Industry talking to customers What's this? Empowered patients and evolving healthcare Published: August 9th, 2017 By: Cradlepoint Emboldened by “Dr. Google” and empowered by smart technology, patients expect and demand more than a quick visit and a bottle of pain pills from their doctors. Healthcare providers must change the way they think about delivering care to patients.“It’s about me” The Ivey Business School paper “It’s All About Me: The Personalization of Health Systems” speaks not merely to changes in the healthcare industry but to an entirely new reality:The growing availability and affordability of internet access enables information to flow freely across global borders, connecting individuals, health experts, and organisations. Access to information and opportunities … has strengthened health literacy, defined as the working knowledge and language of healthcare. Global populations … are emerging as informed consumers of healthcare, rather than passive recipients who simply “follow doctor’s orders.”Today’s patients are empowered and super-assertive. They are connected, and employ as much of the latest tech as they can to manage their health and the health of their families. Armed with information, and the knowledge that they have many options in the pursuit of quality healthcare, today’s patients demand superior care and flexibility from their health practitioners. These ideas and values are feeding into a demand for more precise healthcare, with decisions and courses of treatment made to order.Fresh ideas in an evolving industry The emergence of 4G LTE networks effectively frees medical professionals, allowing them to bring advanced care to patients anywhere they need it. More and more, healthcare professionals are seeing patients at their home or even at their place of work, using mobile networks and telemedicine applications to update medical charts on the road as well as check prescriptions, review reference materials, and communicate with patients’ team of providers.Care at home The home healthcare market is projected to be worth USD $350 billion by 2020. More families of aging loved ones are looking to in-home care as a kinder, more convenient, and more cost-effective alternative to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The patients themselves, increasingly expectant of custom-tailored healthcare, are showing a strong preference for being treated in the comfort of their own homes.Healthcare providers must find effective and economical ways to deploy professionals outside their facilities. Cloud-managed mobile routers with 4G LTE connectivity, small enough to fit into a bag or briefcase, allow healthcare professionals to stay connected and secure wherever they may be.Telehealth Significant advances in telehealth make it possible for healthcare professionals “on the road” to consult a specialist back at the office in real time via video conference. Healthcare organizations with the right technological backdrop in place — quality remote devices, a strong network, and staff that has received adequate technical training — can enjoy a significant competitive advantage over competitors.“On the fly” emergency response It is now possible for emergency, in-vehicle medical personnel to send ahead vital triage information and patient medical histories while en route. An ER staff that has up-to-the-second info when the ambulance arrives can hit the ground running — a potential life-saver in a situation where every second counts.Mobile clinics Cloud-based applications and 4G LTE connectivity changes the mobile clinic game entirely, giving patients access to virtually the same quality of healthcare they’d receive at a doctor’s office. In-vehicle connectivity gives mobile clinics the ability to:Connect patients to professionals in a remote location via a telehealth video system;Update electronic health records in real time, and store them in the cloud;Conduct testing, monitor vital signs, and transmit results for remote review; andProvide secure text messaging between providers and patients.For complete details about Cradlepoint’s healthcare solutions, visit the Cradlepoint website.About the author Jean-Francois (J-F) Brien, Solutions Engineer, provides technical sales support in conceptualizing, qualifying, positioning, and closing complex/integrated technology solutions at Cradlepoint. J-F also has a hand in positioning and selling complex networking communication solutions to large enterprise, medium size business prospects, and customers. Prior to Cradlepoint, J-F held a similar role at Telus Business Solutions, and spent 11 years at Bell Canada, where he translated sales, business, and technical goals into successful solutions for end customers. J-F, who came to Cradlepoint with more than 17 years of operational and sales experience within the communications market, holds a BA in Computer Engineering from Concordia University.