In 2011, the amount Americans spent on healthcare equaled nearly 18 percent of the nation’s annual Gross Domestic Product. This huge amount – more than $2.5 trillion – greatly concerns governments, insurers and medical professionals. And the pressures on the healthcare system will only grow, as the overall U.S. population ages.
The healthcare debate has spawned many suggestions. One focus is making the healthcare system more efficient. Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), in a series of projects with key U.S. service providers, explored how they can help enable more efficient delivery of health solutions.
Details are in an IBSG-produced document titled “Service Providers: A Tourniquet for the Hemorrhaging Healthcare System”. The paper can be found on the Service Provider Thought Leadership section of the Cisco IBSG website. At this site, you will find many interesting, provocative papers on various subjects relating to the service provider segment.
In this instance, IBSG found that SPs can play an important role in providing integrated solutions that address patient needs, while also helping reduce expenses. SPs bring distinct assets to the table, in the form of building blocks and capabilities:
- Making connections—critical mass: U.S. SPs connect to and communicate with more than 110 million households on a monthly basis—and nearly 80 percent are broadband connected.
- Service management: SPs have expertise in managing customers’ connected devices/CPE. Connected Home offerings give SPs expertise in delivering reliable connected experiences.
- Existing suite of services to connect healthcare and patients: SPs have expertise in critical elements of connected health solutions, including services such as collaboration tools, educational videos, data storage, remote device access and remote monitoring.
- Managed services in partnerships: SPs have deep experience working within broad ecosystems and partnerships to deliver comprehensive managed services.