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We are undergoing a period of significant change in the world of healthcare. With technological acceleration failing to impose itself upon the industry and the mindset of its operators, it is at the same time breaking - and in many ways expanding - the mould, forcing existing workers to embrace the change and to try and seize any new opportunities that may arise.
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The current process is similar to the spread of a state-of-the-art technology, initially only accessible by professional markets given its complexity and cost, to semi-pro and consumer markets.
This trend could be described - to use a new expression, in the hope of rousing attention and maybe even a sense of urgency - as the Consumerization of Healthcare.
The process starts with access to medical information - now widely democratised by the vast number of possibilities created by the Internet, followed by wellness-based tracking devices that are becoming increasingly integrated with medical profiles. It then focuses on the future of self-diagnosis and self-healing.
It's a difficult road ahead but one filled with opportunity.
The strategic scenery is to change under many competing pressures:
- the juncture of the end of some important patents
- the new ability to self-determination and connecting of people
- the exponential acceleration of technology
These pressures are leading to what -in this whitepaper- we defined the consumerisation of healthcare.
Information, tracking, self-diagnosis and self-healing are the steps which, in rapid succession, are and will soon be taken on and subject to change. Today we're still in the early stages with ePatients, which, having inspired a whole new category of digital communication projects, is creating massive opportunities for innovation.
The health of the future will be determined by a greater number of actors and - at the same time- by a far more fragmented and distributed chain. The physical boundaries between the various actors, from pharmaceutical companies to the end user, through doctors, medical facilities and pharmacies, will see many overlaps; as in the case with the pharmacy that is becoming much more a consumer store that extends to the mobile realm just like its customers. In the same scenario, we can quickly locate and disintegreate important taboos, leading to the useful consideration that pharmacies provide care directly to patients through medical devices -even wearable ones.
This future is already, in large, here. To survive and prosper in this singularity, it is necessary to be completely converted to a digital approach and mindset - thinking about the evolutions in organizations and processes that are needed to be prepared to face the future that we are already experiencing.
The full "Healthcare Consumerization" whitepaper is available here