Digital health solutions will save healthcare $100 billion in the next four years

New research from Accenture found that FDA-regulated digital health solutions will save the U.S. healthcare system more than $100 billion over the next four years.

Digital health solutions, like internet-connected devices or software created to address patient treatment, saved the healthcare system $6 billion in 2014. These solutions improved patient medication adherence, supported healthy behavior changes and reduced the number of emergency room visits.

This $6 billion savings is expected to increase to $50 billion in 2018.

Health IT mandates, payment reform and regulatory changes will contribute to the growth of FDA-approved digital solutions. These digital solutions will require tight integration with an EHR system to receive data from devices and applications, as physicians increase their use of health IT and give patients access to their online records.

“A digital disruption is playing out in healthcare, as witnessed by the emergence of new business models and technology that will change the nature of patient interactions, alter consumer expectations and ultimately improve health outcomes,” said Accenture’s managing director of digital health solutions, Rick Ratliff.

Patients are continuing to demand the ability to manage their own health and records. Accenture estimates the number of people using wearable fitness devices will double to 43 percent in the next five years. Patients will be able to generate their own health data with wearables and input information into patient-accessible EHRs. Physicians can use this information to create a holistic view of their patients’ health and effectively address changes and issues.

This is part of a much bigger picture. When EHRs receive information from internet-connected devices and applications, patients receive medical care that is more encompassing and better informed than ever before. The Leidos Partnership for Defense Health sees great potential for the intersection of patient-generated health data and physician-managed EHRs to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our nation’s military as the DoD seeks to modernize its health systems.

Learn more about Accenture’s study and the future of FDA-regulated digital health solutions here.