We all know of technology’s transformative power, but how often does the marketing hype surrounding new technologies correctly predict how it will be implemented?
This question is particularly relevant in the health care sector. In the United States, health care spending accounts for 17.9% of the nation’s gross domestic product. In 1970, Medicare spending was $7.1 billion. By 2017, it was 100 times greater. Yet though the U.S. spends the most in the world on health care, outcomes here generally trail those of other industrialized nations, and life expectancy here ranks 31st in the world — lower than in Costa Rica, Slovenia, Cyprus and Chile, while scoring one notch higher than Cuba.
Electronic health records, which were incentivized under the Affordable Care Act, arguably haven’t had a significant role in helping to improve the efficiency of health care spending, but have improved physician–patient communication, record keeping and likely patient outcomes.
Technologists have promised broad technology trends such as AI, IoT and, more recently, 5G could lead to a new era of health care. AI could for instance, help drive more accurate diagnoses and manage patient workflows. The use of 5G and IoT in health care, in conjunction with AI, could transform remote patient management. “From my perspective, I think it’s completely possible,” said Christopher McCann, chief executive officer at Current Health, referring to the promise of such technologies to transform the health care paradigm.