In this series, hear from two of Perficient’s healthcare thought leaders – Chief Strategist and General Manager of Healthcare, Juliet Silver, and General Manager of Digital Health Solutions, Paul Griffiths – as they discuss healthcare’s future. Our conversation will come to you via a series of four weekly blogs.
In our first blog, Silver and Griffiths examined the question, “Covid-19 has sidelined elective procedures and caused many individuals to delay or forego care due to fear of exposure. How can the healthcare industry adapt, so it’s better positioned to withstand future challenges?” This week, we continue their conversation with a discussion on momentum:
Q: What major changes do you expect to see in health care over the next several years stemming from what we’ve learned from the Covid-19 pandemic?
Paul Griffiths: First, I anticipate that Covid will not be a one-time disruption. I expect to see changes that help organizations deal with severe episodic health issues, which the healthcare system in America was not geared to solve. Telehealth, which has gained incredible adoption in a very short time, will be a complement and another avenue – rather than a lesser way – to receive care.
Juliet Silver: Yes, digital transformation is certainly going to accelerate. We’re seeing health care organizations double down on their digital transformation roadmaps. This acceleration brings an increased focus to cybersecurity and data safety that must meet HIPAA requirements.
With the government bringing reimbursement for telehealth on par with in-person visits, the need for telehealth just continues to grow. One study indicated a 500% increase in the use of telehealth within the first two weeks of the outbreak. Cleveland Clinic saw 10 times the increase in volume from consumers. But I think what they were less prepared for is the logistical knowledge needed so those clinicians and staff members could adapt to delivering remote care. We’ll see greater focus around this vast knowledge gain so we’re able to more rapidly scale care in the future.
Synching up to the growth of remote collaboration and care, we’re also seeing increased adoption of AI tools, such as digital chatbots that help the public understand their symptoms and self-triage. AI strategy will be a growing priority in health care.
Also, on-demand care is creating huge demand for virtual care tools via web and mobile apps. The future points to remote patient monitoring for consumers in the home — we’ll see more embedded analytics, data streaming, and general at-home monitoring.
I saw where ResMed launched a remote monitoring solution for off-site ventilators. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s critical if we’re going to treat patients remotely from their homes. I think there will be some material shifts in how clinical trials are conducted as well. The delays that have been erased because of Covid-19 will lend themselves to fully virtual trials in the future. Lastly, I think we will see more integration and coordination between public health organizations, health systems, health insurers and community resources to manage a host of non-clinical issues and drive social determinants of health that really require these collaborative platforms.
Paul Griffiths: I also anticipate that we’ll see a movement toward individuals owning their personal health information in the way that they own their information on social media networks, and consumers will allow hospitals and physicians to interact with that data. Once we reach that point, marketing becomes more about the performance of a healthcare system and what it can do for a patient specifically, rather than generic brand messages. We will see a much more personalized, individuated marketing approach because consumers are going to start to understand that their information is what gives them clout in this kind of healthcare transaction system. As a result, hospitals will have to cater to individuals in a way that they’ve largely relied upon physician referral networks, for example, to do.
Join us again next week when we’ll explore the following question: What shifts are you seeing in patients’ and plan members’ expectations of their health care journey and experiences? And how are health care organizations delivering on those expectations?