Societal Challenges

Value in healthy aging and connected care
A framework for progress

Dec 22, 2017
By Jan Kimpen

It’s time that society begins moving away from care delivery that’s fragmented and reactive “sick care,” towards meaningful prevention strategies and more continuous patient-centered healthcare.

With spiralling costs, limited access and increasing constraints on resources, healthcare stakeholders are being held accountable to deliver greater value for people, patients and society at large. A key objective is the transition of care delivery away from fragmented and reactive “sick care,” towards meaningful prevention strategies and more continuous patient-centered healthcare. Given that 45 percent of patients with chronic conditions now account for 86 percent of healthcare spend , a reorganization of aging and elderly care is a priority. There is an imperative to educate and empower senior citizens to live healthier lifestyles, and to help them to better self-manage their own health, as well as to expand access to primary healthcare available in lower cost settings by accelerating the shift of healthcare services from hospital to home.

The opportunity

Connected solutions and data technologies are transforming the way healthcare is organized, accessed and experienced – helping to unlock greater value and better outcomes through highly efficient and increasingly personalized healthcare solutions. In personal healthcare, smart connected devices can help empower better diets, encourage more active lifestyles and help patients self-manage a specific condition, as well as sharing data with family members and care teams as a first line of prevention. Whilst in professional healthcare, cloud-connected telehealth services and remote patient monitoring services are rewriting the norms of traditional primary care. Simultaneously, Big Data is helping to advance population health management, by applying predictive insights to treat population segments through preventative measures and timely interventions.

There are significant discrepancies in pension coverage in developing countries—from a high of 56.1% in Latin America to low of 16.9% in Sub Saharan Africa. While just under a half of older persons worldwide receive a pension of some kind, many of these fall short of providing income security. More worryingly is that only 42% of today’s working population may expect to receive a pension in the future. In the 2015 AARP publication, High Anxiety, it is reported that “Significant numbers of New York Gen Xers and Boomers do not have access to retirement savings plans at work and are not contributing to any retirement savings account.” Further “In both cohorts, a majority feels anxious about being able to have a comfortable retirement if they are able to retire at all.” With these facts in hand, how do we begin to discuss “unlocking the longevity dividend”?

Example: a case study in chronic disease management

In partnership with Banner Health in Arizona, Philips telehealth and care coordination solutions are transforming services from hospital to home, with the aim of improving care and reducing costs for a demographic of patients with multiple chronic conditions (a group that accounts for around half of all healthcare spending). The expanded program has reduced overall costs by 35 percent, with 30-day readmissions and days spent in hospital also falling by 75 percent and 50 percent respectively.

A framework for progress

Despite rapid technological and clinical innovation, encouraging pockets of progress and an expanding pool of evidence-based case studies, the system wide transformation of healthcare towards healthy ageing enabled by connected care, and more broadly – a healthcare system built on values – has not yet fully taken hold. Too often, reactive “sick care” in expensive settings prevails. As a collective of global stakeholders, more must be done to lay a foundation to help incentivize, benchmark and help scale healthcare that rewards better outcomes, together with improved experiences and sustainable costs.

Areas for accelerated progress, include:

    1. Deep partnerships and collaboration – the complex nature of healthcare requires deep interaction and shared accountability between all industry stakeholders: governments, healthcare and technology providers and patient groups. Also crucially, those responsible for payments and reimbursement.
    2. Informatics and data standards – protocols for the collection, anonymization and sharing of interoperable patient and population health data; underpinned by best-in-class end-to-end encryption and cybersecurity practices.
    3. Benchmarking, measurement and tools framework – to standardize system measurement and performance management; to systematically identify and eliminate variance and system waste through lean methodologies and continuous improvement. This includes guidelines in clinical trials, longitudinal data research and protocols for healthcare information and decision support systems.
    4. New payments and incentives – that reward the shift from rewards for volume to rewards for value. For example, fixed bundled payments.
    5. Change management – new roles and organizational support structures to enable and scale system transformation, and to help capitalize upon new opportunities and ways of working.
    6. Patient outreach and education – to normalize collection, sharing and analysis of personal health data with supporting care teams.

If we can make progress in these key areas, I’m convinced that we will be much further on the path to delivering more patient-centered, outcome-based care, further uniting the industry behind a common roadmap to manage the aging population and the growing burden of disease.

Value in healthy aging and connected care

Hear from Jan Kimpen about how it's time to move away from reactive "sick care" to meaningful preventative strategies.

About the author

Jan Kimpen
Chief Medical Officer, Philips

Jan Kimpen is the Philips Chief Medical Officer, a position he has held since January 2016.

As the functional leader for clinical innovation and strategy, medical affairs and health economics at Philips, Jan and his team work collaboratively to advance clinical competencies and organic and external growth opportunities for Philips.

Jan also leads the Medical Leadership Team, with overall responsibility for medical strategy. This includes advocacy and partnerships, clinical trials and guidelines, and involvement in M&A.

As a frequent speaker on cardiology and oncology solutions, eHealth and digital innovation, Jan also represents Philips on the Global Health Security Agenda private sector roundtable and the WEF Global Health Security Advisory Board.

Jan joined the company from the University Medical Center Utrecht - one of the largest healthcare organizations in the Netherlands - where he served as professor and chairman of Pediatrics before being appointed as CEO in 2009.