The digital revolution has fundamentally changed everything about medicine, moving doctor appointments from offices to Zoom chats, allowing better patient data tracking and connecting patients with healthcare resources that can help them make positive changes. Technology today enables “5P Medicine:” preventive, predictive, participatory, personalized and pertinent. The rapid move toward telehealth during the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated these shifts on a seismic scale, adding a sixth "P" to the mix: platforms.
The "6P" model driven by robust data available through new connected technologies gives clinicians a better view of a patient's overall health and allows for customized care and improved outcomes. You'd never get a holistic snapshot of a health condition or disease with the customary 15-minute office visit. With more information, doctors can use that 15 minutes to review data and determine the best treatment.
Here’s how the six P's of Medicine work to provide Better Data, Healthcare and Patient Outcomes:
Previously, medicine often had a cookie-cutter approach to health. For example, the Body Mass Index (BMI) that suggested ideal body weight based on gender and height has been discredited because it doesn't account for healthy tissue or muscle mass. Technology will allow patients and doctors to better understand each patient's health by accumulating a volume of data that is unique to them, including blood pressure, average heart rates, blood sugars, oxygen saturation and more. Doctors will be able to view a patient's overall health over the course of a year instead of a snapshot of a patient's health in a single office visit.
We've come a long way from simple monitoring devices like blood pressure devices accessed at the local grocery or drugstore or glucose testing strips sold in local pharmacies. An advanced system can measure a woman's luteinizing hormone and progesterone. The BioIntelliSense BioButton is a coin-sized, disposable device that sticks to your upper chest and allows healthcare providers to monitor vital signs to screen for Covid-19. Many of these devices are just as accurate as monitoring devices used in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
No one can predict the future, even the best doctors, and severe health conditions often appear out of nowhere. That said, when a patient can collect hundreds of blood pressure readings or multiple EKGs, it's much easier to make informed conclusions about potential outcomes. Take diabetes, for example. A doctor and patient can use a continuous glucose monitor to show fluctuations in blood sugar not just day to day or week to week but minute to minute. Using this information, doctors can make informed predictions about where the patient's blood sugar readings will be in a few months and adjust care and medication as needed.
Having months and years of data about a patient's health or a chronic condition is a powerful asset. Robust data will allow doctors to recommend interventions, change medications, or enlist other specialists if needed. An informed view of what could happen in the future could lead patients to make changes where they matter most: the present. If you know cholesterol is an issue for you thanks to preventative medicine, you can make positive changes like switching to a Mediterranean diet, for example.
Patient Participatory Medicine
The idea of consumers monitoring their health is not new. “White coat syndrome" — a condition where blood pressure rises dramatically due to anxiety at the doctor's office — has led patients to purchase portable blood pressure cuffs and monitor their blood pressure measurements at home, offering a fuller picture of a patient's heart health than a single doctor’s visit. The advent of new devices, apps and platforms allows patients to participate much more in their own healthcare. The new model of healthcare fundamentally shifts from something static — “my doctor tells me what to do once or twice a year" — to a paradigm where each patient is a stakeholder in their care. Active investment in an individual’s health leads to better outcomes across the board.
Health monitoring technologies add a sixth "P" by combining robust data into a platform. While devices like smartwatches and wearables have helped people participate in their own healthcare and fitness for years, apps are poised to help democratize access to health monitoring by enabling instant, global scale distribution to existing smartphones and data integration with clinical patient management protocols. Almost everyone is equipped with a smartphone, meaning the platform for some of these technologies is ubiquitous if the health monitoring technology is delivered via an app.
My company, Biospectal, turns the camera lens of a smartphone into a highly accurate optical blood pressure measurement and monitoring device that allows for discreet readings anytime, anywhere. QuardioArm is a wireless blood pressure monitor that syncs with your Apple Watch. The FibriCheck app monitors heart rhythms and can detect arrhythmias. Google's Fit tracking platform uses a Pixel phone camera to measure heart and respiratory rate and other benchmarks. These types of apps help track progress and promote daily use, and they can connect seamlessly with healthcare providers to support treatment outcomes that improve health, longevity and quality of life and lower cost of care.
Some might argue these changes will damage the doctor-patient relationship and let technology do the hard work. I believe they'll improve doctors’ understanding of their patients’ condition because they'll now have access to data and vital parameters collected in the patient’s real-life setting.
All these collective changes will have a tremendous positive effect on the cost of healthcare, patient outcomes and doctor-patient relationships. Patients will contribute to and be involved in their health in a way that hasn't existed before because of real-time feedback. Doctor-patient communication will improve. Education, coaching and behavior management will be customized based on data and then packaged and delivered via smartphones. Ultimately, technology and platforms will allow patients to participate at the highest possible level in the management of their health.
Eliott Jones | Forbes Councils Member
Forbes Technology Council COUNCIL POST| Membership (fee-based)
Article URL: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/03/30/the-six-ps-of-medicine-how-healthcare-technology-will-transform-access-to-care-and-enable-better-patient-outcomes/?utm_campaign=Social%20Member%20Articles&utm_content=160440461&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&hss_channel=tw-3291010518&sh=4c047a7b2ebe