Infographic: The Amazonification of Healthcare
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The Amazonification of Healthcare

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Navigating Transformative Forces in HealthcareHow Big Data Will Unlock the Potential of HealthcareHow Tech is Changing How Healthcare Must Communicate With PatientsThe Amazonification of HealthcareHow Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Clinical Trial RecruitmentEHR as a GPS for HealthcareMillennial Doctors Transforming Medicine

The Amazonification of Healthcare

The Amazonification of Healthcare

The digital age is no longer about just the product – it’s equally about the customer experience.

In turn, businesses are competing on their ability to deliver quantifiable results to empowered consumers, who are:

  • Informed
  • Proactive
  • Demanding
  • Discerning
  • Cost-conscious

Naturally, empowered consumers have high expectations of the services and brands they choose to integrate into their lives – and Amazon’s buying experience, which is ultra-fast, convenient, innovative, and driven by user reviews, is the perfect example of this trend in action.

This “Amazonification effect” is transforming every industry from retail to finance – and the healthcare industry is now set to change forever for both consumers and businesses.

Dreams of Amazonification

Today’s infographic comes to us from Publicis Health, and it shows the shift occurring in the healthcare space to a new outcome-based economy that is powered by an increasingly digital and data-driven experience.

It’s also led by the millennial generation, a group that is seeing buying power finally line up with their influence. These digital natives see no reason for the healthcare experience to be stuck in its old ways – they demand a fast, digital, convenient, and quantified version of healthcare along with ongoing relationships.

The ideal healthcare experience for this group looks something like this:

Convenient access
59% of U.S. healthcare consumers want their digital healthcare experience to mirror retail.

Digital channels
74% of millennial patients value the ability to book appointments and pay bills online.

Ongoing relationship
48% of healthcare consumers want to partner with their healthcare providers for personalized treatment.

Treating patients more like retail consumers will be a paradigm shift for healthcare – and it will require companies to invest in areas like big data to complete the patient experience.

An Ongoing Relationship

The patient-healthcare provider relationship is ever-changing.

As consumer demands grow, there is also an increased pressure on healthcare providers and pharma businesses to deliver. Patients no longer accept being told what they need, instead wanting to take more control of their health.

A more connected relationship with their healthcare provider can help achieve this goal. It’s made up of four components:

  1. Identify patient needs
  2. Uncover evolving needs by employing self-reporting to understand patterns of change
  3. Meet patient needs by enabling connected services for predictive interventions
  4. Match real life experience to treatment decisions, by using data to get a 360-degree of the patient

This can lead not only to a better patient care experience, but also better outcomes.

The Supportive Care Trifecta

An effective supportive care platform simplifies the many moving pieces that must come together in the patient care process. It leverages the following trifecta:

1. Service design
Connects services and workflows for optimal end-to-end experience, while also giving patients with the resources to engage with their own healthcare.

2. Technology activation
Backbone for delivering patient care to each stakeholder that is supported by artificial intelligence (AI) technology for a seamless experience.

3. Data intelligence
Right dashboards contribute to unearth analytic insights, revealing unique patient stories for strategic, tailored treatment.

Connecting humans with health systems, a supportive care platform links all players and workflows involved. The result? Quantifiable outcomes, and a clear return on investment.

Adopting big data in healthcare can yield:

  • 20%-30% in cost savings
  • 35% rise in patient access
  • 20% improvement in outcomes
  • 30% growth in revenue

Why it Matters

The supportive care platform drives business value by aligning collective commitments of key players in the healthcare industry.

StakeholderValue Outcomes
Patient- Improved awareness
- Better engagement
- Personalized experience
- Increased survival rates
- Better quality of life
Healthcare providers- Better delivery
- Improved efficiency
- Improved efficacy
- Reduced hospitalization rates
- More efficient, successful treatment
- Increased use of resources
Pharma- Leading customer and patient insight
- Improved customer and patient credibility
- Improved adherence
- Detailed understanding of patients

The evolving needs of healthcare consumers call for building long-term relationships between patients and healthcare providers.

