Move over, electronic health records: 2014 is shaping up to be the year of healthcare technology with a real-time benefit to consumers.
A number of tech trends – some new, others more established – are poised to change the way consumers find healthcare, interact with providers, and reap physical and financial benefits for pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Below are just some of the possibilities of healthcare technology on the market today.
Shop smarter for care. Online healthcare sourcing companies are developing responsive systems through which consumers can locate the best provider for their care concerns and know the real cost of service – including deductibles and co-pays – before ever making an appointment.
The doctor is in…your house. New applications and online services will give patients the opportunity to receive a digital house call rather than go out to a hospital or doctor’s office. Doctors can provide medical advice by phone, email, and possibly even video chat so patients can avoid higher out-of-pocket costs or the contamination risk of waiting among other sick people for care.
Wearable health monitors. Pedometers and wearable fitness devices such as Nike’s FuelBand and FitBit’s line of products became even more popular in 2013, and the trend is set to expand further in 2014. Fitness tech companies are turning to sensor-equipped workout clothing, like that already used by Major League Soccer, to provide more accurate data capture and a higher level of comfort for consumers at every level of fitness.
Get paid to get – and stay – healthy. Many companies and health insurance providers already offer discounts on premiums and other healthcare costs to consumers who take steps to improve their health, whether by meeting established health care goals or by enrolling in a gym or weight-loss program like Weight Watchers. In 2014, insurance companies are expected to similarly reward consumers who use health monitoring apps like MyFitnessPal to track their nutrition and physical activity.
In addition to this, there are applications on the market that will reward users for hitting their goals. One, the popular Pact (more than 100,000 downloads on the Google Play store), incentivizes healthy lifestyle decisions – higher vegetable consumption, food tracking, and workouts – by paying users who meet their goals and fining users who don’t.
Track your health for targeted wellness suggestions. Even though insurance companies aren’t paying you to monitor your health just yet, it is never too soon to get started. There are hundreds of mobile applications available for Android and iOS devices that help you track your activity and calorie intake. As health technology evolves, there is a very good chance that the apps consumers are already using may be integrated into consumers’ online health profiles. This would provide an aggregated picture of each consumer’s health as well as the opportunity for consumers to get targeted suggestions for improving their lifestyle.
These healthcare technology trends have the potential to benefit companies that subsidize their employees’ health care coverage. In the interim, make sure your company has the cash flow to effectively cover your employees with PRN Funding’s healthcare factoring program. Learn more about healthcare factoring services and complete our application today to get started.