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:
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:
59% of U.S. healthcare consumers want their digital healthcare experience to mirror retail.
74% of millennial patients value the ability to book appointments and pay bills online.
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:
- Identify patient needs
- Uncover evolving needs by employing self-reporting to understand patterns of change
- Meet patient needs by enabling connected services for predictive interventions
- 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.
|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.
The Future of Nanotechnology in Medicine
This infographic highlights some of the most promising nanotechnology breakthroughs in medicine, from ‘smart pills’ to targeted cancer treatment.
The Future of Nanotechnology in Medicine
Around the world, researchers are increasingly thinking smaller to solve some of the biggest problems in medicine.
Though most biological processes happen at the nano level, it wasn’t until recently that new technological advancements helped in opening up the possibility of nanomedicine to healthcare researchers and professionals.
Today’s infographic, which comes to us from Best Health Degrees, highlights some of the most promising research in nanomedicine.
What is Nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular level. The field combines elements of physics and molecular chemistry with engineering to take advantage of unique properties that occur at nanoscale.
One practical example of this technology is the use of tiny carbon nanotubes to transport drugs to specific cells. Not only do these nanotubes have low toxicity and a stable structure, they’re an ideal container for transporting drugs directly to the desired cells.
Small Systems, Big Applications
While many people will be most familiar with nanotech as the technology powering Iron Man’s suit, real world breakthroughs at the nanoscale will soon be saving lives in healthcare.
Here are a few ways nanotechnology is shaping the future of medical treatment:
1. Smart Pills
While smart pill technology is not a new idea — a “pill cam” was cleared by the FDA in 2001 — researchers are coming up with innovative new applications for the concept.
For example, MIT researchers designed an ingestible sensor pill that can be wirelessly controlled. The pill would be a “closed-loop monitoring and treatment” solution, adjusting the dosage of a particular drug based on data gathered within the body (e.g. gastrointestinal system).
An example of this technology in action is the recent FDA-approved smart pill that records when medication was taken. The product, which is approved for people living with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, allows patients to track their own medication history through a smartphone, or to authorize physicians and caregivers to access that information online.
2. Beating the Big C
Nearly 40% of humans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime, so any breakthrough in cancer treatment will have a widespread impact on society.
On the key issues with conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatments is that the body’s healthy cells can become collateral damage during the process. For this reason, researchers around the world are working on using nano particles to specifically target cancer cells.
Oncology-related drugs have the highest forecasted worldwide prescription drug sales, and targeting will be a key element in the effectiveness of these powerful new drugs.
Medical implants — such as knee and hip replacements — have improved the lives of millions, but a common problem with these implants is the risk of post-surgery inflammation and infection. In many cases, symptoms from an infection are detected so late that treatment is less effective, or the implant will need to be replaced all together.
Nanoscale sensors embedded directly into the implant or surrounding area could detect infection much sooner. As targeted drug delivery becomes more feasible, it could be possible to administer treatment to an infected area at the first sign of infection.
Examples like this show the true promise of nanotechnology in the field of medicine. Before long, gathering data from within the body and administering treatments in real-time could move from science fiction to the real world.
10,000 years ago, man domesticated plants and animals, now it’s time to domesticate molecules.
– Professor Susan Lindquist
Visualizing Healthcare Spending by Country
Healthcare spending can be measured as a proportion of GDP, by admin costs, and per capita—and the United States comes in first in every category.
How Much Do OECD Countries Spend on Healthcare?
When you start feeling ill, the first line of defense is typically to have a doctor assess the symptoms—but how much you end up paying for a visit differs greatly by region.
Today’s interactive visualization was created by HealthDataViz consultant Lindsay Betzendahl, who also founded #ProjectHealthViz. The data considers how healthcare spending by country stacks up across the 36 Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) members, and how it has changed since 2010.
One thing is clear—the United States comes in first place in each category, but that’s not necessarily a good thing:
|🇺🇸 United States||🌐 OECD Average|
|Healthcare Spending (% of GDP)||16.9% (#1)||8.8%|
|Admin Costs as % of Health Spend||8.3% (#1)*||~3%|
|Per Capita Prices (Current PPPs, USD)||$10,586 (#1)||$3,992|
*Although Costa Rica’s figure was higher in 2016, more recent data is not yet available.
Let’s look at each individual cost category, to see what else we can learn.
What Portion of GDP Goes Towards Health?
Population health is a strong determinant in quality of life. As such, how much a country spends on healthcare as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) can be an important indicator.
The U.S. spends 16.9% of GDP on its healthcare, nearly double the OECD average of 8.8%. That’s also over 4 percentage points (p.p.) above Switzerland, which ranks second with 12.2% healthcare spending by GDP.
The problem? While Switzerland consistently ranks as having one of the best healthcare systems in the world, the U.S. lags behind—which means that expenditures are not always translating into better health outcomes for patients.
Where’s the Money Going?
Looking after the health of millions of people is a lot of work, and this is where spending on healthcare administration and financing comes into play. Funds are allocated to medical resource providers, who manage everything from health records to salaries and insurance bills.
The U.S. spends about 8.3% of its total healthcare expenditures on these complex costs today, which is a marginal increase from 7.5% in 2010. Interestingly, Costa Rica’s healthcare spending on the same metric was even higher in 2016, at 9.5% of the total.
On the bright side, Mexico has been making strides in the past few years: administrative spending plunged from 10.3% in 2013, down to 4.6% in 2017.
Globally, advancements in health-tech are helping to reduce costs by streamlining tedious processes. However, it’s still not enough—and these immense costs trickle down to patients.
How Much Does Each Person Shell Out?
Over the past eight years, a majority of OECD countries have seen their healthcare spending per capita climb, with Luxembourg and Greece being the only exceptions. The average OECD country’s spend was $3,992 per capita in 2018, up from $3,080 in 2010—nearly a 30% increase.
However, the U.S. experiences the most dramatic sticker shock by far. At $10,586 per head, the U.S. average is already more than double the OECD average. What’s more, this is a 33.3% increase from $7,939 in healthcare spending per capita in 2010.
As the U.S. healthcare reform debate around prices and quality of care rages on, it’s important to remember that healthy people are the backbone of any country’s long-term economic growth.
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