Several factors contribute to the rising cost of medical care. First, the cost of medical supplies and equipment is constantly increasing. Second, the number of people covered by health insurance is decreasing. This means that more people are paying for their medical care, which is often more expensive than care covered by insurance. Finally, the number of ageing people who need more medical care is increasing. As the population ages, the demand for medical care will continue to grow, which will likely cause the cost of medical care to rise even further.
As the costs of medical care continue to rise, medical insurers and payers are under increasing pressure to control costs.
In the healthcare initiatives that MindLife is involved in, reducing the overall costs of medical care is a driving factor. We do this by increasing the efficiency, affordability and effectiveness of healthcare in four main areas:
01. Reducing Consultations
MindLife is actively developing interventions and tools that patients themselves can employ for their particular condition. We take advantage of the technologies available in smartphones to offer effective, low-cost, scalable digital solutions. We also offer, as an optional addition, affordable, highly-sensitive biosensors which integrate with apps that help patients monitor and reduce their symptoms. Together these will constitute a comprehensive range of digital self-help solutions delivering personalised interventions which use evidence-based treatments to address underlying causes, reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. Properly monitored, self-help treatments result in fewer visits to the doctor and other healthcare specialists while providing effective care for patients.
02. Efficient Diagnosis
Diagnosing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression relies on relatively rudimentary tests that focus on symptoms rather than causes. Additionally, diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome have notoriously complex symptomatology with no physical causes that clinicians can identify/measure. GPs often lack diagnostic tools they can employ in their surgeries and may need to repeatedly refer patients to multiple specialists for interventions, often for months/years without a cure, resulting in substantially increased costs. MindLife is developing comprehensive digital tools for GPs/clinicians to assess patients, using artificial intelligence to recommend specific actions, tests and/or interventions based on recommended healthcare guidelines. Efficient diagnosis of chronic conditions up front, with recommendations tailored specifically for individual patients, will lead to faster, more effective treatments for patients without the costs associated with referrals to multiple specialists.
03. Allocation of Resources
Once diagnoses have been made and patients begin to work with smart technologies in a self-help scenario, there is an opportunity for practice staff to take over the monitoring of patients. Those MindLife technologies created for primary healthcare providers (GPs, therapists, nutritionists, etc.) are designed to automate the task of monitoring patients/users using artificial intelligence to analyse the inputs and responses of individual patients to the interventions they are following, alerting the healthcare provider when there is a negative trend in their treatment that requires attention. With appropriate training, practice staff can substantially reduce the workload involved in follow-ups with the primary care specialist and potentially manage a successful outcome for the patient. Staff management of patients is more cost-effective than specialist primary caregivers and maybe the more appropriate treatment route where patients respond well to treatments.
04. Socio-Economic Benefits
The socioeconomic benefits of effective treatments for mental health and related mind-body conditions are clear. These include reducing sick days and returning to work/school faster from chronic, long-term illnesses, and providing patients with self-help tools/training to improve life-long wellbeing with all of the increases in personal productivity that this implies. Healthcare organisations will be more effective, treating more patients at less cost by empowering patients to take care of themselves and reducing medication consumption and their side effects. Our digital health approach reduces disparities in access to effective care, especially in rural areas with fewer experts/hospitals and diagnostics and treatment facilities. Specialist healthcare resources can become more centralised when accessed remotely, reducing the overhead of maintaining local resources.