Harnessing Technology to Improve Health Care

By Guest Author  |  Posted 2016-04-06 Email Print this article Print
Tech Improves Health Care

Nowhere is technology poised to have a greater impact than in the health care and life sciences space, where innovations are yielding huge benefits for patients.

Analytics Technologies Enable Innovation

Health care analytics are expected to reach $19 billion by 2020. Analytics technologies enable companies to innovate regarding detection and diagnostics, generating services and tools that optimize patient outcomes, as recently announced by Boston Scientific and Accenture. Big data and analytics capabilities process vast amounts of data rapidly to enable individualized interventions at the point of care.

Patient monitoring, adherence programs, outreach and predictive analytics can help providers understand health risks and deliver appropriate solutions—targeted medicines. As widely reported, Pfizer is using big data to tailor treatments to specific populations by combining genomic data with electronic medical records data from clinical trials.

Self-diagnosing wearables and other devices can help prepare patients for informed discussions with a provider. While smartwatches already offer health tracking, in the next three to five years, other devices will be integrated into existing consumer products—contact lens, mirrors and scales. They will track health stats across any condition.

In addition, technology can improve patient drug adherence. Services rooted in technology will help patients stay on top of their medication regimens. Health-oriented platforms—such as Wii Fit, the social network app Fitocracy, and the medication adherence platform HealthPrize—incorporate gamification tactics that keep users engaged.

Health care technology assets can help companies connect with patients, providers and payers. Electronic records and mobile devices, which interconnect through lower-cost cloud-based networks and sensors, can monitor patient behavior and medication adherence.

Recent Accenture research found that 58 percent of patients use pharmaceutical services when they are aware of them. Sales representatives can offer patient-focused services, access and discharge programs, and other patient-oriented solutions that go beyond product selling. In addition, digital technology enables patients to contact providers that offer telemedicine services.  

Nowhere is technology poised to have more of an impact than in the health care and life sciences space, where innovations are yielding tremendous benefits for patients. Companies are connected to a digital fabric and a global network that will touch all aspects of their business and impact patient outcomes—for the better.

Tom Schwenger is a senior managing director at Accenture and the Life Sciences North America Client Service Group lead. He has more than 25 years of experience developing, managing and deploying large-scale technology systems, business processes and strategies for life sciences companies.


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