Tech behemoth Salesforce has released its “2015 State of the Connected Patient” report detailing the potentially huge shift in how patients interact with their healthcare providers, particularly younger patients, and how technology might help improve connectivity. The report came out just ahead of the closing enrolment for Obamacare (Affordable Healthcare Act or ACA), which encourages providers and payers to improve care through the use of technology.

The report found that among the more than 1,700 Americans surveyed, most who are insured and have a primary care physician, are generally satisfied with their care (86 percent). However, the report noted serious deficiencies in the use of technology that would enable more connected care.  

According to the report, “While traditional communication channels remain popular among patients, the next generation of patients want innovations for how they connect with providers and share information.” The report found many millennials (defined as currently aged 18-34) prefer to engage with their healthcare providers through modern technology.

One increasingly common example is the use of telehealth, with 60 percent of millennials supporting its uses (e.g., video chat with a doctor) to eliminate in-person health visits, the report cited. Also, 71 percent said they would like to see their providers use an app to book appointments, share health data and manage preventive care.

“Technology wields huge potential for improving the management of our health,” the Salesforce report said. “Both healthcare providers and insurance companies have an opportunity to revolutionise healthcare in meaningful new ways, thanks to the power of connectivity.”

Results of the survey also showed that:

  • 63 percent of millennials would be interested in proactively exchanging their health data from WiFi/wearable devices so they and their physician can monitor their well-being.
  • 61 percent of millennials would be interested in three-dimensional (3D) printing for devices such as prosthetics or hearing aids.
  • 57 percent of millennials expressed interest in "cutting-edge tools" such as pills that, when swallowed, could monitor their internal vital signs.

Salesforce says that millennials’ opinions are important, as their “preferences and habits represent the future of healthcare expectations, consumption and delivery.” The company's online survey was conducted within the United States on 6-8 January 2015.

"The Affordable Care Act encourages healthcare providers to use technology to better connect with patients and modernise the health system," said Todd Pierce, Senior Vice President of Healthcare at Salesforce. "But this data shows that patients and doctors are still using tried-and-true ways of communicating, like phone, mail and in-person visits. We are really at the starting line of connected health."

Source: Salesforce
Image Credit:

Latest Articles

Telehealth, Technology, mobile apps, Salesforce, millennials, connected health Tech behemoth Salesforce has released its “2015 State of the Connected Patient” report detailing the potentially huge shift in how patients interact wi...