There are many opportunities for new technology to disrupt the way healthcare is delivered, but widespread adoption that will result in the real change our system needs won’t happen unless the pace of adoption picks up. Although technology, especially mobile hardware, becomes more prevalent and powerful, there are still huge gaps in broadband access, the availability of such digital tools to caregivers, and information
about what is possible.
For example, the Pew Internet & American Life Project, for example, reported demography often dictates Internet access: only 55% of Latinos and 46% of African-Americans have a home Internet connection versus 65% of White people.
Furthermore, 78% of those earning more than $75,000 per year go online for healthcare information, versus only 45% of those making less than $30,000.
At a panel on the influence of patient behavior on changes in healthcare, the heads of a couple healthcare startups weighed in. “If Facebook or the iPhone had started marketing to my parents first, they wouldn’t have taken off,” said Dr. Jay Parkinson, co-founder of Sherpaa, a benefits company.
He added that the government’s involvement keeps the economics of healthcare slow, but by keeping early adopters happy, his company hopes to gradually increase their reach and change the system.
Derek Flanzraich, founder of health and fitness content website Greatist, added that partnering with trusted brands was another way to break into the industry. He explained that by connecting important health news to popular culture, his company was educating users of the healthcare system and giving them the knowledge to push for more.
And of course, there’s an opportunity for big data to help with the challenge of bringing advances in healthcare to more people: a report submitted to the a White House Summit on “health equity” offered recommendations from ethnic-focused consumer groups oh how healthcare technology can reduce imbalances, such as emphasizing mobile technology.
The hardware and software being developed today has the power to change, and even save, lives around the world, but they aren’t the total solution. Technology will never have the opportunity to improve healthcare delivery if patients and caregivers don’t provide financial solutions to enable access and allow the broad population to benefit from it. To learn more about NFS Leasing, please visit http://www.nfsleasing.com.
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