First Future Health Index reveals developed markets have better access to healthcare, but emerging markets lead in adoption of connected technologies

June 8, 2016

  • International research report commissioned by Philips shows differing levels of readiness to embrace the benefits of connected digital health systems and data sharing
  • Results point to clear perception gaps among healthcare professionals and patients when it comes to accountability and capability for preventing poor health

 

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) today launched the results of the first edition of its Future Health Index (FHI), an extensive international study which explores how countries around the world are positioned to meet long-term global health challenges through integration and connected care technologies. In order to improve the quality, access and affordability of care, healthcare systems are increasingly shifting their focus from hospital-based acute care to new models of integrated, coordinated care along the ‘health continuum,’ from healthy living and prevention to diagnosis, treatment and home care.

 

Examining the perceptions, behaviors and attitudes of patients and healthcare professionals, the Future Health Index focuses on three important factors necessary to move toward a more integrated system of healthcare: access to healthcare; integration of the current health system; and adoption of connected health technology devices and systems.

 

While the data illustrates the growing opportunity for digital technology to drive healthcare transformation, the Future Health Index also reveals varying levels of readiness across markets and unveils opportunities for improvement to encourage broader user adoption globally.

 

Three-quarters (76%) of healthcare professionals in developed markets agree their patients have access to the treatments needed for current and future medical conditions, versus just over half (58%) of those in emerging markets. However, emerging markets such as South Africa and the UAE appear to be leading the way in terms of connected device adoption, and more healthcare professionals in emerging economies expect connected devices to be used to manage health in the future.

 

The study, which will be run annually, was conducted in partnership with an independent global market research firm in 13 countries in recent months. More than 2,600 healthcare professionals and 25,000 patients were questioned in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, UAE, U.K. and U.S.

 

Assigning each country surveyed an average score out of 100, the FHI report shows the perceived state of readiness of each market to benefit from integration across healthcare systems. The United Arab Emirates achieved the highest score – 65.3 – among participating nations, with The Netherlands and China also coming in high, with scores of 58.9 and 58.1, while Germany, Brazil and Japan received the lowest scores in terms of readiness, at 54.5, 50.6 and 49.0, respectively.

 

“The Future Health Index has uncovered a number of significant areas where healthcare systems must transform if they are going to succeed in delivering long-term value-based care,” said Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips. “However, it is encouraging to see many countries are starting from a reasonably strong position in their readiness to adopt the connected digital technologies which will ultimately drive transformation. The FHI provides valuable insight for patients, healthcare professionals and policymakers – in both developed and emerging markets – on where attention needs to be focused to increase their respective levels of access, integration and adoption of health technology to improve healthcare outcomes and patient experience in the long term.”


Other key findings from the FHI study showed:


Data is proliferating, but data sharing continues to be a challenge. Despite progress towards universal medical records in some markets, the vast majority of patients (74%) report having to repeat the same information to multiple healthcare professionals, and most (60%) have also experienced repeatedly taking the same tests. Meanwhile, even though more than half (57%) of patients own or use a connected care device to monitor various health indicators, only one third of these patients (33%) have ever shared this information with their doctor. 

 

Technology is a generational issue, for both healthcare professionals and patients. Across the countries surveyed less experienced healthcare professionals and younger patients are more likely to see, use and share information from connected technology than their older peers. This indicates that adoption will rise in the years ahead as a ‘digitally native’ generation comes of age. Over half (57%) of patients aged 18-34 report owning or using at least one health monitoring device, and one-quarter (25%) feel they are knowledgeable about connected care technology, versus 14% of those aged 55 and older.

 

Patients and doctors are divided in perceptions of patients’ ability to monitor their own health. A clear majority of patients surveyed (69%) feel they have the knowledge to manage their own health effectively. However, less than half of healthcare professionals (40%) agree. Perception gaps also exist in terms of who is responsible for preventing poor health. As patients age, they are more likely to believe they are the guardians of their own health – 79% of those 55 years or older agree they are fully responsible for preventing poor health compared to younger patients (66% of those aged 18-34 globally).

 

Integration and data sharing are worth pursuing. Sizeable majorities of both patients and healthcare professionals (69% and 85%, respectively) believe integrated health systems and connected technologies can improve the quality of care for patients, and most doctors (88%) agree that integration can have a direct positive impact on population health management. 

 

Specific areas of improvement must be addressed to increase broader user adoption globally.


Bureaucracy is seen as a major stumbling block. Half (54%) of healthcare professionals and 43% of patients indicate health system bureaucracy is a major barrier to further coordinate data information sharing and integration of healthcare systems in their countries.

 

Cost, training and data security concerns are standing in the way. Half of healthcare professionals and patients (52% and 51%, respectively) believe connected care devices would increase the cost of healthcare overall, with worries about resources needed for associated needs, such as training and data security contributing to overall concerns.

 

To read the Future Health Index report in its entirety, and to access local market data in-depth, please visit: www.futurehealthindex.com.

Future Health Index

For further information, please contact:

Kathy O’Reilly

Philips Group Communications

Tel: +1 978 2218919

E-mail: Kathy.OReilly@philips.com


Steve Klink

Philips Group Press Office

Tel.: +31 6 10888824

E-mail: steve.klink@philips.com

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. The company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips’ health technology portfolio generated 2015 sales of EUR 16.8 billion and employs approximately 69,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.

About the Future Health Index

Philips undertook original research to understand the perception towards connected care and the role it plays in the future of healthcare. The study, which will be run annually, included both quantitative surveys and qualitative in-depth interviews. These were conducted from February-April, 2016 in 13 countries. In partnership with an independent global market research firm, a survey was fielded from February 24, 2016 to April 8, 2016 in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, UAE, U.K. and U.S. in their native language. A combination of online, face-to-face (computer-assisted) and phone (computer-assisted) interviewing was used to reach a total sample of:

  • 2,659 healthcare professionals (those who work in healthcare as a doctor, surgeon, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or nurse across a variety of specializations)
  • 25,355 adult patients (those 18 years old or older who have visited a healthcare professional in the last three months)
  • About 200 healthcare professionals and 2,000 patients were surveyed in each country (with the exception of UAE which was 1,000).


Secondary research was also conducted, gathering information from third party data and case studies to further validate the primary research results. To provide context around the quantitative data, the survey was supplemented with 30-45 minute in-depth interviews conducted in partnership with Schlesinger and IPSOS from March 7-April 11, 2016. The following audiences were interviewed in-person or over the phone: healthcare professionals (20 per market in all 13 markets); insurance professionals (8-10 per market in China, France, Japan, The Netherlands, UK, US); and public policymakers (8-10 per market in China, France, Japan, The Netherlands, UK, US).


The Future Health Index (FHI) is calculated by combining the quantitative survey responses from patients and healthcare professionals equally on questions about access to the healthcare system, their country’s current state of health integration and adoption of connected care technology and. The Index ranges from 0 to 100 points, and is the average of three sub-indices: access (across the health continuum); integration (of health system); and adoption (of connected care technology). Each of the three sub-indices range from 0 to 100 points, and each are weighted equally in the final FHI score. The three sub-indices scores are based on a series of question groupings (or components) that draw from a distinct theme in the questionnaire.