Slowly but steadily, the healthcare industry has been increasing its focus on mobile payments by connecting patients’ smartphones with the healthcare environment. Well-designed mobile payment programs can reduce the overall costs of healthcare and streamline medical bills which benefits patients, healthcare providers and insurers. For the healthcare industry, mobile payments may overhaul costs and efficiencies, making the healthcare ecosystem better for all those involved.
Mobile Apps Changing the Face of Healthcare
According to PYMNTS.com, Anthem Inc., a main insurer in the healthcare space, recently launched a payments app called CareSpree. The app is designed to enable consumers to use their smartphones to:
- Schedule and pay for medical visits
- Receive diagnoses
- Text with doctors
- Use a chat function to receive potential medical diagnoses leveraging artificial intelligence
- Connect patients with a doctor through text for follow-up advice
- Enable video doctor visits
Non-Anthem customers can even use the service, and companies like UnitedHealth Group Inc., CVS Health Corp. and Cigna Corp. have started looking into creating similar payment apps to keep up with the latest trends. This app could significantly change the face of the entire healthcare industry.
5G Technology is Gateway for Mobile Usage
The introduction of 5G technology will also facilitate mobile payments and other innovations within the healthcare industry. For example, insurance companies and medical groups are testing out the effects of wearable devices and fitness trackers on consumers – which could lead to more specific data and even discounts and incentives for an individual’s health insurance.
Worldwide shipments of wearable devices will reach 225 million in 2019. In addition, end user spending on wearable devices is expected to reach $42 billion in 2019, with $16.2 billion of that amount on smartwatches alone. With the massive number of devices that can ride on the 5G technology rails, the healthcare industry will also be able to leverage virtual and augmented reality for patients.
One recent analysis of 5G technology in healthcare stated that, “Part of the preventative equation that 5G has the potential to unlock, will be the increasing ubiquity of sensor data. The market for wearable tech that monitors everything from your heartbeat to your blood sugar is booming, and caregivers are receiving previously unseen insight into the everyday health of their patients. Healthcare providers will be able to combine it with other data that is known to impact health – think air quality or other environmental stressors – but is currently not available for the average interactions between doctors and patients. 5G will also open the door to integrating new data sources into personal care, like voice and video inputs, giving healthcare another layer of information from which to draw and new ways for patients to engage in their care.”
With the recent strides in mobile payments, it is safe to say this latest technology will directly influence both costs and efficiencies within the healthcare industry.
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