Future Health Study

Royal Philips has released the results of a worldwide study of healthcare, in which it takes measure of the “Future Health Index” (FHI). The study attempts to connect current health and medical trends to advances in technology that could help improve treatment and care delivery while lowering costs. A report breaks out results specifically for the U.S. population.

One finding is that while U.S. ranks in first place worldwide for healthcare access, it is below average on healthcare integration. The country is not yet taking advantage of the benefits that mobile health devices and connected care have to offer. Another result is that U.S. residents need to make use of integrated care; nearly four out of five adults over the age of 50 have one or more chronic conditions. While nearly 9 out of 10 say that they’d rather be healthy than rich, only 2 out of 5 expect that their heath will be very good or excellent 10 years from now. According to the report, we are at risk of losing all the ground gained in extended life expectancy over the last century to the epidemic of chronic medical conditions.

The study advocates moving from a provider-centered model for healthcare services to one that is patient-centered. More use must be made of integrated and connected health systems that can monitor and track data for individuals and the population as a whole. And the report recommends building more knowledge into wearable and mobile Health Tech devices so that they can help interpret their data and guide users to make more informed decisions about managing their own health.