Telecom services and American healthcare technology are becoming closely intertwined. According to the latest market study by Parks Associates, over two-thirds of U.S. broadband households already use a healthcare related mobile software app or portal on a monthly basis.
"Connected health devices and apps are starting to open healthcare services to larger populations, but right now, consumers spend less than 1 percent of their time interacting with the healthcare system through hospitals, clinics, doctors, and health coaches," said Harry Wang, research director at Parks Associates.
Online health services are starting to open new engagement opportunities, and companies in the connected home space -- such as broadband and security service providers -- can help to drive consumer engagement by integrating connected home technology with healthcare solutions.
By 2019, millions of households will benefit from a smart home platform that offers solutions in at least one of three categories -- safety or independent living, wellness, and health.
"The influx of direct-to-consumer healthcare marketing and mobile applications is driving change in behaviors, both on the clinical side and the patient side," said Nancy Green, healthcare global lead at Verizon Enterprise Solutions.
Moreover, wearable technologies are enabling home-bound patients to stay in close contact with their healthcare providers, particularly in between clinical visits.
This important new mobile connection will go a long way in helping reform the healthcare system through remote monitoring, while better providing care for patients.
New care pathways through telemedicine and remote patient monitoring are being opened up, offering patients and their care providers greater options in terms of how, when, and where treatment and follow-up are provided.
While these advances are helping to improve the quality of and access to patient care, the digital transformation of healthcare delivery is also triggering new skills and new organizational structures.
Parks Associates believes that the integration of these new approaches into existing care models will require significant coordination along the entire healthcare value chain. That said, it's all good progress.