Rising healthcare costs and prevalence of chronic disease are not merely American problems; they are affecting the delivery of care worldwide. The crunch, says a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report, will push millions upon millions of people to take more control over their own healthcare, often enabled by mobile technologies and the Internet.
"The overarching challenge for incumbent health systems will be to shift their internal focus from a siloed bureaucratic healthcare infrastructure to one that puts the patient at the center...and engages them to be active stakeholders in their health and the health system," the report reads.
In an interview with the Reuters news agency, David Chin, director of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute, says that the Internet and mobile technologies would help to break down some of the silos, empower patients and save money. He is particularly interested in the potential of mobile monitoring systems. "We're optimistic that the combination of a personalized approach and better technology will improve the health of the population, and start addressing the cost issue," Chin says.
"Of course the advantage to an insurance company or (healthcare) delivery system is that is costs less to deliver care over the Internet," he adds. "You're able to reach a wider audience for a lot less money."