BY SIYANDA NKALA • 21 JANUARY 2015
Did you know that “Do It Yourself” healthcare is set to be the top healthcare trend for 2015?
But what is DIY healthcare…
Do It Yourself healthcare refers to a trend of intuitive mobile medical devices and apps that monitor vital medical signs analyse blood and urine, track medication adherence and more.
Basically these high tech medical kits could help diagnose illness, flag early signs of trouble, allow recovery and rehabilitation to occur closer to home and create virtual workforce capacity.
They could enable consumers to take charge of more of their own care, even becoming co-creators of their personal health plans. They could also allow clinicians to monitor patients in lower-cost settings – and even from a distance.
This is PricewaterhouseCoopers’s (PwC) top healthcare prediction for this year’s mHealth trends.
Ceci Connolly, Leader of PwC’s Health Research Institute, was quoted in an article published in MobiHealthNews: “For the first time really we’re discovering physicians are expressing much more openness and willingness to consider information about their patients coming from DIY devices.”
PwC conducted a study and found that a third of people are willing to use a home urine analysis device.
The survey further revealed that more than 50% of doctors would use data from the devices to prescribe medication or decide whether a patient needs an appointment.
There may be an uptake of DIY healthcare in Africa in the future. Healthcare systems in Africa, however, still have a way to go before doctors and other health workers are equipped to work with DIY healthcare data.
Other PwC trends included:
PwC’s second, related trend was that medical app and device members would have to continue to grapple with whether or not they should secure 510(k) clearance from the FDA.
Third, PwC had some interesting predictions about patients’ concerns about privacy. They asked consumers which was more important to them, privacy or convenience and found that the answer (unsurprisingly) differed for different types of data: 73% rated the privacy of their medical records as more important than convenience of access, but for data about diet and exercise, about 60% said convenience of access was more important than privacy.
PwC also asked consumers what they based their healthcare provider decisions on, and found that cost was still the number one driver, named by 82%. A high quality rating from other consumers came in second, with ratings by government agencies in a distant third.
Source: eHealth News Africa