Redefining the Industry with Healthcare 4.0By Miriam Bello | Mon, 04/20/2020 - 17:00
Q: How will Healthcare 4.0 redefine health through technology and what changes can already be observed in the sector?
A: One of the great advantages of Healthcare 4.0 is that patients will be more empowered, since they will be able to better understand what is happening to them. In other words, they will have the knowledge available. Patients will also be able to pose better questions to their healthcare providers, which will help them make decisions that impact their health and become active participants in their own care.
Within this transformation process, the areas that are experiencing the most advanced technological growth are digital applications. Today, 40 percent of these focus on disease management. The industry also took a big step with wearables, which allowed an increase in health awareness by measuring heart rate, oxygenation and even blood pressure with, for example, a digital clock. Although these tools are also used by healthy people, patients with diagnosed conditions will see the greater benefit.
For example, patients with diabetes benefit greatly because there are devices with sensors linked to their smartphone. All they have to do is download the app to their smartphone, be it an Android or iOS. The sensor measures glucose 24/7 via a chip installed as a patch on the arm. Data can be shared with the doctor, while the patient can understand the indicators in real time.
Q: How does technology help healthcare providers in their decision-making process and management of patients?
A: IQVIA just completed a study that showed that 97 percent of doctors use their mobile devices to obtain quality medical information. This allows doctors to be always updated, which means that if patients have a question, they can consult their physician at any time.
Continuing medical education is what drives them to obtain this information. Empowerment will be even greater when doctors and patients can interact through these digital platforms. The fact that your doctor can observe your glucose readings in real time provides the opportunity to trigger alerts on time.
Q: What are the main barriers in Mexico that are stopping technological adoption?
A: These are mainly cultural and generational. Younger healthcare providers and professionals are much more accustomed to adopting technology, but doctors used to old systems need to digitize their data.
I think there is a lot of access to technology since most people have a smartphone. But adoption is still not at 100 percent because not everything is designed for mobile devices. As the generational gap narrows, we will see many more doctors inclined to use these devices, apps and other digital means to communicate and interact with their patients.
Q: What conditions are necessary for more Mexican and Latin American developers to create apps in Spanish?
A: There are professionals who develop apps in Spanish, but they are few. The reason is that in the US there is an entrepreneurial ecosystem designed to create at low risk, with high impact and with the use of technological tools. Universities in the US work together with companies on incubating startups. In Mexico and Latin America, this ecosystem is not yet developed, so it is more difficult to find someone to develop the app, someone to use it and even find the company with an interest in investing. It is a matter of maturation of the innovation ecosystem in Latin American countries.
Q: How have IQVIA’s innovative solutions been adopted in the Mexican market and where has there been greater demand?
A: Some companies are leading technological revolutions in the use of digital platforms. We have also seen that companies that have not yet changed already feel uncomfortable for not having taken this step.
One of the platforms for managing productivity and communication between doctors and patients is the Orchestrated Customer Engagement (OCE), a system that is revolutionizing the way we interact, document and generate data for effective communication between doctors. It is a multichannel integration tool that uses artificial intelligence to suggest next steps for those involved in the care process. Pharmaceuticals can benefit greatly because they use this technology in clinical studies, productivity, communication and compliance.
IQVIA is a US multinational based in Durham, NC. With a network of more than 50,000 employees, it delivers human data science to the health information technologies and clinical research industries.