The Future of Health Today.

JOSÉ PINA . CEO and Founder of the Future Healthcare Group.

Looking back, one could assert that there was never a time when the impact of health systems on the economy and human lives was discussed as much as in 2020. The eyes of modern society seem almost entirely focused on the urgency of short-term responses by both public and private health systems, the increasing need for improved financial and medical assistance resources, the coldness of the numbers of infections and deaths, and the political debate that constantly dominates social media. In the middle of a pandemic crisis, it is somewhat difficult to think about the future, the trends, and the evolution of health systems.

However, in recent times we have been witnessing an impressive acceleration of initiatives, projects and businesses that aim to target the limitations on the access to healthcare among populations. The increased risk of travelling to health facilities, most particularly in what concerns individuals that are part of risk groups and the elderly, has accelerated the development of new video consultation and remote patient follow-up platforms. Therefore, even though everyone seems to be focused on the development of short-term solutions, I would like to highlight two factors that will shape the evolution of health systems in the future.

On the one hand, the digital transformation of modern society is generating new expectations among citizens regarding healthcare services, be it within the public, private or social systems. Today, the access to public services and others, such as banking and insurance services, is mainly promoted via digital channels and, to a very significant extent, via mobile phones. It is estimated that more than 60% of utilizations are made through this route, when compared to those that are made via a computer. This way, the access to health services tends to evolve into a much more demanding digital experience. In addition, one must also consider the explosive effect that the utilization of video platforms for personal and professional communication has been exercising on modern society. This comfort effect in the utilization of the latest communication technologies such as Zoom, Teams or WhatsApp will continue to transform the relationship between the patient and healthcare systems.

On the other hand, the development of Digital Health, considered by many as a futuristic trend, is already proving itself within the scope of some very innovative projects that will surely contribute to the future transformation of health systems. Besides the relationship between doctor and patient through video, activities related to well-being, prevention and diagnosis are witnessing a mutation through the introduction of wearable models, medical devices, and artificial intelligence.

The Future Healthcare Group is based in Portugal and is present in six countries in Europe and Latin America. It develops technological solutions, operations and services for insurers and healthcare systems through a digital platform that interacts with the individual, the healthcare provider and the insurance provider or paying entity. This way, the Future Healthcare Group seeks to maximise the efficiency within this ecosystem and improve the health conditions of its clients, empowering and supporting choices that enhance their state of health and well-being, with a real impact on their quality of life.