Connected health refers to healthcare delivery that leverages the systematic application of healthcare IT to facilitate the accessing and sharing of information, as well as subsequent analysis of health data across healthcare systems. Connected health encourages communication and collaboration among all of the various stakeholders involved in a patient’s health. It uses knowledge and technology in new ways for more effective, efficient and affordable healthcare.
As the US population continues to age and people are living for longer, healthcare IT-supported care coordination across organizations—and with patients themselves—is particularly critical to manage the rising demand for (and cost of) care. New care delivery models such as patient centered medical homes and accountable care organizations are thought to hold great potential for improving chronic disease management, while the development of mobile solutions will enable patients to manage their own care.
Given the fragmented picture of healthcare IT adoption and information exchange across the US healthcare system, it is perhaps unsurprising that value optimization is as yet in the early stages. The experts interviewed for this study, however, are very optimistic about the potential value once the levels of meaningful use of healthcare IT matures.