I was recently taken back by a presentation done by a VP of Google in Orlando. This presentation was about the digital revolution and how technology has advanced at an accelerated pace. We all know that Google is a leader in the technology industry and it was really interesting to get some insight into what they thought was the next revolution in technology. During the presentation they discussed how mobile searches on the Internet will outpace desktop searches in 2014. They also elaborated on pace in which our society has embraced mobile phones and tablets, 500 percent faster than the adoption of radio and TV. Think about that for a minute, TV and radio have been the staples of our lives for generations, you can’t go a single day without watching or listening to them, yet our society has adopted the use of smart phones and tablets 500 percent faster. It is undeniable that we are in the middle of a digital revolution.
So where does healthcare fit into this digital revolution? It would seem by all indicators that healthcare is a lacking industry, but that may not be the case. I was recently at the HIMSS, (Health Information and Management Systems Society) conference in Orlando, and what I experienced was a pleasant surprise. Instead of feeling like I was at a healthcare conference, it felt more like the consumer electronics expo in Las Vegas. Every major healthcare company, many startup companies, and healthcare professionals from around the world were there to experience the elaborate displays of technology and the digital revolution of healthcare. Even household names like Sony and Konika Minolta had huge displays, and that is when I began to realize that healthcare is also in the middle of a digital revolution.
What the healthcare industry is finally starting to understand is that to be competitive it is about patient engagement and convenience. With the rate at which we are using our mobile phones and tablets to be consumers it exposes one glaring truth, technology is convenient. Technology allows us to do things on the go, it gives us what we need at our finger tips, and we can access it from anywhere. We don’t have to call, wait on hold, or drive to the store. We can take action on our own terms, when and where we want to. Technology has also allowed us to become more engaged. We can now communicate better through text message or Skype, we can find answers to our questions faster, and we can make decisions easier. In the healthcare space patient engagement will be the next frontier. An environment that allows patients to communicate easier with their doctors, get solutions to their problems faster, and manage their health better.
Healthcare is a 3 trillion dollar market. Population growth and the demographics of consumers is why we have seen such a huge advance in healthcare IT over the past 10 years. With all of this taking place right now, healthcare is in the middle of its digital revolution.
Matt Bohannon is the President of BookThatDoc.com, a healthcare website providing a streamlined process for finding and booking healthcare providers where and when you need them with real time referrals. Matt can be reached at email@example.com, or found at www.bookthatdoc.com.