Another 2010 forecast

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Another (US-centric) 2010 healthcare forecast, this time from consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in the quaintly named ‘Squeezing the Juice Out of Healthcare’, has three predictions directly relevant to our telecare, digital and eHealth interests:

  • Physicians and hospitals will scramble to adopt health information technology
  • The technology and telecommunications sectors will become leading players in health care
  • Alternative care delivery models will emerge.

In the context of prediction #1, intense industry-wide cost reduction, one could be pessimistic and ask ‘where’s the funding and investment coming from?’  The progress made since only last year–only one 2009 PwC prediction concerned technology–signals a critical mass building, even in the face of economic and ‘healthcare reform’ adversity.  With the last now suddenly in doubt, its $1 trillion cost may very well be put to better use in private investment and in wallets.  American Medical News’ article and interview with PwC’s David Chin, M.D. clarifies alternative delivery as including clinics (onsite company and retail) and telehealth.  The most significant health IT driver will be connectivity between doctor and hospital.  PwC report page, download (registration needed)