From banking to retail to, now, healthcare – today, no industry can ignore the customer demands for personalised service. And make no mistake; the patient is now the customer.
As patients assume their rightful role as consumers of healthcare, personalisation is becoming a topic of concerned conversation in the healthcare circuit as well. This move towards personalisation is driven by growing patient expectations and the fact that they want to have an active say in the decisions about their health.
In a highly competitive market, healthcare providers are also eagerly seeking opportunities to increase patient satisfaction by engaging with them in meaningful ways and provide elevated patient experiences. The route to that goal may be through personalisation.
The personalisation of healthcare is a sign that signals a shift in the manner of healthcare dissemination. Technological advancements in the healthcare landscape, the extensive use of data, increased computing power, and mobility are elements aiding personalisation. But why look at personalisation? Here are some of the benefits:
Healthcare is no longer about going to the doctor when you are sick. Healthcare has taken a more holistic approach and is now becoming more focused on being preventive and wellness-focused. The logic is clear – focus on health and wellness and take a proactive approach towards the management of health to avoid health risks and disease.
Personalised healthcare takes a proactive approach to healthcare and helps patients become more invested in their own well-being. By accessing complete patient data and medical history, healthcare providers can make better treatment plans, proactively, and take a wellness-focused approach to help people manage their health better.
Personalisation is data-driven. With access to the relevant patient data, healthcare providers can perform advanced analytics to identify the markers to reduce hospital readmission rates. Identifying the early indicators of health concerns can help doctors recommend better patient-specific interventions to improve patient prognoses. This helps in reducing readmission rates by ensuring the right treatment is administered early taking all health concerns and variables into hand.
With personalisation, healthcare providers can improve health outcomes since they can more capably identify if the patients are at risk for any other condition. For example, a person in need of a hip surgery might not know that they are at risk to develop a myocardial infarction later, especially if they do not present the obvious symptoms. However, by drawing out personalised insights from health data, healthcare providers can get access to such relevant information that can impact patient outcomes and reduce readmissions.
Chronic conditions such as heart disease can be managed better with personalisation. Healthcare applications collect valuable health data that can be used for care planning. This improves the ability of the patient to self-manage conditions. Instead of the illness driving the patient, it is the patient who manages the illness.
Chronic diseases are increasing at an alarming rate, impacting the quality of life of the patients. Instead of taking a reactive approach to disease management, personalised healthcare helps patients become more proactive towards health management. The personalised approach would include providing the right information to the patient, designed for specific relevance. It also helps healthcare providers track patient journeys and provide timely interventions when needed.
Many patients, such as those suffering from heart disease or new mothers, need concerted post-hospitalisation care once they are out of the hospital environment. Hospitals and medical centres are often better avoided for vulnerable patients. This is even truer as the COVID-19 pandemic plays havoc in the world.
Personalised healthcare can come to the rescue here. Personalisation helps improve the quality of care and the entire healthcare care continuum. By leveraging the right healthcare platform, healthcare providers can provide proactive ‘out-of-hospital’ specialist care, enable remote patient monitoring and management, track patient journeys, and ensure timely intervention when required. Better health outcomes become a natural consequence of these efforts.
Personalisation in healthcare helps in providing clear and immediate value to the patient. This, obviously, contributes greatly to improve the quality of care. Personalisation helps healthcare professionals engage with patients with contextual and relevant information that is specific to their condition, interests, and preferences. They can send timely reminders, help people follow customised treatment plans, and also help people become more invested in their health management by pointing them towards relevant resources.
A proactive and contextual approach to managing and monitoring health conditions assists in providing clear and immediate value. It, ultimately, creates stronger connections between healthcare providers and patients.
Many people might associate personalisation with eCommerce sites like Amazon and other such retailers. They love that experience because it is designed with them in mind. However, if we take a careful look, we can see that this technology is a perfect fit for the healthcare sector too. People want someone to help them with “their” health problems, and these digital technologies can be used to personalise a patient’s healthcare experience in just that context. It’s time for all healthcare providers to know how to connect the dots to deliver an elevated and personalised healthcare experience.