We identified top trends that will shape the tech sector in 2019, some of which are healthcare-related.
The big shift is the fact that everyday areas are starting to generate health data at an increasingly fast clip, specifically in our homes.
We’re slowly moving to an inflection point where patients are going to generate as much (if not more) clinically useful data outside of the hospital as within it.
Apple finally releasing the Apple Watch EKG to its users recently gives us a peek into what it looks like when patients are armed with usable medical information before going to the doctor.
Side note, isn’t it kind of crazy that with the flip of a switch, Apple turned tens of millions of watches into medical devices? That’s what you can do when you have the distribution.
Here’s an issue I’m currently faced with, and one reason why high deductibles are a complex issue.
I was experiencing a sudden pain in my shoulder in the middle of November. I had not seen the doctor the entire year. I was left with two options.
I could see a doctor, and would likely need an MRI. As a result, I would likely hit my deductible, which refreshes in January. Or alternatively, I could wait it out and see a doctor in January under a new deductible, and in the mean time, my shoulder could get much worse.
These are both bad options: Either I get a gigantic bill or delay care. Deductibles refreshing on a calendar year basis incentivizes this. Conversely, if you hit your out-of-pocket maximum early in the year, this incentivizes you to over utilize health services since the bill is on your health insurer now.
I’m not sure what the solution to this might be. Deductibles based around a specific healthcare issue are one possibility, but it’s very difficult to define what’s included in that issue (e.g. a broken arm deductible).