Someone Call a Doctor- The Care You Get May Be On Your Smartphone

Members of the Millennial and Gen Z generations are rapidly changing the delivery and provision of modern health care. The changes are starting with the physician’s office, and make a doctors trip much different. According to a recent survey, 97% of patients stated they get frustrated by long wait times. Likewise, more than 55% reporting that they spend 15 minutes or more in the waiting room.
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Shorter wait times have become increasingly important to younger generations who look to social media and review sites to vet their physicians before selecting a primary care doctor. Similar to most things for young people, long wait times are often not the preferred option.
Now imagine if a patient could use their mobile phone to check-in for their doctor’s appointment without leaving their home or place of work.
The required intake forms are already filled out via smartphone before the appointment. The physician has already reviewed vital signs sent from a wearable device placed on the patient’s wrist. Patient doctor communication of health issues taken care of over video call.
The scenario described above will soon become a reality for many Americans, especially for Millennials and Gen-Zs.
Electronic health records (EHRs), wearable devices, and a secure and robust cellular connectivity infrastructure will soon make a visit to the doctor far more efficient and less time-consuming.

Millennials and Gen-Zs Driving the Future of Health Care

Driving much of these changes are a result of increasing expectations from a younger generation. Their main priority of their health care is convenience, affordability, and quality. In 2019, millennials became the largest generation by population. Consequently, they hold the most power to influence the delivery of health care models in the future.
Gen Z and millennials are most dissatisfied with the quality of traditional health care services, according to results from a recent survey by Accenture. As these generations age and have more significant health care needs, they will increasingly look for services. Expectations for effectiveness, convenience, efficiency, and transparency increase steadily.

Market for Wearables Growing Exponentially

Concurrently there has also been a massive growth in the use of wearable devices. Again, a trend which is primarily pushed by Millenials and Gen Zs. Smartphone makers Apple and Huawei are early entrants in the wearables market. Both companies have seen significant boosts in the number of global wearable shipments. In the first quarter for 2019 Huawei quadrupled shipments of wearables. Apple, which leads the wearables market saw year-over-year growth of nearly 50%, according to the most recent data collected by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The number one fitness trend for 2019 was wearable devices, according to survey results published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).The market for smartwatches and FDA approved medical and implantable devices could reach 240.1 million units in 2021. Twice the number in 2016, according to IDC.
As wearable devices gain popularity both doctors and patients will have access to massive amounts of data. Patient activity diet, sleep patterns, heart rates and more will all be readily available.

Next-Gen Virtual Health Care

Telehealth is becoming an increasingly popular option for Millennials. According to a recent survey, 60% of millennials stated they are most likely to hold an interest in telehealth.
Telehealth can occur through a remote video conversation or where patients submit information. Things like health data, symptoms or readings from wearable devices. Bring them to a health care professional and receive a diagnosis. Its all digital, patients wont have to physically visiting the physician office.
Virtual health care visits are already available through many insurance plans and health systems. Virtual health care visits are where the patient and physician are in different locations and communicate via mobile devices or computers
A survey of patients treated through a telehealth clinic found that one-third of respondents preferred telehealth over an in-office visit. By 2022, this industry could reach $3.5 billion in revenues.

The Role of Connectivity

At the core of these advancements, however, is the requirement of a cellular networking infrastructure. An infastructure that can enable the health care devices to collect, transmit, and process massive amounts of patient data and images securely.
High-speed networks will merge IT, patient expectations, and high health care treatment costs. For the health care industry, deploying a robust networking solution has never been more critical than now. Digital connectivity impacts every corner of healthcare and creates new revenue opportunities for organizations.
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