Key findings

Populations and healthcare professionals place high levels of trust in their health systems. Better integration would further improve this.

Trust is highest among the populations in Spain (71%), France (67%), Singapore (66%), Canada (64%), Sweden (64%) and Australia (63%). This sentiment not only mirrored but is exceeded by healthcare professionals surveyed overall (72%).

Those who see the system as more integrated are more likely to trust the system, with 79% of those who see the system as very or completely integrated trusting it, compared to just 47% of those who think the system is only somewhat or not at all integrated.

Across regions surveyed, the healthcare industry was the most trusted when it comes to personal data, with 44% of the general population saying they trust the healthcare industry most with their personal data, compared to 35% for the banking industry, 20% for the insurance industry and a mere 5% for the retail industry.

When it comes to access, integration and adoption, perceptions across stakeholders do not always align with reality – there are gaps.

The largest gaps appear between perceptions and reality when exploring the integration of health systems, where the reality is often less integrated than perceptions. while the general population and healthcare professionals feel that the health system is generally integrated, investments in Internet of Things technology in healthcare relating to integrated systems are a relatively low percentage of the country’s GDP.

The largest gap in perception of access and the reality of access is seen in China, where perceptions far outnumber reality.

China’s relatively low reality access index score is driven by the lowest skilled health professional density among the 19 countries researched (31.5 per 10,000 population) and extremely high risk of impoverishing expenditure for surgical care (52.7% of people are at risk).

The perceptions of healthcare professionals and the general population often differ in assessing the health of the population at large.

These differences are largest in emerging markets, where just:

For example, 32% of the population in Brazil rates their health as poor or fair, yet 91% of healthcare professionals in Brazil rate the health of the population as poor/fair. In South Africa the numbers are 19% and 67%, respectively.

To create and maintain sustainable health systems, there needs to be a shift in focus from treatment to prevention.

About half of the general population feel healthcare professionals should focus most of their time and resources overall on preventive care (that is, keeping the healthy well).

While a near equal amount (48%) felt the focus should be on treating the sick. Meanwhile, 59% of healthcare professionals say preventive care should be their focus.

About one-third (32%) of the general population do not agree they have access to medication or treatment to prevent disease.

Patients may put preventive work on the side and try to focus on the actual problem, but with health there are so many organ systems, and the patient is focused on issues when the problem arises, but not when we could have done preventive work to prevent it.

– FAMILY PRACTITIONER

Practiced for 10 years, Canada

Connected care technology is seen as important for prevention, but is currently infrequently used.

Nearly three-quarters of healthcare professionals (73%) and the general population (72%) polled say connected care technology is important in improving the prevention of medical issues.

Yet nearly as many healthcare professionals (63%) say connected care technology was rarely or never being used when patients are healthy and have no medical conditions. The general population is slightly more optimistic about the use of connected care technology for healthy living, as 52% think it is rarely or never being used.

Currently, there is no consistent framework in place to reimburse and incentivize health providers towards prevention-focused healthcare.

The key is that the early prevention won’t make profit. In treatment, operations like placing stent will be profitable, while oral education on prevention won’t make great financial benefit. Patients spend a lot when they get diseases.

– CARDIAC SURGEON

19 years’ work experience, China

The problem is linked to human psychology; we do not want to collaborate, everyone is an egoist. Healthcare has become very commercial. The sick are like a bank note that is stolen by other hospitals

– CARDIOLOGIST 

25 years’ work experience, France

Both the general population and healthcare professionals have to be empowered to take a more active role in managing health.

There is a clear need to empower the population to feel they can take an active role in managing their own health:

There is room for improvement in empowering healthcare professionals to provide complete care to their patients:

There is an immediate pay-off to be had with connected care technology in home care.

Overall, 81% of healthcare professionals and 74% of the general population surveyed say connected care technology is important to improving home care services.

Similarly, when asked what aspect of healthcare connected care technology can benefit the most, the highest proportion (55%) of healthcare professionals chose home care-related aspects, mainly in terms of improving the long-term management and tracking of medical issues.

Clearer policies and a more structured approach to the management and sharing of personal healthcare data are needed to capitalize on the opportunities such data presents.

Most healthcare professionals (54%) think the responsibility for getting medical records from one healthcare facility to another currently lies with healthcare professionals/facilities.

However, they think this responsibility should lie with both patients and healthcare professionals/facilities (57%). Of the general population who used connected care technology to track any health indicator(s), 63% say they have shared this data or information with a healthcare professional.

Of those who have experienced a respiratory, cardiology, oncology, gynecological, or fertility health issue or recently been/currently pregnant, 32% said their medical records were automatically shared between healthcare professionals last time they went to see a doctor. Fewer, 21% said their medical records were not shared, 19% said they shared the records themselves and 17% said some sharing was automatic and some was shared by them.

People generally want connected care technology to enhance, rather than replace, the ‘human touch’ in healthcare.

When asked what artificial intelligence (AI) tools or technologies could have the most impact on improving healthcare, only 11% of the general population saw potential for remote appointments with hologram doctors and just 10% thought robot healthcare professionals would have the most impact. Healthcare professionals had similar views (robot healthcare professionals: 9%, hologram doctors: 7%).