The Rise of Digital in Healthcare

08/02/17

The rise of digital technology in the healthcare sector will see a major shift in how care is being delivered, this will bridge the gap between consumers and clinicians.

According to PWC, current care models are inadequate to satisfy growing industry and consumer expectations. As patients transition from passive healthcare recipients to active value-seeking consumers, the health sector must master digital tools in order to reinvent how care is delivered. Digital is seen as a fundamental component in many industries rather than an option-  look no further than the banking sector, where most now provide their services online with the aim of using technology to raise quality, improve efficiency and expand their services. Like banking, the healthcare industry is evolving to embrace new challenges and consumer attitudes. 

Within the last few years, health leaders have devised new ways to connect with patients via their websites and apps. This has removed the barriers of time and distance, bringing a traditionally fragmented industry closer together. Joseph Touey from GlaxoSmithKline, predicts that by 2020, we will have a healthcare delivery system that is fully digitised. There will be the emergence of real-time analytics. Everybody wins from a patient care perspective with improved information sharing and interoperability.

Research by the HRI Consumer Survey, PWC, 2015 also shows how consumers and clinicians would use digital:

Health marketing

Healthcare companies need to figure out how to utilise technology that adds value to their patients. However, the main challenges are finding out what motivates patients to adopt and continue to use digital technology, this is key to sustainability.

There is no doubt digital will set off an explosive trend in health industries. We are already seeing big pharmaceutical companies launching hundreds of mobile apps helping to educate users. For example, GlaxoSmithKline has launched a “MyAsthma” app that allows patients to measure their asthma control, as well as, providing metrics such as the pollution index and current pollen count to give users prior notice of any problems they may encounter. Modern healthcare is about connecting people, and making better use of data more accurately and efficiently than ever before. As the healthcare sector begins to place the focus more firmly on what customers want, the industry will evolve a very different business model from what exists today.