Recently, Bertelsmann Stiftung said in a study that we afford too many hospitals in Germany. When examined more closely, this is a rather annoying calculation of milk assistants, it is recalled that in many parts of Germany there has long been a dramatic shortage of supply.
It is pointless to further dilute our health infrastructure. But it pays to help hospitals get out of their minds within the confines of the clinic walls. Telemedicine, diagnostics and therapy, bridging spatial or temporal distances, have been promised for years. So far, however, only a few projects in this country have been taken up in standard care.
Fortunately, however, the German Medical Association decided last May to change the "Musterberufsordnung für Ärzte", which now allows exclusive remote treatment by medical professionals based in Germany via digital media.
Domestic health management and decentralized digital support can lead the healthcare sector in a new direction in the coming years.
"Customer Clients" with new requirements
What does it mean if suddenly established health care providers – such as clinic operators – think in this country beyond their sometimes desolate castles? First, it means that new technologies promise new sources of revenue. Second, it means that patients define new claims.
And the change is already underway. And it's powered by popular devices and their users. Fitness bands and health applications have in recent years solved the boundaries between the healthcare system (doctor, clinic) and the patient's lifeworld.
As is often the case when transformations are announced, even in a regulated market such as healthcare, stakeholder roles and cash flows are redefined: patient patients become discerning customers, healthcare providers become providers, and so on: What is the money earned. what is the competition and how can new alliances be established?
Sales of decentralized healthcare management in the US already exceed clinic and hospital revenues. Of course, the failed US healthcare system also plays an important role. In the United States, health care expenditures account for 18 percent of GDP, making it undoubtedly the first in the world.
Above all, it shows that "patient customers" do not want to be parked in hospitals and nursing homes. New business models, not least based on telemedicine innovation, promise greater autonomy for even the elderly and the chronically ill, and make hospitals and health insurance easier.
According to market research firm Zion Research, global demand for home health care services will increase to $ 391.41 billion by 2021 (2018: $ 229 billion).
In Germany, start-ups, established healthcare providers, but also larger hospitals plan to enter the telemedicine market. And here, in the coming years, it is an extensive launch in the market for the elements of telemedicine and digital services.
In the long run, a hospital group like Asklepios wants to make about two-thirds of its revenue outside the hospital's core business, which still accounts for 95 percent of its revenue today. From the hospital group to the technology-focused healthcare provider, the direction is for the coming years.
Of course, decentralization and telemedicine should also reduce costs. In Germany, a hospital stay costs an average of € 4,497 and the trend is rising. In the US, the cost of treating an acute care hospital is about $ 3,250 a day. In contrast, the cost of modern home care is only $ 50 a day.
In the US, senior hospitals and clinic operators like Amedisys and Hangers are buying software companies and preparing for the decentralized world of health. Philips tests remote patient care in Arizona with the Philips Lifeline.
In many other countries, digitization is already simplifying many processes in the healthcare system. In Austria, the electronic health record has long been tracing citizens from doctor to doctor. In countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Italy, doctors send electronic prescriptions to patients or directly to the pharmacy, which then supplies the medication.
Life strategists and end-of-life therapists
Decentralized models of care and digitization of health are also creating new job profiles and sustainable jobs. An estimate by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that fewer than ten healthcare professionals were among the 20 fastest-growing occupations.
First of all, among the most promising jobs: home health care services with an increase rate of 47 percent in ten years. Life strategists reach out to patients at home and improve their lifestyle in their usual environment. For chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension, but also for alcoholics and drug addicts, a surprisingly successful measure.
Many new job descriptions are being created between the doctor and the nurse who are also, but not only related to, new technologies. Technically qualified medical assistants will help you make significantly more dialysis from home.
"Therapists for the rest of their lives" – psychologically trained – accompany people in the last years of life. Tele-surgeons will sew online and with unequal blood vessel precision. And specially trained pharmacists will be preparing personalized medicines using robots in the future.
A vision that becomes tangible based on these trends: Reactive symptoms-related drugs become "health everywhere", which also creates less cost. However, to achieve this vision, we need a mental shift in a health system that prefers disease prevention ("from hospital to healthcare").
Reactive health care could then be preventative health care management. Healthy living could be actively secured from symptom-oriented disease elimination. We would move from an expensive drug repair system to a (digitized) ecosystem of flexible care. Health is no longer just an absence of disease, it is part of a proactive health program.
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