Track or Treat?

Considering the impact of the consumer health revolution on pathology

By Shane Brown

At a Glance

  • The rapidly expanding use of healthcare apps, monitoring devices and websites among consumers is changing the face of healthcare
  • With this change, comes a growing demand among the public for rapid access to personal health information, and a growing trend towards patients ordering their own tests
  • This is having a major impact on laboratory practice; pathologists are expected to be confronted with unprecedented amounts of patient data from this new trend, as well as from molecular biology analyses
  • Pathologists should see this as an opportunity to modernize their laboratories to better support this highly engaged community, giving access to a new revenue stream

The consumer health revolution is already sending shockwaves through the health sector. Between health apps, monitoring devices, and personal portals, consumers are more engaged in their health than ever before and they’re creating a growing community centered around wellness and preventative care. Consumers are also wanting as much information and control over their own health as possible; a trend that is exemplified by the growing interest in self-ordered tests.

When you look at the size of the consumer healthcare market – $500 billion+ (1) – and the fact that consumers today are tracking everything from exercise, to sleep patterns, to blood pressure and calorie intake, this generation are potentially the most engaged patients in the history of health.

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