With the disruptive solution of an intelligence-powered care system, pharma companies can further these ongoing relationships and advance both patient and business outcomes.

This is part four of a seven part series. Stay tuned by subscribing to Visual Capitalist for free, as we go into these six forces in more detail in the future.

Navigating Transformative Forces in HealthcareHow Big Data Will Unlock the Potential of HealthcareHow Tech is Changing How Healthcare Must Communicate With PatientsThe Amazonification of HealthcareHow Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Clinical Trial RecruitmentEHR as a GPS for HealthcareMillennial Doctors Transforming Medicine

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Explainer: What to Know About Monkeypox

What is monkeypox, and what risk does it pose to the public? This infographic breaks down the symptoms, transmission, and more.

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Explainer: What to Know About Monkeypox

The COVID-19 pandemic is still fresh in the minds of the people around the world, so it comes as no surprise that recent outbreaks of another virus are grabbing headlines.

Monkeypox outbreaks have now been reported in multiple countries, and it has scientists paying close attention. For everyone else, numerous questions come to the surface:

  • How serious is this virus?
  • How contagious is it?
  • Could monkeypox develop into a new pandemic?

Below, we answer these questions and more.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a virus in the Orthopoxvirus genus which also includes the variola virus (which causes smallpox) and the cowpox virus. The primary symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a distinctive bumpy rash.

There are two major strains of the virus that pose very different risks:

  • Congo Basin strain: 1 in 10 people infected with this strain have died
  • West African strain: Approximately 1 in 100 people infected with this strain died

At the moment, health authorities in the UK have indicated they’re seeing the milder strain in patients there.

Where did Monkeypox Originate From?

The virus was originally discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in monkeys kept for research purposes (hence the name). Eventually, the virus made the jump to humans more than a decade after its discovery in 1958.

It is widely assumed that vaccination against another similar virus, smallpox, helped keep monkeypox outbreaks from occurring in human populations. Ironically, the successful eradication of smallpox, and eventual winding down of that vaccine program, has opened the door to a new viral threat. There is now a growing population of people who no longer have immunity against the virus.

Now that travel restrictions are lifting in many parts of the world, viruses are now able to hop between nations again. As of the publishing of this article, a handful of cases have now been reported in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and a number of European countries.

On the upside, contact tracing has helped authorities piece together the transmission of the virus. While cases are rare in Europe and North America, it is considered endemic in parts of West Africa. For example, the World Health Organization reports that Nigeria has experienced over 550 reported monkeypox cases from 2017 to today. The current UK outbreak originated from an individual who returned from a trip to Nigeria.

Could Monkeypox become a new pandemic?

Monkeypox, which primarily spreads through animal-to-human interaction, is not known to spread easily between humans. Most individuals infected with monkeypox pass the virus to between zero and one person, so outbreaks typically fizzle out. For this reason, the fact that outbreaks are occurring in several countries simultaneously is concerning for health authorities and organizations that monitor viral transmission. Experts are entertaining the possibility that the virus’ rate of transmission has increased.

Images of people covered in monkeypox lesions are shocking, and people are understandably concerned by this virus, but the good news is that members of the general public have little to fear at this stage.

I think the risk to the general public at this point, from the information we have, is very, very low.
–Tom Inglesby, Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

» For up-to-date information on monkeypox cases, check out Global.Health’s tracking spreadsheet

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Healthcare

Visualizing How COVID-19 Antiviral Pills and Vaccines Work at the Cellular Level

Despite tackling the same disease, vaccines and antiviral pills work differently to combat COVID-19. We visualize how they work in the body.

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Current Strategies to Tackle COVID-19

Since the pandemic started in 2020, a number of therapies have been developed to combat COVID-19.

The leading options for preventing infection include social distancing, mask-wearing, and vaccination. They are still recommended during the upsurge of the coronavirus’s latest mutation, the Omicron variant.

