May 21st, 2012
Posted by Caroline Popper, M.D., M.P.H.
We’ve discussed previously how medical societies, healthcare practitioners and life science product developers are increasingly concerned about reducing costs of healthcare product development and delivery – both for the developing company and the end patient or consumer. Cost-effectiveness and “cost control” are the new watchwords.
But much of this cost control will come not from cutting R&D budgets or reducing unnecessary tests (though those are important considerations). Instead, a targeted look at healthcare customers and the development of sensitive, intelligent information technology that can track patient progress and capture customer preferences will pave the way to innovative and revolutionary healthcare delivery.
An ideal information system should track product (or service) quality, total patient outcome and the cost of treatment for the entire time a patient is sick. In addition, this information system should monitor and discover behaviors that can prevent illness from happening, or check up remotely on a healthy healthcare consumer (such as a pregnant woman). This will require a “democratization” of IT; a design of systems that anybody can use and that contain metrics that are shared among platforms: