Millions of professionals work diligently in the healthcare industry every day, trying to provide the best care at a reasonable price. Despite these efforts, quality continues to be variable at best and cost continues to rise.
Healthcare currently consumes nearly 18% of the U.S. gross domestic product, squeezing other parts of the American economy, notably education and other federally subsidized programs.
Our government should provide economic incentives which encourage healthcare entrepreneurs and investors to bring cost-saving technology and healthcare innovations into the marketplace.
Here are just a few examples:
Retail Healthcare Outlets. New initiatives like the expansion of CVS’ MinuteClinics and other walk-in clinics can deliver high patient satisfaction, shorter waiting times, lower costs, and a quality of care that is on par or better than similar care provided in traditional healthcare settings.
Mobile Devices. Advances in the computer sciences are fueling a revolution in medical devices that allows them to become miniaturized, ingestible, wearable, mobile, and operable in any location that there is a broadband connection. A wearable device, for instance, can monitor patients remotely without the need for a hospital bed, saving huge costs on admissions. Mobile apps (mHealth) are useful in preventing health risk for patients that often lead to costly care.
Robotics. Advances in robotics are now enabling surgeons based in one place to operate on patients located across town or across the globe.
Telehealth. Telemedicine and Telehealth have advanced rapidly with advancements in telecommunications. Innovations allow physicians to see, talk to, examine, and monitor their patients remotely. This lowers the need for inconvenient visits to the doctor’s office or unnecessary visits to the ER or hospitals.
Artificial Intelligence. The emergence of artificial intelligence and cognitive computing helps quickly identify tendencies and correlations between data sets and build predictive models. These innovations, among others, are generating insights that are instantly available to medical providers, patients, and caregivers, improving care and lowering costs.