But in December 2021, The United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization to two experimental pills for the treatment of new COVID-19 cases.

These medications, one made by Pfizer and the other by Merck & Co., hope to contribute to the fight against the coronavirus and its variants. Alongside vaccinations, they may help to curb extreme cases of COVID-19 by reducing the need for hospitalization.

Despite tackling the same disease, vaccines and pills work differently:

VaccinesPills
Taken by injectionTaken by mouth
Used for prevention Used for treatment only
Create an enhanced immune system by stimulating antibody productionDisrupt the assembly of new viral particles

How a Vaccine Helps Prevent COVID-19

The main purpose of a vaccine is to prewarn the body of a potential COVID-19 infection by creating antibodies that target and destroy the coronavirus.

In order to do this, the immune system needs an antigen.

It’s difficult to do this risk-free since all antigens exist directly on a virus. Luckily, vaccines safely expose antigens to our immune systems without the dangerous parts of the virus.

In the case of COVID-19, the coronavirus’s antigen is the spike protein that covers its outer surface. Vaccines inject antigen-building instructions* and use our own cellular machinery to build the coronavirus antigen from scratch.

When exposed to the spike protein, the immune system begins to assemble antigen-specific antibodies. These antibodies wait for the opportunity to attack the real spike protein when a coronavirus enters the body. Since antibodies decrease over time, booster immunizations help to maintain a strong line of defense.

*While different vaccine technologies exist, they all do a similar thing: introduce an antigen and build a stronger immune system.

How COVID Antiviral Pills Work

Antiviral pills, unlike vaccines, are not a preventative strategy. Instead, they treat an infected individual experiencing symptoms from the virus.

Two drugs are now entering the market. Merck & Co.’s Lagevrio®, composed of one molecule, and Pfizer’s Paxlovid®, composed of two.

These medications disrupt specific processes in the viral assembly line to choke the virus’s ability to replicate.

The Mechanism of Molnupiravir

RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase (RdRp) is a cellular component that works similar to a photocopying machine for the virus’s genetic instructions. An infected host cell is forced to produce RdRp, which starts generating more copies of the virus’s RNA.

Molnupiravir, developed by Merck & Co., is a polymerase inhibitor. It inserts itself into the viral instructions that RdRp is copying, jumbling the contents. The RdRp then produces junk.

The Mechanism of Nirmatrelvir + Ritonavir

A replicating virus makes proteins necessary for its survival in a large, clumped mass called a polyprotein. A cellular component called a protease cuts a virus’s polyprotein into smaller, workable pieces.

Pfizer’s antiviral medication is a protease inhibitor made of two pills:

  1. The first pill, nirmatrelvir, stops protease from cutting viral products into smaller pieces.
  2. The second pill, ritonavir, protects nirmatrelvir from destruction by the body and allows it to keep working.

With a faulty polymerase or a large, unusable polyprotein, antiviral medications make it difficult for the coronavirus to replicate. If treated early enough, they can lessen the virus’s impact on the body.

The Future of COVID Antiviral Pills and Medications

Antiviral medications seem to have a bright future ahead of them.

COVID-19 antivirals are based on early research done on coronaviruses from the 2002-04 SARS-CoV and the 2012 MERS-CoV outbreaks. Current breakthroughs in this technology may pave the way for better pharmaceuticals in the future.

One half of Pfizer’s medication, ritonavir, currently treats many other viruses including HIV/AIDS.

Gilead Science is currently developing oral derivatives of remdesivir, another polymerase inhibitor currently only offered to inpatients in the United States.

More coronavirus antivirals are currently in the pipeline, offering a glimpse of control on the looming presence of COVID-19.

Author’s Note: The medical information in this article is an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please talk to your doctor before undergoing any treatment for COVID-19. If you become sick and believe you may have symptoms of COVID-19, please follow the CDC guidelines.

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