Accelerated by the pandemic, the way people in the UK access healthcare services is changing. With new services and providers, and the rapid growth in use of some digital health technologies, there’s an opportunity for the different organisations across the UK healthcare landscape to collaborate more closely to better serve the needs of patients.
These changes open the door for more innovative and non-traditional health and wellbeing services, offering patients greater choice and control over their healthcare experience.
Varying needs, common expectations
Healthcare needs vary widely, but some basic factors remain paramount for a positive healthcare experience: clear patient communication and efficiently organised care.
We believe healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and other health partners now have an opportunity to help widen access, create more seamless patient experiences and deliver better outcomes by adopting a more connected and people-centric approach to healthcare services.
We see three clear imperatives to achieve a more people-centred health ecosystem:
Address the data dilemma
A more integrated healthcare system requires the widespread – but transparent and secure – sharing of data. This could power greater clinical innovation, the development of new therapeutic treatments, or improve efficiency in healthcare delivery through intelligent automation. It could also give individuals greater insight into their health. But, patients want transparency over how their data is used.
This creates an opportunity for healthcare providers to engage patients in the active management of their own health and wellbeing. With greater agency and control over their personal health information, providers can discuss with patients the individual merits of sharing their health data for more personalised treatment or for research purposes.
Enable healthcare providers to become digital advocates
Whilst some people have adapted to use digital health technology, there is still a significant group who have reservations. Achieving a more connected healthcare ecosystem will mean overcoming these concerns and giving all patients confidence in the impact these tools will have.
Traditional healthcare practitioners have a key role to play in building advocacy for digital health technology. As the most trusted source for healthcare information with patients, the recommendations of practitioner’s matter. Our research suggests that recommendations like these could contribute significantly to building patient confidence in the technology that underpins connected healthcare.
Build a new relationship between pharmaceutical companies and patients
Despite the role they have played in offering a way back to some normality during the pandemic, trust in pharmaceutical companies remains surprisingly low. Only 12% of respondents trust pharma companies more now than they did pre-covid, and just 33% would trust them to keep their health data secure. There are some clear action areas to build on this somewhat modest uplift in public perceptions.
Crucially, patients are willing to engage more with pharmaceutical companies, so long as those companies meet their expectations on transparency and the information they share.
The time is right for next-generation healthcare experiences
As we take steps to recover from the pandemic, it is time to shape a new future. One that puts people at the heart of healthcare to improve access, experience and outcomes and creates a healthcare ecosystem that is ready for the future.