The Need for Healthcare Automation
According to CMS, the annual U.S. spend on healthcare is nearly three trillion dollars (more than 17 percent of GDP), and yet the World Health Organization ranks our healthcare system below almost every other industrialized nation in the world. Despite all the money being spent, there is still pervasive inefficiency and frustration, with minimal relative value to the patient.
Every year, the U.S. population grows by more than 1.5 million, and every one of those new people needs healthcare. Add to that the fact that our new healthcare reform legislation will help introduce 32 million previously uninsured Americans into the delivery system – most with a substantial backlog of care needs that will have a major per capita impact on demand for care. Additionally, the average age of our population is rapidly increasing. By 2025, the Census Bureau projects a 36 percent growth in the number of Americans over age 65. Not surprisingly, the elderly need more healthcare than the young.
On top of a system that’s already overburdened with patients, we’re also expecting more complex and time consuming care from existing primary care providers. The Affordable Care Act has helped catalyze a shift from a fee-for-service model to a capitated system of reimbursement. As part of that, primary care providers are now increasingly expected to provide care targeted towards preventing disease rather than just treating it. New activities like patient panel management and coordination of care are invaluable in delivering higher quality care but are also time-consuming and labor intensive for providers.
Healthcare is arguably one of the largest industries in the world that hasn’t embraced automation — and it shows. Automation holds the keys to tremendous opportunity, in terms of patient experience, cost, and quality of care. What’s needed are new innovations that help healthcare institutions and providers work smarter. That means, applications and tools that support automated evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and documentation for providers. The market for these kinds of tools is massive, the demand is growing, and the basic groundwork is already in place.
Let’s Bring Innovation to US Healthcare
U.S. funding for digital healthcare startups is expected to reach $6.5 billion by 2017, and given what a target-rich environment healthcare is, there’s room for even more growth. Think you have an innovative healthcare solution? Let us know.
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