The majority of Canadians say they believe “connected care technology,” such as remote blood and heart monitors, mobile health apps and wearable fitness devices, are a way to improve care across the health continuum, according to a study across 19 countries conducted by Philips.
Overall, both healthcare professionals and the general public said that this tech plays a significant role in improving treatment of medical issues (94 percent and 83 percent), diagnosis of medical conditions (87 percent and 82 percent) and home care services (82 percent and 78 percent). In particular, survey correspondents said patient data needs to be more securely stored and shared between healthcare professionals and hospitals.
“The healthcare challenges we face in Canada are real and imminent,” said Iain Burns, CEO of Philips Canada. “With an aging population, rise in chronic diseases and continually escalating costs, innovative solutions such as connected care technology are crucial to help healthcare providers manage costs while improving patient care and outcomes.”
However, Canadians and healthcare professionals said they believe connected care technologies aren’t incorporated often enough across the industry. Moreover, there is a significant amount of unfamiliarity with connected care tech, with less than half of healthcare professionals (46 percent) and just two in 10 Canadians (22 percent) saying they’re knowledgeable on the subject.
For its part, Philips says it’s working with partners to create new and efficient technology, such as Ontario healthcare provider Mackenzie Health.
“Connected care is critical to effectively manage a person’s health, both inside the hospital and at home,” said Altaf Stationwala, president and CEO of Mackenzie Health. “As exemplified in the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, the future of healthcare lies in connected care. Smart hospitals optimize available medical technology and interoperability to share data from one episode of care to another improving clinical outcomes for patients both inside the hospital and within communities.”
Connected care tech has already started to show its use in healthcare, such as with the Apple Watch’s helping to identify irregular heart conditions.
Image credit: Flickr – Ilmicrofono Oggiono