Connecting patients with their physicians, and to each other, is healthcare’s new objective.

As an industry, healthcare has unique objective: maintain revenue while eliminating demand. Indeed, healthcare is the only industry that actively works to mitigate their consumer base.

Slowly, however, we are breaking away from a model where the interaction between patients and physicians is limited to just hospital visits. The methods of administering checkups, prescriptions, updates, and tests are being reinvented at a lightning fast rate and challenging hospitals and healthcare providers to restructure the way that they think about healthcare.

Healthcare isn’t just a resource for those who are ill, it’s meant to be a utility that ensures the well-being of all citizens. Big data systems, such as IBM’s Content Analytics, paired with social media technology, allow for hospitals to not only predict, see, and defend against diseases happening regionally, but it also allows them to proactively reach out to their community to inform them on ways they can better protect themselves against harmful diseases, infections, or accidents.

The objective has thus changed. Rather than thinking about how to increase revenue, or how to prevent readmission, the goal for healthcare providers is now to become a part of patient’s lives, both inside and outside of the hospital. Whether it is using electronic health records to deliver custom treatments, or tweeting the warning signs of a spreading virus, hospitals will find the most powerful results when they use technology to treat, connect, and engage with their consumers.

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