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The Promise of Technology
The World Wants Radically Different Health Care

If most people globally had their way, hospitals as we know them would cease to exist, and health care would be highly personalized. This week Intel Corporation released a global study on the attitudes towards the future of health care service delivery, surveying people Brazil, China, France, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, and the US. Forbes summarizes some of the key findings:

– Traditional hospitals, according to 57% of people, will be obsolete in the future

– Majority of people (84%) would be willing to share their personal health information to advance and lower costs in the health care system

– More than 70% of people are receptive to using toilet sensors, prescription bottle sensors and swallowed health monitors

– 72% of those surveyed would be willing to see a doctor via video conference for non-urgent appointments

– 66% of people say they would prefer a care regimen that is designed specifically for them based on their genetic profile or biology

– More than half of people (53%) would trust a test they personally administered as much or more than if that same test was performed by a doctor

Of course, the people who took this survey are in no special position to guide health care developments, nor do they have any expert background knowledge that would allow them to accurately predict the future of health care. But many of these questions dealt with what individuals themselves want or will accept in health care, and in that respect the survey is pretty useful. It shows a big pent-up demand for a vastly different type of system than we currently have: one that is more DIY, less hospital and doctor-centric, more personalized, and characterized by smarter use of technology and better service delivery. Moreover, they show that worldwide people are willing to take on the extra responsibilities or novelties that would come with that system.

This is where we need to be putting much more of our health care reform energy: not in tinkering with top-down payment mechanisms and insurance but working to make the Intel survey predictions become a reality. The closer we can come to realizing that vision, the cheaper, more efficient, and more open to reform our health care system will be.

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  • qet

    Answering survey questions and living with the reality are two entirely different things. These same people would complain roundly were they required to see a doctor via video or if their shared personal info was used by spammers or more nefarious types. What they really men by these answers is: “I would not object to a health care system that relied on video visits so long as I could always see a doctor in person when I wanted to.” Honestly, that serious people still call it “research” and “science” when conclusions on important matters are drawn from statistical treatements of answers to surveys is just mind boggling. This is just like the ACA. its flaws were trumpted and known in general and, in some cases, specific terms prior to passage and immediately afterward. Surveys still showed all kinds of “support” for it. Now that it is a reality people are having to actually deal with, they hate it.

    • Kevin

      I am skeptical for the my skepticism comes from the other end. Around the world health care is more and more the concern of government budgets and regulations. The future of health care will be drive. By what governments want and permit, not what consumers want, or so I fear.

  • Andrew Allison

    Hospitals are where one goes for treatment, doctor’s office and labs for diagnosis, which is what the questions are all about. If there is a conclusion to be drawn from this report, it is that first-line medical care, not hospitals, is the endangered species.

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