What makes good healthcare bleed?

Study finds that heavy demand on health service infrastructure was the biggest strain on the industry in North America

Pratima Harigunani
New Update

HYDERABAD, INDIA: If you are looking for the largest inhibitors to achieving a better healthcare future, a study shows most respondents, regardless of the geography, identifying funding, access to healthcare and lack of government support as key inhibitors. Funding and access to healthcare are the two biggest roadblocks globally preventing the development of a more efficient and effective healthcare infrastructure, according to a new survey of healthcare professionals by Polycom, Inc..


Additionally, the global findings illustrated that regionally, respondents from APAC (20 per cent) and EMEA (30 per cent) believe that an aging population poses the greatest challenge to healthcare in 2025; while heavy demand on health service infrastructure was the biggest strain on the industry in North America.

The study, which polled more than 1,200 healthcare industry professionals from around the world, also revealed that technology developments such as mobile, the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data, offers the most promising way to overcome healthcare bottlenecks by 2025. However, in order to achieve this goal, senior technologists must take a seat at the boardroom table to ensure technology is integrated correctly, so as to achieve the digital transformation needed to move from treating only the sick to prevention and wellness.

”Healthcare delivery is evidently shifting in light of challenges such as physician shortages and rapidly aging societies, and requires digital transformation in order to cope with the pressures placed on the industry,” said Ron Emerson, Global Director, Healthcare at Polycom. “In recent years, it has become clear that technology holds the key to the future of healthcare. The survey findings highlight how the industry can best integrate and utilize game-changing technological developments, to accelerate telemedicine or telehealth applications, to maximize its potential and realise new models of care delivery by 2025.”


Many respondents were also cautiously optimistic with regard to regulators, believing that government agencies are already in the process of amending their policies in response to rapid innovations within the healthcare landscape. Conversely, a significant number of respondents expressed no confidence at all, specifically North America (46 per cent), South East Asia (43 per cent) and Australia (39 per cent).

The survey also found that in general, respondents’ viewpoints correlated with the current political, economic and social (PES) climate in their respective countries around healthcare. Countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam for instance displayed a positive outlook towards government policy, especially as technology increasingly plays a critical role in their daily lives. For one, the mobile revolution has catapulted millions into the digital age, with people in rural areas now using smartphones for services previously not available to them – such as e-commerce and data logging.

But, healthcare professionals globally are convinced that technology, such as personal health monitoring devices and video collaboration solutions, will play a vital role in creating a positive healthcare future. According to the survey, by 2025 primary care will be accessible to all citizens, regardless of distance thanks to the increased availability of broadband, mobile devices and applications.


“Incorporating technology like video into the delivery of healthcare services will be critical in creating a positive healthcare future globally. For instance, services such as virtual consultations and remote monitoring, mentioned in participant responses, can enable nations to make healthcare accessible to almost everyone. This will be vital in tackling many of the challenges that will impact the industry over the coming years,” said Emerson.

Additionally, 63 per cent of respondents agreed that virtual healthcare services to homes will be a realistic scenario in 2025 due to technology advancements. These would include virtual outpatient services, as well as remote diagnosis for the elderly and physically disabled, amongst others.

“For healthcare providers, video-enabled care delivery makes strategic and financial sense. For patients, it puts management of their health back in their own control, reducing unnecessary travel time and expenditure. Likewise, for medical professionals, collaboration technology can provide opportunities in coordinated care delivery, peer consultations, and continuing medical education.”

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