Healthcare about to turn on its head
Most people are optimistic about technology innovations advancing healthcare, are willing to participate in virtual healthcare visits with their doctor, and would use health sensors in their bodies and even their toilets, according to a new study commissioned by Intel Corporation.
The "Intel Healthcare Innovation Barometer," conducted across eight countries by Penn Schoen Berland, found the majority of people also believe that technology innovation holds the best promise for curing fatal diseases – more than increasing the number of physicians or additional funding for research. The survey was conducted online in Brazil, China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan and the United States from July 28 to Aug. 15, 2013, among a representative sample of 12,000 adults, 18 and older.
"This survey indicates very high willingness of people to become part of the solution to the world's healthcare problems with the aid of all sorts of technologies," Eric Dishman, Intel fellow and general manager of the company's Health and Life Sciences Group, said in a news release. "Most people appear to embrace a future of healthcare that allows them to get care outside hospital walls, lets them anonymously share their information for better outcomes, and personalizes care all the way down to an individual's specific genetic makeup."
Intel's research revealed that what people want most at the intersection of healthcare and technology is more personalized care based on their own behaviors and biology that provides the freedom to get healthcare wherever and whenever it's convenient for them.
Here are some key findings:
Improving personal care
- More than 70 percent of people globally are receptive to toilet sensors, prescription bottle sensors or swallowed monitors.
- Sixty-six percent of people say they would prefer a personalized healthcare regimen designed specifically for them based on their genetic profile or biology.
- Fifty-three percent of people say they would trust a test they personally administered as much or more than if performed by a doctor.
- About 30 percent of people would trust themselves to perform their own ultrasound.
Sharing records for the common good
- People are more willing to anonymously share their health records or genetic information than their banking information or phone records.
- More than three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents over the age of 55 would be willing to anonymously share results of lab tests or health monitoring to contribute to research databases compared with 64 percent of millennials.
- India is the country most willing to share healthcare information to aid innovation.
Increased in-home healthcare
- Half of those surveyed would trust a diagnosis delivered via videoconference from their doctor.
- Seventy-two percent are receptive to communication technologies that allow them to remotely connect to their doctor.
- The innovation least likely to be incorporated by the global population is a robot performing surgery.
- Almost half of respondents (43 percent) globally would trust themselves to monitor their own blood pressure and other basic vitals.
- Only 42 percent of Japanese respondents say the traditional hospital will become obsolete in the future compared with 57 percent of global respondents.
"Technologies such as high-performance computing and big data analytics have the power to change the face of health in this world, and most people seem to desire that," Dishman said. "When given a choice between getting the same care as others who have their symptoms or getting care based on their own genetic profile, two in three respondents choose customized care."
"Care must occur at home as the default model, not in a hospital or clinic," said Dishman. "New technologies can bring decision support, health monitoring and health coaches into the home. It was also interesting to see that people in emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India trusted themselves to use health monitoring technologies more than those in more technologically advanced economies such as Japan and the United States."