The diagnostics industry has seen miraculous growth in the last two centuries and continues to make great leaps forward. However, there is much still to be accomplished. One hundred fifty years ago, a doctor relied on his or her five senses to diagnose disease. Fast forward 100 years and physicians were starting to use basic tools to define diseases and figure out how to start treating them. Today our medical professionals have the privilege of utilizing automation and data analytics to determine not only if there is a disease and what it may be, but what subtype it should be categorized under and if the therapy or treatment that was selected is having a positive impact on the patient. The next step for the medical community is to evolve into an era where diagnostics is the standard of care, and all relevant data is being utilized. The goal is to identify risk and proactively target future diseases.
Continue the Climb
Increasing the quantity and quality of financial and clinical data stored and analyzed and utilizing artificial intelligence capabilities are crucial components for diagnostics to continue to advance. In addition, if labs can incorporate clinical decision support tools, collaboration across MDTs, and patient-centered coordinated care, they can change how medicine is practiced — and optimize the economics of healthcare. These elements are already giving laboratories a position of strength in the medical environment.
“Diagnostics influence 70% of medical decisions & represent 80% of EHR,” according to XIFIN CEO and Executive Chairman, Lâle White.
These statistics will continue to grow as data collection and analysis increases. Many laboratories are collecting vast amounts of data, but are only able to store it for a limited period of time. The more data these labs can retain and analyze, the better the outcomes will be for patients, and the more profitable labs will be going forward.
Macro Healthcare Trends Impacting Diagnostics
Companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google have acquired or developed consumer-facing products that are increasing the value of diagnostics. Consumers are much more interested in understanding the data of their own health, and in turn, are driving healthcare and increasing the demand for diagnostics services. Products like Fitbit and Apple Watch are becoming more and more prevalent, and because they do not require reimbursement as a traditional medical device would, they are allowing patients to monitor their health status much more freely. Another new trend in diagnostics is Health Navigator, a start-up known for providing virtual homecare and online symptom diagnosis. Amazon is currently using this product for all of its self-insured employees to optimize healthcare and lower costs. These trends show that consumerism and data are shaping the future of healthcare delivery, and as long as these avenues continue to evolve, so will diagnostics.
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