Big technology companies like Apple, Amazon and Google are getting more and more involved in the healthcare industry.
And are even turning their attention to healthcare records.
We’ve commented before on Amazon’s entry into the healthcare system–now, it seems, Apple and Google are also getting actively involved in healthcare. Chiropractors can likely expect to hear more about technology companies becoming involved in the healthcare system in the near future.
What does this mean for chiropractic? For one thing, it means chiropractors should get ready for a wave of new technology and connections between existing tech products and services and the provision of healthcare services. It means more of your interactions with payers and patients may involve tech companies in big and small ways.
Two years ago, it was reported that Google was provided with patient health information by the British government. A company owned by Google, DeepMind, is using data from Great Britain’s NHS to develop artificial intelligence software that can help healthcare providers with the treatment process.
Of course, the patient data was fully-encrypted and DeepMind does need to follow regulations and protect that data as any other research group would. One thing’s for certain–Google’s making an entry into healthcare and making a big push forward.
Will they try to enter other aspects of healthcare? Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is known to have a variety of different projects in different industries. So it’s very possible we could see other efforts from Google in the future and we can only speculate about what this will look like.
Alphabet’s software investments and research may eventually be accompanied by other types of healthcare investment. Might we see something like a Google health insurance? It sounds far-fetched, but we know Amazon is working on offering something soon.
With the iOS 11.3 release, Apple released a new EHR feature that gives patients access to their healthcare records. 12 different hospital systems agreed to allow patient participation and enable people to opt-in and connect their iPhones to the EHR systems. This is still in the beta test phase and has yet to be fully-available to other healthcare institutions and facilities, but it’s likely to be expanded.
Perhaps, we’ll see similar platforms and systems for smartphone users come available in the near future. Chiropractic clinics will probably soon be able to securely connect patients with their charts, lab results and more. Maybe it’ll get to the point where patients could securely communicate with you and request appointments or make changes.
As we’ve discussed in other articles before, Amazon is trying to enter the healthcare insurance and expand into other areas as well. Pharmacy, medical supplies, healthcare provision and other industries are either confirmed or speculated to be areas Amazon is making inroads into. We can expect to see more from Amazon as they enter healthcare and try to make an impact.
Tech companies, chiropractic and the future of healthcare
Technology is continuing to sweep through various industries and make a serious impact-healthcare might be the next industry to experience significant change as major tech companies look for investment opportunities.
With the high costs of healthcare for many patients, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more technology companies take an interest, either. Some people believe medicine, for instance, is ripe for technological disruption aimed at reducing costs.
What do these trends mean for chiropractic care? Clinics will likely have even more tech available and be hearing from patients who are wondering if they can use these tools at the chiropractor, too. If more companies make a push into health insurance such Amazon is doing, then increasingly there will be new payers that chiropractic offices will be interacting with, too.
Chiropractors will need to stay on top of these trends to make sure they are prepared as these and other changes are unveiled. Being prepared can help you take advantage of opportunities while potentially minimizing any negative impact to your practice.
- Quinn, Ben. “Google given access to healthcare data of up to 1.6 million patients.” The Guardian online. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/04/google-deepmind-access-healthcare-data-patients. Published: May 2016. Accessed: May 2018.
- Mearian, Lucas. “With iOS 11.3, Apple looks to unite patients and their healthcare data.” Computerworld. https://www.computerworld.com/article/3251746/mobile-wireless/12-hospitals-to-share-patient-health-info-via-ios-113.html. Published: January 2018. Accessed: May 2018.
- Farr, Christina. “As Amazon moves into healthcare, here’s what we know–and what we suspect–about its plans.” CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/27/amazons-moves-into-health-what-we-know.html. Published: March 2018. Accessed: May 2018.