The healthcare sector spans across a wide range of organizations. It consists of patient-facing public or private healthcare services, hospitals, and the insurance companies that serve them. Meanwhile, medical equipment companies, pharmaceutical businesses, and biotechnology organizations are the all-important operational and scientific arms of healthcare that make its services possible.
At both ends of the sector, healthcare is experiencing rapid innovation, driven by developing knowledge, technology, and rising consumer demand for more advanced customer experiences.
What is patient centric healthcare?
Patient centric healthcare is an approach that prioritizes individual patients and their expectations, empowering organizations to put them at the centre of everything.
This spans from the data or devices used by pharma companies as they work on a new drug, to the level of personalization health professionals use to directly treat their patients.
Today, patients are no longer just passive consumers. They’re customers who are actively engaged in the treatment and services they receive. A recent 2019 study found that 75% of consumers want the same experience in healthcare as they do in other industries, highlighting why customer experience is a key driver pushing innovation for the healthcare sector.
Examples of patient centric healthcare
The growing consumer economy has led to greater levels of consumer choice, and patients have a variety of information sources to choose from. Although 'good health' isn't a standardized and marketable service to sell consumers like in other industries, more choice has created greater demand for a better healthcare experience, despite the fact care plans or treatments are usually explicit. However, it's apt to question why this is.
Put simply, other industries are already providing personalized experiences for their customers. The healthcare sectors biggest customer, the patient, is now accustomed to personalized and collaborative experiences in every facet of their life, so the industry must keep up.
That's why experts suggest that healthcare services, much like a business, can’t rely on their products or service delivery – they must compete on healthcare experience to fulfil patient needs. In recent years, the emergence of greater patient-centricity awareness has led to more of the following practices:
- Customizing healthcare plans for the patient
- Including individual patient preferences
- Fostering long-term doctor-patient relationships
- Fulfilling comfort and patient needs at every touchpoint
However, patient-centricity extends into the other arms of the industry too. Innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) and data science has given the sector greater power to produce better digital journeys, automate care pathways, and improve operational efficiency.
More so, better healthcare data insights can help organizations, from biopharma to insurance companies, to reduce risk and improve efficiency. So, what are the key drivers of this innovation?
The drivers of patient centric healthcare
Technology and the digitalization of healthcare monitoring has streamlined the methods we use to track our health. Think wearables, sensors, and other mobile technologies that capture our personal health data, meaning patients have access to more data than ever.
With greater autonomy over how they monitor health, digitalization has transformed everyday people into regular consumers of healthcare data.
In turn, this has influenced typical patient behaviour. 73% of consumers believe wearables are beneficial to understanding their health condition, demonstrating a growing number of healthcare customers who actively seek new possibilities to monitor health. With more people engaged in health monitoring, the industry is likely to experience demand for enhanced healthcare experiences, such as personalized health plans.
With greater access to healthcare data comes better patient knowledge.
Contemporary healthcare consumers are more engaged in learning about their healthcare options than ever before. Thanks to digitalization, they source information not just from their nearest doctor, but from the internet, qualified experts, or home testings kits. This provides them with a better overview of their healthcare choices, care pathway options, and costs.
According to Deloitte's healthcare consumer study, this increase in consumer choice means that modern-day patients value convenient, timely, cost-effective, and high-quality healthcare experience.
Now, providers must compete on experience, as future patients are more likely to question the care plans they're given. Consumers expect the same level of personalization as they receive in other aspects of their life and individuality has become synonymous with better quality of care. Customizable or personalized healthcare plans are now necessary to meet the demands of this new wave of knowledgeable consumers.
Artificial intelligence and data science
To keep up with growing consumer choice, healthcare professionals must utilize technology to continue providing innovative healthcare experiences. Key to aiding this process is artificial intelligence (AI).
To achieve patient-centricity, the healthcare sector must bridge the gap between consumer demand and the services they provide. This goes beyond what they've traditionally delivered.
AI can identify solutions more quickly and efficiently than ever before. By automating processes, large amounts of data can be processed faster and more accurately.
For example, pharmaceutical organizations can speed up the process of drug development by harnessing machine learning to model biological processes. This allows them to identify new potential-candidate molecules with a high probability of being successfully developed.
Using this method, pharma can reach conclusions sooner and deliver faster outcomes in the healthcare industry. Of course, greater patient-centricity doesn't just remain in the realm of patient-facing services. It starts from the development of healthcare solutions and must be integrated throughout the healthcare delivery process to bridge the gap between patient expectations and what healthcare providers can achieve.
Our knowledge of genetics
Modern-day healthcare professionals have more knowledge regarding human genetics than ever before. Thanks to pioneering research and innovations in technology, they can now quickly infer deeper insights into an individual patient's genetic makeup, allowing them to create custom treatment and care plans that are tailored to each patient.
By assessing what treatment is most appropriate for each person, care plans can be more effective and responsive to individual needs. Healthcare professionals can use patient genetics to understand how a treatment can affect a patient or be changed on a person-by-person basis, based on factors such as their existing genes or genetic predisposition.
In the future, this form of tailored treatments based on genetics could be routinely applied to anyone receiving healthcare, whether they're on the advice, treatment, or aftercare stage. Overall, it's clear that greater knowledge of human genetics, and thus the ability to provide personalized healthcare is a significant factor that's driving and will continue to drive greater patient-centricity in the future.
Patient-centricity enables better healthcare outcomes
New technology, such as artificial intelligence solutions, enable healthcare businesses to develop their services to meet patients' expectations. From digitalization to consumer choice, learn more about why AI is a vital driver of creating patient centric experiences in the healthcare sector in our free whitepaper.