5 Ways Patient Engagement Technology Is Changing Healthcare

male patient uses patient engagement technology to have a virtual consultation with his physician

The stats are in, and they are unequivocal: Patient engagement technology is revolutionizing healthcare. In this article, we explore five ways digitalization is transforming the industry, possibly for good. 

Consider this:

  • 77% of U.S. patients report they were completely or very satisfied with a virtual visit or consultation.
  • Over half of consumers are willing to receive online treatment for common acute symptoms, and 54% expect smartphones to become the primary touchpoint with the health system over the next decade.
  • 93% of consumers are open to engaging with physicians digitally if that would be cheaper, faster, more convenient, and would give them access to electronic records.
Comparison of incentives for digital engagement with physicians
Image Source: https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey-sites/ey-com/en_us/topics/health/ey-us-nextwave-health-survey-2019.pdf

Key Takeaways

  • Thanks to modern technologies, care is shifting away from physical hospitals and closer to consumers in a care anywhere model.
  • While traditional healthcare relies on a provider-led paradigm, patient enablement technologies have made possible a new model in which consumer demand “pulls” activities and services.
  • Real-time data from wearables and remote monitoring solutions has paved the way for a new type of personalized, prevention-oriented, and high-precision medicine. 
  • The health systems of the future will make heavy use of algorithms, data analytics, machine learning, and automation. 
  • Virtual and augmented reality technologies have great potential for patient engagement as stress-relieving, relaxation, visualization, and guided mediation tools.

5 Trends in Patient Engagement Technology in 2022 and Beyond

Watch out for these emerging transformative trends in healthcare:

1. From Brick-and-Mortar Facilities to “No Address” Healthcare

Thanks to modern solutions such as patient portals, mobile apps, telehealth, smart devices, remote patient monitoring, and care automation platforms, patients today can access health services anywhere, anytime, and on demand.

This “care anywhere” or “healthcare with no address” model is shifting care away from the four walls of the hospital and closer to the consumer’s home. 

Virtual hospitals have started sprouting too. Missouri-based Mercy Virtual Care Center and Intermountain Healthcare in Utah are just two examples of providers offering basic and advanced medical services through 24/7 remote monitoring and virtual care programs.

2. From Provider-Led to Consumer-Centric Care 

Traditional healthcare primarily relied on a provider-led, supply-side push of services out to the user. Patient enablement technologies are slowly chipping away at this model as they put forward a new paradigm in which consumer demand “pulls” activities and determines value.

Joining the value-based, participatory medicine trend may be crucial for your business growth. 

According to Accenture, organizations that adapt to meet evolving consumer demand can accelerate their post-pandemic financial recovery and win patients away from competitors. Improving the patient experience could boost revenue by 5–10% from pre-COVID levels in just 12 months. For a $5 billion health system, this translates to somewhere between $250 and $500 million in additional revenue per year.

At the same time, two-thirds of patients are likely or highly likely to switch to another service if their current provider does not meet expectations.

3. From Reactive to Proactive Medicine

By 2024, as many as 74.9 million consumers in the U.S. will use smart wearable devices.

Share of U.S. adult smart wearable users from 2002 to 2024
Image Source: https://www.emarketer.com/chart/240061/us-smart-wearable-users-by-generation-2020-2024-millions

Remote patient monitoring technologies such as these generate vast amounts of real-time data, paving the way for a new type of high-precision medicine. Providers can now detect, predict, and treat emerging health issues even before the patient experiences symptoms.

Wearables also enable the creation of personalized, prevention-oriented health plans and herald less reactive and more proactive care models. The hope is that these will result in more effective treatments, better outcomes for individual patients, and reduced costs. 

Another trend that underscores the move away from event-based medicine and toward predictive care, wellness, and “healthfulness” is the growing use of personalized care automation platforms. 

These software solutions provide users with an automated workflow guiding them through all steps of their health journey, as well as tools to proactively manage their health, lifestyle choices, and chronic conditions in partnership with their providers.

4. From Digital to Intelligent Technologies

There is more to virtual healthcare than merely switching from paper-based to digital data formats and providing online consultations. Future-ready health systems must also be smart and connected to maximize efficiency and quality of care in a patient-centric model. 

This entails the use of algorithms, advanced data analytics, machine learning, robotic process automation, and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) to process the huge volumes of clinical and patient-generated data. 

Hospitals are already stepping up to the challenge. Washington-based CHI Franciscan, for instance, has invested in an AI-powered Mission Control Command Center that managed to:

  • Accelerate treatment for 142 critical patients
  • Reduce bed request turnaround times by 10%
  • Free up 1,423 days to care for more patients
  • Enable 561 patients to go home sooner

5. From Normal to Extended Reality

Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) technologies currently serve as in-patient care and treatment solutions. However, they also have great potential as relaxation, visualization, and guided mediation tools that patients can use on their own.

While this is a relatively new field, the global VR/AR healthcare market reached $2 billion in 2020. Industry analysts expect it will continue to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.2% until 2028.

Unlock the Potential of Patient Engagement Technology with Wellbe

Modern technologies can be daunting, but Wellbe’s personalized care automation platform offers an affordable and accessible solution for patients and providers alike. 

Its easy-to-follow automated guided workflow, user-friendly interface, and approachable language eliminate confusion and engage patients at every step of their journey. 

This enables you to collect high-quality data, reduce operative costs, and scale your business without hiring new staff. 

Boost your growth with Wellbe.  

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