The Future Of Healthcare Personalization - Forbes

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Over the past year, the healthcare industry has seen tremendous growth and innovation. And it’s only just beginning. 


Going forward, how healthcare operates internally and how customers interact with their care providers will be radically different, creating a more customer-centric and convenient approach. 

At the heart of that change is personalization. 


The days of customers filing in one after another are on their way out, replaced by a new approach that uses technology to create personalized experiences for each patient. 


Here are four pillars for the future of healthcare personalization: 


1 . Abundance of Data

Solid personalization efforts are rooted in quality data. Over a lifetime, each person generates the equivalent of more than 300 million books of personal and health-related data that could unlock valuable insights into their health and wellbeing. As more devices and data become available and accessible, the abundance of data will continue to grow with metrics from wearables, apps and digital devices. Advancing technology allows clinics and providers to then use AI and machine learning to analyze data and paint a better picture of each patient, including their needs and risks.  


The growth of data is inextricably linked to the growth of telehealth. Telehealth has exploded during the COVID pandemic and will become a permanent aspect of modern healthcare. Nearly 70% of healthcare providers want to continue having telehealth visits, with most noting that it has improved their ability to offer better care. Digital healthcare creates more data for a better, more personalized experience. When a patient visits a doctor in the office, their visit is likely recorded with a few notes. But a telehealth visit makes it easier to collect much more data, including exactly who a patient talked with, what they talked about and what needs to be addressed in the future.  




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2 . Connected Tools and Data


Collecting data is just the first step to personalization. The key to true personalization is to align the data and communicate it across organizations. 


Healthcare isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. How a disease or condition manifests itself in one person could be very different from how it looks in another patient. Each patient may have different symptoms and require different approaches to treatment to create their healthiest outcome. In the current healthcare model, providers are often left to give their best guess as to what treatment is the best option for a patient and why some patients react better than others to certain types of treatment. But in the future of healthcare personalization, advanced data collection can discover and analyze patterns from vast amounts of data from worldwide patients to not only accurately identify and diagnose conditions, but also find the safest and most effective treatment options for each individual. 


This personalized technology has the power to revolutionize healthcare both for common and incredibly rare conditions. By connecting patient data from around the world, healthcare providers can have all the resources available to personalize care.


3 . Widespread Automation


In an industry based on a myriad of data and continual research and scientific discoveries, one of the roadblocks to healthcare personalization is humans—it is often too difficult for humans to stay up to date on data and treatment options, as well as too time-consuming for them to dig deep for each patient. But quality care is also based on both human connection and technology. In the future, healthcare will be able to automate to sort through data faster to create personalized recommendations, without losing the human aspect of care. 


Automating everything from data entry to medicine distribution and research analysis gives doctors and nurses the resources they need to provide the best personalized care and also frees up time for them to focus on delivering quality care to each patient. With the assistance of AI algorithms, healthcare providers can reduce diagnostic errors and provide the most up-to-date research and resources to support decision-making. They will be able to take that globally connected data and automatically diagnose a patient and recommend the best treatment.  


4 . Proactive Treatment


The future of healthcare is more about preventing disease than treating it. Doctors will focus on preventative measures that can proactively address issues instead of waiting to perform risky or emergency procedures. At the heart of that is a personalized understanding of each patient and their risk factors. 


AI and data focused on patient behaviors and risk factors can automatically identify risky behaviors and predisposition to certain conditions so that doctors can proactively and confidently recommend the best lifestyle changes and proactive treatments to patients. In the future, the guidance could be less about a general health and lifestyle recommendation, such as eating lots of fruits and vegetables, to a personalized proactive measure, such as specific daily dietary goals to prevent certain conditions. Proactively helping each patient live their healthiest life not only improves their overall wellbeing, it also cuts down on the cost of procedures.  


The future of healthcare is personalized and will be here before we know it. 


With a strong foundation of data that can be shared and analyzed, health care providers will be able to proactively treat patients in the ways that their bodies will respond to best. 


With personalization at the center of a new age of healthcare, patients will be able to reach new levels of health and wellness, ushering in an age of science-based lifestyle improvements.


Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker and the author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her weekly newsletter here.