Tracking digital trends | Trust and transparency are key as health data gain importance
Research informing approaches to digital health
More individuals, families and workplaces are considering the value of digital health, and rightly so. It delivers on the promise of personalized medicine. However, with the rise of sophistication in artificial intelligence and recent high profile data breaches triggering Senate hearings, patients are balancing hope with a healthy dose of hesitation.
As noted in recent publications covering the growing role of health data, prioritizing trust and transparency is essential to protect the integrity of medical practice and the patient/provider relationship.
One of our favorite insights this month came from U.S.-based Healthcare Analytics News™ , which dissected Ernst & Young’s 2018 Future of Health report (U.S.), based on a survey of 2,455 healthcare consumers, 152 physicians, and 195 healthcare executives. While the Canadian landscape is distinct from the U.S., there are still observations to be considered for Canada’s health-care sector.
Sharing personal data in a healthcare context is different than other kinds of data sharing
Source: Jared Waltwasser, Healthcare Analytics News™
“A key differentiator for the health sector is the power of the patient-physician relationship,” said Jacques Mulder, MBA, U.S. Health Leader at EY. “When combined with transparency about how the data will be leveraged, patients have a reasonable understanding of what physicians will do with their data and are more willing to share.”
Physicians see the use of data as a means to transform not only patient care, but also the economics of healthcare. In the survey, two-thirds (66%) of physicians said they expect digital technology to reduce the burden on healthcare providers and result in lower costs. Nearly 65% (of doctors surveyed) said the data-generation capabilities of new technology will reduce the workload of physicians and nurses, helping to curb burnout among healthcare professionals.
Mulder said although these are still early days, there are already examples of health tech driving down costs and improving outcomes.
“While in many instances we may only be just starting to see and impact, it is alive and happening today,” he said. “One specific example where we have seen success is with diabetes management through technology.”