Back to the future…. healthcare in 2028

by Mike Antoniades, Founder & CEO, Alfa Healthcare Group, LLC

There is a tremendous “tide of change” evolving across the entire healthcare environment. Scientific, technological and potentially disruptive vertical integrations such as that of CVS/Aetna or United Health-Optum/DaVita Medical Group, Apple and its PHR aspirations, IBM Watson Health – Cognitive Healthcare Solutions, the recent announcement of the Amazon/Berkshire/JP Morgan partnership for a new healthcare company are just the beginning.

People talk about how slow the pace of innovation or change is in healthcare. Think about this: in 2009 fewer than 10% of hospitals had an Electronic Health Record (EHR). Fast forward to today (2028) and close to 100% of hospitals, physicians, and other provider organizations have a Basic EHR. Data that we have access to now just didn’t exist or was virtually impossible to garner less than ten years ago.

It is this convergence of data, scientific and technological advancements, as well as higher expectations from the buyers and users (employers, consumers, private insurers, government…) that is going to drive the change in healthcare; be it the delivery and cost of services, the science of medicine, or the discovery of treatments and cure of disease.

So, when a friend asked me what could healthcare look like in the next 5-10 years…

In the year 2028:

Access to care is a swipe away. Convenience enabled through “intelligent technology."

  • A dedicated health-team is assigned to me who coaches me, directs me and cares for me…all the time not just when I need care.
  • Most of my communication with my health-team occurs in the comfort of my own device. Whether I use my intelligent home or mobile assistant, my wearable or any other device…and it doesn’t cost extra
  • Employers expect us to live healthy… reminding us that it is in our collective best interest to live and be healthy.

My health-team knows me better than I know myself…they have my family history and my Genetic Map. The past is a great predictor of the future, so we try to stay one step ahead.

It’s great to have control of my health-history, always accessible on my intelligent device.

Technology is not replacing people…but it is making life a lot easier. When I don’t feel good I reach for my Personal Diagnostic Health Device for a quick in-home check:

  • My health-team eConnects with me when the results upload to my PHR. We review and decide next steps.
  • If more tests are required the physician specialist on my health-team is alerted and reviews real-time. We discuss and decide next steps almost instantaneously.
  • My prescription meds are usually delivered faster than a pizza.
  • I know most of my costs up-front…today I used my iHealthExchange to pay with “coins."

People that require active medication management use intelligent-patches or nano-pills that release the right dose at the right time and all data captured on our devices.

  • My wearable monitors and manages this all day.
  • We made great progress to ensure that we are protected and that they meet strict guidelines. of encryption to prevent hacking.

Health-teams hold us accountable and responsible too.

  • I get my flu shot -- at home.
  • My wife and I get our mandatory annual physical at work on my work-anniversary.
  • Screening diagnostic procedures are not optional; when there is past history.
  • Compliance is rewarded. Non-compliance…depends on the employer.

We have more options today to get care and not crowd the Emergency Rooms. The last time I had to go to the local emergency room, interprofessional teams managed my care effortlessly.

  • By the way, my health-team was in lockstep from the moment I got there.
  • Access to my PHR & health-team avoided multiple tests and time for diagnosis.
  • Care was coordinated throughout my brief, but necessary, hospital stay.

Our health-teams and “intelligent technology” keeps us abreast of new therapies or clinical trials anywhere in the world.

  • We now have a global platform to share research, clinical trial and outcomes data.

Oh yeah…we will CURE cancer!

Back in 2018

Change is not easy in the complicated environment of healthcare delivery. Much has been written by many about the future. As healthcare leaders let’s stay educated about the possibilities that science and technology can introduce to transform our industry and make it better for those we aim to care for. Technology and intelligent software are powerful tools that can complement our often overworked, sometimes burned-out physicians and healthcare providers.

It won’t be easy cause nothing ever is; it won’t be fast because speed can be very dangerous to our health; it won’t be without setbacks -- some more stressful than others; and it will take a collective effort from all the players in our industry working, learning and innovating together to progress. The opportunities are endless.