Last month, Goldman Sachs published a report, “The Digital Revolution comes to US Healthcare.” A story in Business Insider provides some of the details from the report, including projections of more than $300 billion “in the near future.” This is good news, as this country currently spent more than 17% of the total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on healthcare in 2013.
Goldman Sachs see three areas of potential savings, as shown in the table above. Remote patient monitoring will allow healthcare professionals and caregivers to track the condition of patients around the clock even when they are away from a hospital or other clinical setting. This will help catch changes before they become more serious complications, and should produce better outcomes for individual patients as well as lower costs through reduced hospital readmissions and more effective low-cost interventions. The estimate is that this alone will save more than $200 billion a year. Telehealth will make it more efficient for patients and physicians to communicate for routine care, which is expected to save more than $100 billion a year. The third category is “behavior modification” for patients with conditions that put them at higher risk for chronic or fatal diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease. Goldman Sachs projects the savings in this category as “indefinitely large,” and could result in enormous cost reductions at all stages of the healthcare process.
According to the Business Insider article, the report also expressed surprise over finding “the general willingness to explore digital health as a viable component in daily healthcare practice” on the part of healthcare professionals. This bodes well for wearable Health Tech devices and other forms of digital healthcare advances, as it will depend on those on the front lines of healthcare delivery to adopt and expand the use of these products and systems.