The world is beginning to embrace health technology in a big way. So much so that the global care solutions market has expanded and is projected to continue to experience immense growth.
According to researchandmarkets.com, in 2021, the value of the global care management solutions market was estimated to be $13.2 billion. It is estimated that it will have a compound annual growth rate of about 13.3 per cent and, therefore, should be valued at approximately $27.9 billion by 2027.
Technology has been a major driving force in the development and growth of this market as it has widened access to services in several areas of healthcare and has increased efficiency and profitability in others. Electronic medical records (EMR), for example, has facilitated healthcare access without borders because they can be instantly available regardless of distance.
Patients now have the option of choosing a caregiver anywhere in the world and having continuity of care as a result of more accessibility of comprehensive health records. This is only one of the several ways in which EMR can improve overall care. Through EMR, prevention as a part of healthcare delivery can be better organised, facilitating more patient participation.
It can also improve diagnostics because of the fact that it brings together disparate information into one database, which can be accessed by various types of caregivers. Patients can, therefore, receive more comprehensive and linked care, which will inevitably mean better outcomes.
Although care management technology solutions have been steadily growing for these reasons, the COVID-19 pandemic has put into focus the need and preference to access care without having to visit a healthcare facility in person.
I believe that in the future, people will be choosing this option more and more. This means that the industry could experience even greater growth than projected, especially if we experience another pandemic-type crisis, which the threat of the spread of monkey pox has been putting in focus recently.
PANDEMICS ARE MORE LIKELY THAN ONCE THOUGHT
A study, led by Marco Marani, Ph.D., of the University of Padua in Italy, which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2021, concluded that pandemics are more likely than once thought. The team examined the probability of the occurrence of various pathogens, including plague, smallpox, cholera, typhus, and novel influenza viruses and concluded that someone who was born in 2000 now has a 38 percent chance of experiencing a large- scale pandemic. (globalhealth.duke.edu)
It is clear then that technology and healthcare digitisation are soon to become a normal part of healthcare delivery and more widespread than it is currently. The Caribbean is beginning to take a greater role in this industry. Our own Ministry of Health and Wellness, for example is seeking to digitise some hospitals and health centres.
They have already been using a pharmacy information management system through the National Health Fund as well as the insurance adjudication software that has made it easier for both administrators and patients to interface with the system. Other islands such The Bahamas have been using some level of technology as part of healthcare delivery.
I believe that in the coming years, more Caribbean territories will come on board. If this happens, or rather when, we can seek to better integrate our healthcare systems and enable more support and resource sharing across the board in a similar way that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was envisioned.
Europe is ahead of the rest of the world with respect to healthcare digitisation, but we are catching up at a steady pace. Imagine if we could make these kinds of global linkages for patient care how significantly we would be able to improve healthcare access and delivery as well as quality of care.
Technology, as part of care solutions management, can achieve this and much more. There has been a great paradigm shift in the last two decades in how we envision care, and I do believe that we will increase buy-in among the population in time and embrace the technology in a way that the benefits will be more than we ever imagined.
Published: Sunday | July 31, 2022 | 12:08 AM Doug Halsall - Contributor