10 trends about the future of integrated care

‘The hospital of tomorrow is a network,’ said Jeroen Tas at the International Conference of Integrated Care (ICIC). Tas is head of innovation and digital innovation at Philips. Together with Mirella Minkman, Director of Innovation and Research at Vilans, he explored the future.

“Nobody knows what the future will bring, but one thing is certain, the developments in society are moving very fast,” said Mirella Minkman at the opening of the conference. Various organizations and trend watchers try to capture the future and have published various documents about the future. Our Innovation & Research department reviewed these documents and analyses them looking for overarching trends. , This resulted in ten formulated trends.

What are trends exactly?
Minkman: ‘We have based our analysis on 3 characteristics. In the first place, a trend is a change in values and needs of people: values like for instance ‘independency’ or ‘safety’. In addition, trends are characterized by being driven by larger underlying forces that are difficult to influence. For example, digitization. And finally, a trend is visible because it manifests itself, for example in citizens initiatives or a technological product like a 3D printer.’

Compatible network society
Trends are for example: ‘making people more self-reliant’, ‘caring at the moment when people want it’ and ‘caring where and when people want and need it’. We will also see that life, work, care and learning are areas that will become more and more intertwined . Other trends are for instance ‘more focus on sustainability’ and living in ‘a compatible network society. By this we mean that everything is more and more connected with everything. Services that are not aligned with other services, and do not meet with the different needs of people, will not be able to survive.

Health problems do not work according to a calendar
Tas also emphasized the importance of care that meets the needs of people: “Care can be preventive if it is available 24/7.” In addition, he explained that the ‘appointment culture’ is coming to an end. ‘Health problems will not be scheduled according to the doctor’s calendar. For pain in the chest for example, a patient must now first go to the doctor, then have an ecg (electrocardiogram) and if something more is needed, a separate appointment will be made with a cardiologist. Before you know it, 6 weeks have passed. While there is already technology available that controls your heart at the spot and provides contact with a cardiologist immediately with one touch of a button. ‘

Using time zones
Technology will therefore ensure that care is moved from the hospital towards the home environment. Tas: ‘The hospital concept is old-fashioned. It must become a dynamic network and care must be provided where people are. For example, I think of shopping areas. Monitoring will also play an important role. Tas: ‘I know a care center in Atlanta and a care center in Georgia that are linked to each other and can also monitor patients at night for each other because they are in different time zones.’

Better care experience
But above all of this, it is important to better understand the people who are in need of care. Tas: ‘So that they get a better care experience and a better result of the treatment. And it also means that healthcare professionals can do their work with more pleasure. ‘

The 10 trends in a row according to Vilans’ Mirella Minkman:

1. How and when you want it; you’re in charge
2. New communities: care where you need it
3. Lifelong learning
4. More focus on durability – sustainability
5. Uncertainty about privacy
6. Need for digital safety
7. Focus on vitality
8. Questions about who determines ‘end of life’
9. Modern solidarity
10. Compatible network society

Dr Prof Mirella Minkman is distinguished Professor of Innovation of organization and governance of integrated long term care (Vilans Chair) and Director Research and Innovation at Vilans and is Vice-Chair of IFIC

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