Hello, primary healthcare companies, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, payors, and other healthcare stakeholders of the healthcare industry; here’s a thought: how about giving technology a leg up?
How about making it more exciting, purposeful, and strategic? It’s time you moved beyond using it to track R&D efforts, patient information, and scheduling payments and services.
That’s like being stuck in the basement level.
Consumers’ expectations of healthcare services have changed; they are now familiar with digital-born companies and expect by way of customer experience.
The entry of ‘outsiders’ such as IBM and Microsoft into healthcare has upset the applecart for incumbents. The writing is on the wall: digital technologies must be managed not as utilities but as strategic assets.
What does this mean? It means improving services by integrating processes and products that make a difference in the consumer’s relationship with you. Technology must emerge from the backroom and play a decisive role at the front end.
Understand the current scenario
Competition has been the oldest game, but the rules keep changing. How healthcare companies fenced and thrust in the past now needs a review. The digitization of healthcare has reimagined every aspect. From how products and services are designed, customer interaction, and delivery mechanisms, to back-office operations, and supplier relationships, it’s a newly painted canvas.
Just look at what the healthcare genie has been producing from its shiny bottle: AI, Blockchain, Genomics, Big Data and Advanced Analytics, Machine Learning, Automation programs, Wearables, 3-D Printing, and Robotics. That’s a full load. The healthcare industry has never been the recipient of such generosity.
These gifts are changing how healthcare companies develop products and provide services.
The technology revolution has expanded consumers’ knowledge and deepened their engagement in healthcare decisions. There is plenty of sound medical and healthcare information online that empowers consumers. In addition, there is also information on how the healthcare industry should run itself in this new normal. Healthcare decision-makers, implementors, and professionals cannot afford to ignore this message. As a result, many are focusing on expanding the role of technology to improve patient interactions, lower costs, streamline operations, and meet changing regulatory requirements.
Life sciences giant Johnson & Johnson is an excellent example of digital reinvention in healthcare. To transform its IT processes, the company moved its workload to a hybrid cloud environment and implemented data lakes, analytics, and agile development practices. The result? It combined its capabilities, including design thinking, clinical knowledge, and a global understanding of healthcare systems, to create new patient-centered services.
Digitalization can help healthcare companies capitalize on several competitive opportunities, including:
Building direct relationships with consumers leads to better treatment outcomes than intermediary institutions. According to a McKinsey study, one service provider linked data sources to help clinicians quickly analyze clinical, demographic, genomic, and environmental data to determine personalized interventions for patients suffering from chronic conditions like asthma and multiple sclerosis.
Creating new value from different profit pools. A storm is brewing in the healthcare industry, threatening to risk nearly half of the industry’s profit pools. Companies in the healthcare sector, such as new technology entrants, are looking to deliver care outside the traditional hospital setting. They are developing ways to provide digital diagnostic services, remote health monitoring, and home healthcare. Incumbents will benefit by following the same route. Only organizations using technology as a strategic asset will leverage the $1.5 trillion healthcare market; others will put 50 percent of their profit pools at risk.
Acquiring complementary capabilities through collaboration. Healthcare is seeing an increase in partnerships between providers and device manufacturers. These high-tech companies are experts in consumer marketing but unfamiliar with regulatory processes, so healthcare companies can enter this gap and collaborate with the latter to create a mutually beneficial outcome that favors consumers.
Advancing industry standards and conduct. Healthcare companies can define new rules of engagement at every level of the service chain. For example, by collaborating with the government, they could develop standards for open access to patient information or protocols for patient care, democratizing healthcare delivery.
Smooth digital transformation
Healthcare is becoming more complex and distributed. Data is at the heart of healthcare delivery, and a full embrace of technology is the only way to translate data into a consumer advantage.
Is there a risk involved? All transformations are inherently risky, and healthcare companies must welcome them, move at higher speeds, and establish innovative partnerships to turn the risk into an advantage.
Companies with old legacy systems, processes, and operating models may find it challenging to make the transition, but they cannot afford to mull over it any longer.
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