Is digitization a game changer for US healthcare?

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Within the past few years, the word digital has made its way from the technology department to the boardroom; and disruptive ripples are being felt throughout organizations everywhere.

Can a competitive company survive today without exploring the digital phenomenon? Not likely. A digital transformation strategy and roadmap are critical success drivers for most industries—and US healthcare is no exception.

Today, healthcare stakeholders are exploring various advanced technologies such as e-Health, IoT, analytics, and telemedicine.

Most digital innovations can be categorized within one of three main segments:

1.     Big data

2.     Online and mobile

3.     Connected devices.

Using big data analytics, real-time insights are generated through advanced tools that measure patient communication and behaviors by synthesizing huge amounts of data acquired from various sources. This enables stakeholders to not only customize services to patients’ needs, but also to accurately charge fees based on individual risk profiles.

Similarly, with online and mobile platforms, stakeholders not only empower patients with advanced apps, but also enable healthcare organizations to better understand patients and their needs.

Within the new connected environment healthcare stakeholders find themselves in a better place. With technologies such as wearables, mHealth, and telemedics, they can offer patients the chance to take charge of their health and quality of life. This has resulted in higher demand for devices such as sensors, implants, activity or fitness trackers, and medical adherence systems[1]. These devices allow healthcare firms to access vital patient information and provide enhanced products and value-added services, while lowering patient treatment costs.

With every stage of development come challenges. Currently, the healthcare industry—like other sectors—faces the threat of cybercrime. In the last couple of years, many leading healthcare stakeholders have lost millions of dollars due to data breaches. And with time, the magnitude and severity of the crimes are likely to increase if proactive mitigation steps are not taken. In such a scenario, the key stakeholders are shifting their focus toward secure, cloud-based platforms. Such platforms will not only help to maintain confidentiality, but also will support compliance with HIPAA regulations, and improve overall efficiency.[2]

Today, healthcare is changing. Patients are value and service focused. They are looking for better value-added-services, improved communication, and better channels of engagement. They are vocal and readily share their expectations. Additionally, healthcare operational efficiency has become an important differentiator in this intensely competitive marketplace.

With such rapidly changing market dynamics, it is now imperative for healthcare stakeholders to embrace digital transformation. Patient centricity and improved efficiency are necessary to create an integrated ecosystem that enables seamless communication and data transfer between various stakeholders. Along with this, healthcare stakeholders must craft a cohesive digital strategy implementation plan that will offer an edge in an increasingly competitive market.

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