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Disruption of Healthcare: The rising power of patients – IndustryForum Healthcare – Switzerland

Organizations and politics need to change their attitude towards healthcare

On March 7 Steven de Waal was one of the speakers at the IndustryForum Healthcare in Zürich, Switzerland. This event presented the latest trends in the medical sector, including healthcare digitalization.

New tools will influence the public debate about healthcare industry

With his lecture ‘Disruption of Healthcare: The rising power of patients‘ (download) he pointed out how digital transformation offers new opportunities for patients to communicate and influence public debate about healthcare industry.

Steven de Waal explained how the same technological revolution that caused disruption in the markets will affect the power and mentality of citizens, also in their role as patients. They now have a direct channel for data, information, organization and communication. This will influence their mentality and give them tools to influence and even initiate public debate. Patients can start a debate about healthcare in general or even about specific providers and insurers, whenever they feel an urge to do that. These new technologies already influence their attitude towards politics, but will also further change their attitude towards healthcare. It will increase the power of patients.

“We see changes in culture of healthcare organizations,
but there is still a long way to go”

Two main impacts of the new disruptive technologies outside markets can be determined. First on the political market of the electorate: Disruption of Democracy. And second on the market of public services like healthcare: Disruption of Healthcare. Patients have increasing knowledge of their own and want to have influence over their own data and decisions. They want to be involved in coproducing, with their network and family, of treatment and stay in healthcare institutions. De Waal already sees some reassuring changes in behaviour and culture of healthcare organizations, but there is still a long way to go.

Dr. Steven P.M. de Waal has also analysed the impact of this modern power of patients on civil leadership in healthcare, the topic of his dissertation: ‘The value(s) of Civil Leaders’, Utrecht University (Eleven 2014).

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