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The ‘Big Bang’ of retail health care


We didn’t go crazy making a lot of predictions for 2015. That’s because 2015 is the year so many of our past predictions will come true, as the forces of healthcare consumerism and mobile technology collide to forever change the way health care is purchased, consumed and delivered. Call it the Big Bang of retail health.

“More wired, consumer-oriented and innovative than ever before.” That’s how PricewaterhouseCoopers described the current state of the $2.8 trillion U.S. healthcare industry in its December 2014 report, “Top Health Industry Issues of 2015.”

“In 2015, the healthcare sector will begin to look and feel like other industries, catering to customers expecting one-click service,” PwC noted. “A true consumer-driven market is slowly taking shape.”

In this issue, DSN looks at three critical trends from the PwC report: the emergence of do-it-yourself health care; the evolution from mobile app to medical device; and the tug of war that will unfold between privacy and convenience as it regards access to patient health data.

Some key takeaways include:

  • Providers are embracing new technologies faster than ever before. While only about 20% of consumers told PwC they would use a mobile urinalysis app, more than half of physicians say they would use such data to make patient care decisions; 86% believe mobile health apps will become important to patient care over the next five years.

  • “Unprecedented data sharing” will intensify patient privacy concerns; 68% of PwC respondents are concerned about the security of data stored in mobile health apps, and 76% are concerned with the overall security of their health data.

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