#3 How to improve patient outcomes, while decreasing the cost of healthcare?

As a result of its huge cost, the U.S. Healthcare ecosystem is now seeking solutions that will

 (i) Increase Access to Care

(ii) decrease the cost of care and

(iii) improve outcomes.

In this post, we are going to focus on Improve outcomes

The changes in the U.S. healthcare ecosystem to serve more patients and the cost/benefit of introduction of new technologies has been discussed earlier.

In the context of evolving healthcare in the U.S., and in particular in the area of medical technologies “improving patient outcomes” must be looked at broadly, as opposed to the traditional “solving an unmet medical need” only.

Improving patient outcomes is related to the overall distribution of the quality measures of the care delivery process, including its variance and its defects.

In other words, reducing the variance of clinical outcomes across the U.S. landscape and eliminating defects of care delivery should be considered as “medical needs”, and added to the objectives of improving outcomes for any innovative MedTech company. Perhaps some facts can help underscore the magnitude and urgency of the opportunity:

  • Rates of coronary stents are three times higher in Elyria, Ohio, compared with nearby Cleveland, home of the prestigious Cleveland Clinic.
  • U.S. and UK data show that much of the variation in clinical protocols is accounted for by the willingness and ability of doctors to offer treatment rather than differences in illness or patient preference. Identifying and reducing such variation should be a priority for health providers.

An example on how technology impacts outcomes can be found in “The RFID Visual Guide to Healthcare” published by McKesson where the “outcome” value proposition is stated in the form of “Improving Patient Safety” as “RFID technology protects patients by managing and tracking drug administration and by controlling patient access to unsafe or prohibited areas”.
Another example comes from Leica Biosystem’s laboratory workflow solutions for anatomic pathology. The related value proposition directly addresses the reduction of defects and variance of the workflow: “…solutions that enable remote, real- time viewing and easy distribution of images for collaboration, and Precision image analysis solutions to improve clinical and research productivity, reproducibility, and consistency”. In short, there are numerous market opportunities in the U.S. for new technologies that enable a more effective care workflow and eliminate its related defects.

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