Overcoming challenges facing consumer health
Michael Jackson is a thought leader with more than 15 years’ experience helping organizations effectively penetrate and grow new markets. As general manager, Consumer Health at Intel Corporation, Jackson leverages an extensive background in health economics and business strategy to provide executive leadership for Intel’s growth and P&L in consumer healthcare markets worldwide.
Q: What is fueling the promise of growth in the consumer health segment?
A: A perfect storm of market conditions is forming that will likely propel consumer health near the top of many enterprise priority lists and justify its estimated 40 percent CAGR in 2015.
One of the most important conditions is payment reform. As the basis for reimbursement shifts away from fee-for-service and toward quality-based outcomes in the U.S., providers will extend the continuum of care far beyond their hospitals to more accurately quantify value after discharge.
One of the best ways to optimize care and demonstrate effectiveness is to implement a holistic approach for understanding a person’s status by deriving actionable data about her individually and continuously from multiple sources – including consumer devices.
Consumer empowerment is also going to play a large role. It began with the shift from a business model that was traditionally B2B to one that was more B2C as commercial health insurers positioned themselves to personally engage millions of newly eligible customers. Now, consumer health solutions enable all payer organizations– private, public, employer – to promote healthy behaviors and timely preventative care that has been shown to reduce the occurrence of costly acute emergencies. Ultimately, consumers will have the ability to be more active in managing their own care, with the expectation of access to more of their health information anytime.
A demographic shift is also fueling this growth. Everyday 10,000 baby boomers celebrate their sixty-fifth birthday in the U.S., and that trend will continue until at least 2019. Unfortunately, 90 percent of them, with help from their family caregivers in some cases, are managing at least one chronic medical condition (860 million people worldwide). As telehealth becomes more widely adopted (and reimbursed), remote doctor consultations will increasingly rely on consumer health technologies to improve chronic disease management and ease the stress on a limited pool of primary care physicians.
In addition, many fast-growing emerging global markets, like China and India, are exhibiting strong appetites for consumer health solutions that can add value while supplementing recent government efforts to provide more efficient virtual care to their significant aging and rural populations. As more technology vendors from the region offer innovative products at very competitive price points, access and adoption will continue to climb at a healthy pace, contributing to notable growth of the consumer health market segment regionally and worldwide.
Q: What are some challenges to realizing these game-changing goals?
A: One of the most difficult hurdles to overcome is alignment of priorities for all major stakeholders. You need a consumer-centered design, an evaluation of clinical workflow integration and a way to measure the business impact of the goals. How realistic are they?
There is also a balance that has to be addressed. When converging, processing and analyzing so much data there’s a real threat to privacy. Some people spend their days trying to breach your protocols to get at your data. Despite the privacy threat, interoperability remains the name of the game. Providers, payers and even consumers demand interoperability between networks where content must always remain secure. These concerns aren’t new and have existed within healthcare for decades. However, an emerging ecosystem, enabled by a range of new technologies, opens up new avenues for interoperability and big data, while beckoning nefarious hackers and others who want access to this information.
Another basic but often overlooked challenge facing consumer health is inclusion. These programs can’t simply be cooked up in a lab between engineers and marketing departments to be deployed in the real world. Providers must be included from the get-go because they are often the ones who will be expected to make sense of the actionable outputs from these solutions.
It’s also critical to include underserved populations. Consumer health can offer countless benefits, particularly for those who are most vulnerable, by building relationships beyond hospitals and traditional healthcare models, where costs can make preventative and chronic disease visits too burdensome.
Q: What role will Intel play as the market evolves?
A: Intel has been the driving force behind the global technology revolution for more than 40 years.
Looking ahead, expect us to leverage our mastery of Moore’s Law, healthcare domain expertise throughout the enterprise, and the best partner network in the world to enable the movement toward seamless end-to-end connectivity for consumers everywhere, in an open democratized ecosystem.
Stay tuned for a series of announcements that demonstrate our commitment to shaping the future of consumer health experiences with advancements designed from the core to make it personal.