In a recent article for The Wall Street Journal, Dr. David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund, discusses several hypothetical consumer interactions with near-future health care systems. Blumenthal's examples are highly plausible and imply the need for impressive manufacturing achievements if we are to match the demands of an evolving health care marketplace.
A look at the future of health care
Blumenthal illustrates three scenarios before going on to cover accessibility and security issues that the medical community, consumers and regulatory bodies are currently struggling to bring up to date. The first example details a family leveraging smart technology and remote access to monitor the health of an aging parent living alone with challenging health issues. Blumenthal's second example is an individual using online scheduling, health care planning and payment management to understand what options are available after an injury. The last example is of a woman with a familial history of health issues harnessing the power of personal technology devices and online medical information to take control of her own care.
Each of Blumenthal's examples are interesting in their own right. Also, they do a fine job of illustrating the need for rigorous security standards as individual - and highly personal - health care information is increasingly pushed to the cloud in competing electronic medical recordkeeping systems. However, these plausible and near-future examples also presuppose the existence of a host of advanced infrastructure and technological equipment. They assume the manufacture of intelligent medical devices that are not currently in the hands of consumers and health care providers in the mainstream market today.
The future of health care depends on technological advancement. New technical innovations are as reliant on production and manufacturing abilities as they are on ingenuity, for what we can envision generally exceeds our ability to actually produce the necessary products.
Broad based needs require specialized production partners
One of the best ways to speed the development curve of technological innovation is to embrace specialization. Contract relationships with nearshore product manufacturing communities like The Offshore Group's facilities in Mexico allow research and development groups to direct the entirety of their focus where it belongs - on health care solutions. The developers of tomorrow's intelligent medical devices won't need to deploy and manage the online backbone that their devices run on. There are better, established providers for that service. Similarly, they won't need to build manufacturing capacity from the ground up. Instead, they will leverage existing workforces with the facilities and processes needed to deliver.
The Mexican government has recognized the country's critical role as a key manufacturer in the advancement of global medicine. The overwhelming majority of Mexico's medical device exports are shipped to the U.S. Those established production lines combine with geographic and logistical advantages, as well as trade benefits like the North American Free Trade Agreement, to cement Mexico's place as a leader in medical device manufacturing.
Blumenthal's illustrations of life in our future health care system demonstrate a reliance on networks of specialized providers and service groups that are bound together by both technical infrastructure and an interest in serving patient needs. Arriving at that future in a timely fashion will require a similar grouping of specialized services to develop, manufacture and deploy the infrastructure needed for intelligent, online health care management. The Offshore Group is positioned to pair domestic solution developers with Mexico's specialized medical device manufacturing workforce.