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News Article

Diagnostic Tools can Improve Health Systems

By Miriam Bello | Fri, 07/02/2021 - 12:05

Diagnostics tools can give the full scope of a person’s condition and help to predict health outcomes. As a result, diagnosis testing is oftentimes considered the most important result of medical practice as it guides both diagnosis and treatment. New diagnostic tools can do more than bring benefits to individual patients; they can make change entire health systems.  

Diagnosis is one of the three pillars of the endgame model for care, value-based healthcare (VBHC). “By improving the overall health of the population through value-based models it may be possible to reduce the burden on hospitals and bring relief to saturated health systems,” said Michael Barriga, General Manager and COO of Omron Healthcare to MBN. In this scenario, patients would use devices as a diagnostic tool to detect an ailment at an early stage. “Consumption of devices would continue to be high but they would be used as a preventive diagnostic rather than a corrective tool. This model creates cost savings for health systems and for patients.”

Michael Porter, who introduced the VBHC concept, outlined three metrics for its implementation: diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Diagnosis testing ranges from signs and symptoms gathered during clinical examination to biochemical, pathologic and psychological tests. Diagnostic testing should be based on a logical sequence of processes that allows doctors to identify a disease or exclude potentially incorrect conditions.

While at first glance diagnostic tools can bring the clear benefits of detecting a disease or dismissing an erroneous condition on a symptomatic patient, their capabilities can go much further. Proper diagnosis enables patient management to track their progression, stabilize them and predict or improve their outcome. Furthermore, diagnostic tools open the door to personalized medicine that will allow the generation of specific treatments for an individual patient.

The ability to create personalized approaches represents a watershed for health systems, as one of the ongoing trends of the industry is to move towards a personalized model of care based on preventive medicine. Both personalized and preventive healthcare approaches are based on timely diagnosis. Carlos López, General Director of Medix, he explains to MBN that prevention can be classified into three levels: first, the steps taken to prevent the manifestation of disease; second, early diagnosis and proper treatment of a disease; finally, actions related to a comprehensive recovery following the overcoming of a disease.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst