Technological innovation is accelerating at a rapid pace for hospitals, especially when it comes to digital health. Investment in digital health startups brought in a record $4.7 billion into the healthcare industry in 2017—and is set to grow even more this year. With hospitals under growing pressure to cut costs while delivering more affordable, higher quality care, more providers are leaning on data-driven technology to improve operational efficiency and clinical workflows, as well as interaction and engagement with patients. This technology is being integrated into care delivery, and it’s creating value for patients who increasingly expect the same convenience and experiences from healthcare providers, that they get from other industries.
Industry experts predict more digital disruption on the horizon in 2018 for healthcare providers, along with a greater focus on using these technologies to enhance patient experience and satisfaction. At Amplion, we’re keeping our eye on these six trends.
- Patient expectations will drive technological innovation.
Patients today are shouldering a greater share of their healthcare costs and expect transparency, minimal friction and personalized care in return. Providers will need to be proactive about keeping pace with the technological experiences other industries offer and creating more relevant, retail-like experiences. This will lead to innovations that streamline communication with patients, give them easy access to forms and health information, create more safeguards to protect their information, offer timely scheduling and keep wait times down.
- Digital health technologies will offer more user-centered experiences.
With social media and other digital technologies woven into so many aspects of our lives, patients and clinicians know what’s possible—and they are losing patience with disconnected, clunky technology systems. In 2018, expect to see more digital technologies incorporating user-centered design principles and interoperable frameworks that provide more meaningful, secure data exchange.
- Mobile technologies will become an integral part of digital health.
The proliferation of smartphones and tablets is making mobile technologies more prevalent in healthcare. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently loosened its regulations for mobile health software, acknowledging that providers and consumers are embracing technologies such as fitness trackers and mobile health apps. With clinical research showing that patients can experience better outcomes when better informed about their health—plus the announcement of new reimbursements for remote patient monitoring—opportunities will increase for integrating patient-generated health data from smart devices and wearables into clinical care.
- Data will help hospitals personalize care and advance value-based initiatives.
Real-time integrated technology platforms will help hospitals automate the collection of patient data at the bedside, freeing up time for clinicians to deliver more personalized care to patients and providing hospital executives with unprecedented views of what’s happening across their facilities. Access to point-of-care data will give hospitals insights to better manage risks and get a fuller picture of the patient experience. As analytics become more advanced, hospitals will be able to track patients throughout the care continuum and put that information back into their systems to better manage the health of their populations.
- Hospitals will seek solutions that alleviate clinical and financial risks.
More health systems will invest in technologies that improve the coordination and delivery of care and offset declining reimbursements from traditional payers. Providers will expect more from the technologies they use and look for platforms that integrate seamlessly with workflows and deliver operational and clinical efficiencies. With more hospitals financially accountable for a portion of the care they provide, executives are interested in technologies that help manage and improve care for patients at risk of readmissions.
- Personalized medicine will progress and create more opportunities for engaging patients.
Healthcare leaders, as well as tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, will tap into the capabilities of cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning to help patients share and access medical information quicker. Providers will also experiment with integrating genomic data with clinical and personal health data to deliver more individualized, preventive care, especially for chronically ill patients who drive a higher percentage of healthcare costs.