Shift in the system: health 24/7
Medical treatment is becoming mobile, moving away from the doctor's office and hospital and taking place everywhere: at home, in the supermarket, at work, at the airport and at school. What does this mean for patients?
The following text is based on the GDI study "Next Health", that can be downloaded free of charge on our website.
COVID-19 has given telemedicine a boost. Medical treatment became mobile. It was no longer tethered to a medical practice, hospital or pharmacy. It could take place anywhere: at home, at the supermarket, at work, at the airport or at school. It is becoming easier and easier to collect data in a decentralised manner, consult medical specialists online and order medications directly. In more and more cases, an in-person visit to a medical practice is being reserved for severe illnesses and emergencies.
Thanks to smart technology, telemedicine could increasingly be used even in emergencies in the future. It is even possible that more and more health-related irregularities will be detected without the affected person feeling unwell. For instance, cardiac arrhythmias could be identified based on photos or on biodata from a smart watch.
There will be a shift in the distribution of tasks among service providers and patients. Digitalisation will make it possible for patients to undergo even complex diagnostics and treatments from home in a decentralised manner. They could carry out the necessary diagnostics or treatments by themselves or with the help of relatives or nurses. For patients, a DIY approach means more self-determination, but also more responsibility. This often goes hand in hand with uncertainty and a feeling of being overwhelmed.
Telemedicine works. It is practical and benefits patients and doctors, who thus have more capacity and can treat more people.