will likely propel consumer health near the top of many enterprise priority lists and justify its estimated 40 percent CAGR in 2015.
Intel has been the driving force behind the global technology revolution for more than 40 years, and we’ve seen the dramatic impact of technology on healthcare. Looking ahead, here are the five drivers that we see fueling growth in consumer health:
One of the most important conditions is payment reform. As the basis for reimbursement shifts away from fee-for-service and toward quality-based outcomes in the U.S., providers will extend the continuum of care far beyond their hospitals to more accurately quantify value after discharge.
One of the best ways to optimize care and demonstrate effectiveness is to implement a holistic approach for understanding a person’s status by deriving actionable data about her individually and continuously from multiple sources — including consumer devices.
Consumer empowerment is also going to play a large role. It began with the shift from a business model that was traditionally B2B to one that was more B2C as commercial health insurers positioned themselves to personally engage millions of newly eligible customers. Now, consumer health solutions enable all payer organizations — private, public, employer — to promote healthy behaviors and timely preventative care that has been shown to reduce the occurrence of costly acute emergencies. Ultimately, consumers will have the ability to be more active in managing their own care, with the expectation of access to more of their health information anytime.
A demographic shift is also fueling this growth. Every day, 10,000 baby boomers celebrate their 65th birthday in the U.S., and that trend will continue until at least 2019. Unfortunately, 90 percent of them, with help from their family caregivers in some cases, are managing at least one chronic medical condition (860 million people worldwide). As telehealth becomes more widely adopted (and reimbursed), remote doctor consultations will increasingly rely on consumer health technologies to improve chronic disease management and ease the stress on a limited pool of primary care physicians.
Many fast-growing emerging global markets, like China and India, are exhibiting strong appetites for consumer health solutions that can add value while supplementing recent government efforts to provide more efficient virtual care to their significant aging and rural populations. As more technology vendors from the region offer innovative products at very competitive price points, access and adoption will continue to climb at a healthy pace, contributing to notable growth of the consumer health market segment regionally and worldwide.
Of course, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is alignment of priorities for all major stakeholders. You need a consumer-centered design, an evaluation of clinical workflow integration, and a way to measure the business impact of the goals.
What questions do you have? What other drivers do you see impacting consumer health?
Michael Jackson is General Manager, Consumer Health at Intel Corporation.