Sydney, Australia – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) has released its first commissioned 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 of healthcare systems and connected care technologies by examining the perceptions, behaviours and attitudes of patients and healthcare professionals. Australian respondents highlighted perceived challenges in the Australian healthcare system in relation to information sharing and care in the home.
The FHI, which surveyed about 200 healthcare professionals and 2,000 patients in Australia found that the majority (70%) of patients have had to repeat information regarding their health to multiple healthcare professionals and more than a third of patients (41%) face difficulty accessing their own medical records. In addition, just half (55%) of healthcare professionals agree that patients have access to the medical resources needed when taking care of sick family member(s) or themselves in their homes.
When it comes to offering a solution, the vast majority of surveyed healthcare professionals (90%) and patients (77%) agree it is important that Australia’s health system be integrated. Kevin Barrow, Managing Director Philips Australia and New Zealand, said the findings from the FHI highlight the real opportunity in healthcare.
“One of the key themes we see emerging in the sector is the needs of patients becoming increasingly linked with those of the clinician. Philips is uniquely positioned to combine insights from both a consumer and clinical perspective. Connected digital tools coupled with our clinical capabilities are driving increased collaboration and allow us to offer new ways of improving health management.”
“The Future Health Index highlights perceived inefficiencies in Australia’s healthcare system and the impact these have on end users. However, the research also shows both patients and providers have indicated they are aligned on a vision of a more integrated healthcare system that realises the potential of connected care technologies. This underscores a real opportunity, for providers and for the government. Our shared goal is ultimately to improve the health of the Australian population, offer better and more tailored patient care when required and do so in a cost effective manner,” Mr Barrow said.
The survey revealed that three-in-four patients (74%) would be comfortable sharing data collected by a connected care technology with a healthcare professional. Currently, 52% of patients are using connected care technology to measure their health, but just 32% say they have ever shared information from this technology with a healthcare professional.
Australian healthcare professionals who have patients that have shared health information tracked on connected care technology have seen vast benefits:
- 67% say it has helped them gain more insight into their patient’s health
- 62% say it has helped motivate patients to adhere to treatment
- 58% say it has helped them give their patients measurable goals to work towards
However, about half of surveyed healthcare professionals (54%) feel that connected care technologies will increase work for them by overloading them with data that they do not need, even though they are generally positive about connected care technology.
Shehaan Fernando, Director Hospital to Home at Philips Australia and New Zealand, suggests the challenge is making sense of the abundance of data and enabling healthcare professionals to use it effectively.
“It is understandable that healthcare practitioners have expressed uneasiness about its implications given the exponential growth in data with the introduction of connected care technologies. From our perspective it’s about ensuring the data is clinically valid and can be leveraged to provide meaningful insights when it is needed to assist healthcare practitioners in the delivery of care.” Mr Fernando said.
From a homecare perspective, less than half (41%) of patients believe the public health system takes care of them when they need support in the home. Mr Fernando suggests the link between home care and coping with the costs of supporting an ageing population has never been more apparent.
“As our population gets older, with more chronic and lifestyle related diseases, our healthcare systems already are and will continue struggling to increase access and quality of care while more effectively managing spiralling costs. In order to meet this need, new models of care enabled by connected technologies will become pivotal in supporting patients at home.”
To read the Future Health Index report in its entirety please visit www.futurehealthindex.com and to access in-depth local market data, please contact Philips.