Infographic – The digitisation of patient treatment and monitoring

By Katerina Mansour - 10 November 2020

The digitisation of patient treatment, monitoring and support processes is growing. An increasing number of healthcare providers, health insurers and patients are embracing digital tools to help manage health.

Several trends stand out, such as the use of at-home testing kits to monitor the evolution of a condition, or the use of wearables to monitor vital signs. While there is still work to be done for adoption rates to increase, especially for patients who are still wary of new healthcare technology, the data is promising so far.

Digitising medical treatment definition and advice

A 2018 Accenture survey in England showed that 45% of respondents were most likely to use AI in order to diagnose a health condition and find the right treatment. The most popular answer, with 64% of votes, was the use of devices at home to test blood for a variety of indicators. 42% of respondents also showed interest in the use of AI to receive advice and predictions on long-term health risks.

Professionals in the healthcare sector have also been showing promising adoption signs. A survey showed that 77% of respondents in the healthcare sector were leveraging or planning to leverage AI to assist in clinical decision making. 41% also mentioned the use of AI to advance personalised treatment.

Growing adoption of telemedicine

Remote patient monitoring has also become increasingly popular for healthcare professionals. When piloting telemedicine with a group of 1.256 cardiac patients, Partners HealthCare saw a 51% reduction in hospital readmissions related to heart failure. They saved a total of $10.3 million. On the patient side of things, monitoring one’s health through the use of wearable devices is becoming widespread. Indeed, surveys have shown that around 80% of consumers are willing to wear smart-watches that measure health data. 44% feel more in control of their health thanks to their wearable devices. Furthermore, a Deloitte survey showed that 85% of millennials believe wearable trackers have had a significant impact in changing their behaviours. Growing adoption is further shown by market growth: the medical wearables market is expected to reach a value of $37.6 billion by 2025, versus $12.7 billion in 2019.

Teleconsultations also play an important role in the digitisation of patient treatment. The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed adoption rates for remote video consultations. In France, 3/4 of general practitioners provide video consultations now, whereas only 5% of them did before the pandemic. In the United States, usage of video consultations went from 11% in 2019 to 46% around May 2020. These consultations can be key both to help diagnose health conditions and monitor an ongoing issue or treatment.

Digital solutions enabling long-term healthcare support

Lastly, medical support has also seen increasing digitisation. Indeed, finding a treating and monitoring a condition are not the only important factors. Once under treatment, a patient needs to monitor its effectiveness and ensure medication is taken according to instructions. Accenture’s survey showed English consumers are highly interested in receiving digital reminders for medication intake.

They also want reminders to do things that will help keep them stay healthy, such as exercise. Daily support in managing an ongoing health issue was the third most popular response. It’s no surprise that living with a health condition can be daunting both psychologically and physically. Research has shown that in the US, 42% of cancer patients also struggle with depression. Online communities and support groups play a major role in helping patients deal with their condition and its impact on their lives.

Ultimately, it seems the Covid-19 will help further accentuate the already existing growth in digital health. An increasing number of doctors need to monitor their patients remotely, due to lockdown measures or to their vulnerability to the virus. A wide array of startups provide valuable tools and solutions for this sector, as showcased in our infographic below.

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