In The Economist
Research by Gupta Strategists indicates that 45% of healthcare now provided in the hospital could be moved to the home. This is good news for patients, for whom receiving healthcare at home means being able to quickly regain normalcy in their lives. This shift will have a significant impact on all parties concerned, and both patients and healthcare providers will have to prepare for change. In this study, Gupta Strategists systematically maps out these changes.
The shift of healthcare to the home is based on two main pillars: (1) the feasibility of using devices at home to treat and monitor patients, and (2) the availability of large amounts of data, which doctors can use to more accurately estimate the risks involved in sending patients home.
Treating patients at home blurs the distinction between being healthy and being sick. Patients will therefore have to learn to live with their illness and figure out how to combine the rest of their life with their life as a patient. They will be required to take the reins of their own treatment, but they won’t have to do it alone. If being in charge of treatment is like flying an airplane, the patients will move from the passenger seat to the pilot seat. Nurses will become their co-pilots and will take on more of a coaching role instead of directly helping the patients; they will have to take on less of an active role and allow patients to become better at managing their own illness.
As treatment moves to the home, doctors will experience the biggest change of all. One-on-one contact with patients will, to a large extent, disappear and doctors will transition from pilots to air traffic controllers who monitor and treat a large group of patients remotely. While doctors may be well positioned to acquire the new skills necessary, they will be working from a different perspective than they have thus far been trained to do.