Tag: Harry Greenspun

How do Consumers view Technology’s Role in Healthcare?

As technology-enabled home health becomes more pervasive, how will consumers respond? What concerns and reservations will they have? Will they readily adopt new technologies? Deloitte conducted focus group research to better understand consumer expectations and preferences for receiving health care services in the future, focusing on care in the home.

In general, consumers are optimistic: To them, the benefits of technology-enabled home health far outweigh the risks, and they are eager to try it. For the unwell, home health technology can help manage their conditions and slow disease progression. For caregivers, it can offer peace of mind. For the healthy, it can provide the tools and support to maintain healthy behaviors.

Even though interest is high, we heard some concerns. Consumers value the personal nature of health care and the patient-doctor relationship. Many are concerned that increasing reliance on technology will erode the relationships that they feel are already threatened by the fragmented nature of health care, decreasing face time with doctors, and difficulty establishing and maintaining those meaningful relationships. While it may seem obvious that technology should reinforce and facilitate relationships rather than supplant them, consumers’ previous experiences with technology temper their enthusiasm.

Technology-enabled solutions that are perceived to intrude on people’s privacy, such as sensors that monitor an individual’s sleep quality or motion patterns at home, face resistance. Education may be required to effectively convey the benefits of such monitoring; consumers are then able to evaluate the pros and cons, and many are amenable to the tradeoff.

As more care moves to self-care, consumers want to have influence and control over their own care and health information. They expect to learn about new technologies and to be actively involved—as patients or caregivers—in deciding which technologies are used for their care, how they are used, and what data will be disclosed and shared.

Companies—whether newcomers or traditional players—developing the technology for home health are expected to negotiate a number of challenges:

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