Growing demand for digital-based health services is revolutionising the healthcare sector, according to new research from Accenture.
The survey of 2,301 US adults shows that consumers are becoming more accepting of disruptive technologies ranging from artificial intelligence (AI) to virtual clinicians and home-based diagnostics having a greater role in their overall medical care.
One in five respondents (19%) said they have already used AI-powered healthcare services, and most said they are likely to use AI-enabled clinical services, such as home-based diagnostics (66%), virtual health assistants (61%), and virtual nurses that monitor health conditions, medications and vital signs at home (55%).
“Driven by experiences outside of healthcare, consumers increasingly expect to use digital technologies to control when, where and how they receive care services,” explained Dr Kaveh Safavi, who leads Accenture’s health practice globally.
The survey also found that consumers are using a variety of digital self-service tools for managing their health. Consumer use of mobile and tablet health apps has tripled over the past four years, from 16% in 2014 to 48% today, while the use of wearable devices has nearly quadrupled, from just 9% in 2014 to 33% today.
Asked about sharing the sensitive data collected from wearables, 90% said they are willing to share the data with their doctor, and 88% are willing to share the data with a nurse or other healthcare professional. Meanwhile, the percentage of consumers willing to share such data with online communities or other app users has risen to 47%, from 38% in 2016.
“The more accustomed healthcare consumers become to using wearables and other smart technologies, the more open they are to sharing the personal health data these tools collect,” Dr Safavi said.