As a global society, we are experiencing a transformational shift in our understanding of health.
We are coming to understand that health is not limited to traditional healthcare, which is primarily focused on delivering care when we are sick or injured. Instead, we are coming to understand that health is a reflection of our individual and collective stories: social, behavioral, environmental, educational, financial, spiritual, and genomics. As the world becomes more interconnected, these stories weave together to capture a much broader view of all the diverse factors that impact our health.
Additionally, new technologies are rapidly changing the way we manage our health and interact with our care providers, placing the locus of control back in an individual’s hands.
In fact, through these new technologies, individuals can take control of their own wellbeing wherever and whenever they so choose, something that is making healthcare and wellbeing management an on-demand, everyday part of their lives.
This is excellent news because it humanizes the experience of healthcare. After all, such data is primarily being centered around the individual and their actual real-life readings and experiences, from how they feel at any given point to information on how well their body is currently functioning.
In fact, it is through the potential that machine intelligence offers for a more meaningful analysis of this data that the individual can receive a much clearer, holistic picture of their health; this, in turn, allows them to take action to manage and improve it based on that personalized data.
Of course, for this to work effectively going forward, it is vital that the barriers to accessing and sharing this sort of data are broken down. In fact, if these restrictions are dissolved, we can expect an approach to personalized healthcare that is radically different.
Rather than applying the best choice of only a few solutions to our problems, it treats us, the user, as a unique individual, providing customized healthcare in line with that.
An Explosion of Health Tech
Despite an explosion in health-related technology in the last decade, this precious data is not being used in a joined-up way. In fact, from personal health trackers to the availability of low-cost whole-genome sequencing, all this valuable data is being kept in separate repositories or silos. That means the overall big picture on an individual’s health cannot yet be pieced together or used to better inform their wellbeing.
Sadly, this means that the considerable potential of individualized healthcare is not currently being fulfilled; the path to creating authentic and holistic health equality for everyone on the planet has stalled.
The Solution Is a Secure and Open Data Platform
The good news is that all is not lost when it comes to personalized healthcare driven by an individual’s data. In fact, if we can find a way of bringing all this precious and potentially life-saving information together, we can usher in a new era of healthcare, one in which healthcare is customized to the individual based on their own profile.
Of course, to successfully negotiate this problem, we will need to find ways of handling the complexity of data rights and protections. Fortunately, blockchain technology offers the perfect solution for this, one where a secure and open data platform can be used to access, manage, and therefore analyze the many types of data that are needed for this vision of healthcare to work.
In fact, as well as the technology involved in blockchain, it is the underlying infrastructure that it presents that is of value here. Blockchain is a way of doing things that creates networks, and it reduces barriers and friction in the communication of data and in relationships. Blockchain has also demonstrated the potential to drive new ways of accessing services as well as new markets and even entire economies. And this is something that has the potential to revolutionize healthcare as we know it.
What We Can Expect From Next-Gen Healthcare
Due to the explosion of health tech and the advent of blockchain technologies and ways of thinking, healthcare is currently experiencing massive changes.
One of the most significant of these is that traditional care delivery models will be unbundled, which will create opportunities for new providers to fill in gaps, offer treatments at better prices, and so drive economic benefits to administrative or clinical providers. It’s good news for both the individual on the receiving end of healthcare and those whose business it is to provide it.
In short, healthcare and our expectations of it are in the midst of a radical and exciting transformation. In fact, instead of the more traditional model, we can expect to integrate an on-demand personal healthcare model into our day-to-day lives, all thanks to the technological developments that are becoming available to us. That, in turn, will fuel significant changes in the way we access, pay, and ultimately experience healthcare as individuals.