Consumers today are accustomed to a personalized, proactive experience in many parts of their lives, from retail to streaming services. This shift is now gaining momentum in healthcare, in large part due to the rapid adoption of digital health tools. People have hundreds of ways to track their health, connect with physicians and specialists, and access their personal health records.
To create a truly consumer-centered healthcare system, however, it’s going to take more than one-off digital healthcare tools. We need a platform approach to health — one that provides integrated, digital solutions in a centralized manner to simplify the healthcare experience, address issues of digital access and affordability, and give people the services they need, when and where they need them.
Connected Care: A Digital Transformation in Healthcare
Currently, health data is siloed across the healthcare system, and not all of it is being shared between the appropriate partners. Data interoperability is a way to dissolve the silos in the current healthcare system that separate data. It more effectively connects the healthcare system, giving care providers and other stakeholders the ability to more readily create, share, and consume data. This, in turn, makes it easier to deliver proactive, predictive, personalized, and integrated care for everyone. Interoperability, facilitated by a platform-centric approach, allows healthcare organizations to collect and share data securely across the full spectrum of individual care while protecting the privacy of people and their data.
To achieve this, we are investing in the digital platform for health and digital transformation. For clinicians, this means expanded access to digital solutions such as app-based telehealth, patient portals, provider searches, scheduling apps, and cost estimators. It can also include tracking data from remote patient monitoring solutions and virtual therapy programs, and collecting and sharing data to help care providers and community organizations tailor their solutions to improve outcomes. The significant aspect here is that all these tools are integrated and the data from them can be securely shared with the appropriate people to facilitate insights-driven care. Advancing digital transformation will give the healthcare system all the tools necessary to help people get the connected care they need — where, when, and how they want it.
Creating an Integrated Health Model
An integrated health model is the coordinated care of an individual’s physical and behavioral health. It’s a cost-effective partnership between hospitals and behavioral health clinics that manage both the physical and emotional needs of individuals. It includes working with community-based organizations that support and engage the people who live, work, and play there. A digital-first, integrated approach to healthcare involves connecting the data siloes, deriving insights from this more complete picture of a person, and supporting each person’s whole health.
Chronic conditions, exercise and eating habits, stress and time management, and access to resources all fall under whole health, and supporting and improving health outcomes requires collaboration that goes beyond the traditional healthcare system and into communities. And a digitally enabled healthcare system via a platform approach will make integration easier with team-based models to healthcare. Digital platforms are designed to seamlessly align all partners in an individual’s healthcare journey.
How Digital Transformation Will Create a Consumer-Centered System
Connected digital transformation and a digital platform links all the dots that may be scattered across an individual’s health history so we can get a complete picture of their whole health. That helps create an integrated and secure health experience — for us, for care providers, for community organizations, and for individuals — so people can focus on their lives and their health rather than navigating through a disjointed system.
Our platform approach to health is helping us reach that goal. It gives consumers the services they need, helps them manage their healthcare, and makes it easier for them to access their personal health records. A platform approach strengthens partnerships across the healthcare system so it’s easier for care providers to provide the best care to their patients.
So, how can a digital platform for health provide digital technologies and digitally enabled care in an integrated manner, resulting in a consumer-centered system? In a nutshell, we can:
- Personalize the experience: Data collected by digital health tools and connected via the digital platform can be synthesized by analytics and artificial intelligence to customize services and create a better understanding of an individual’s health needs. We also know that personalized nudges at the right time can help influence member actions, so we are focused on building and delivering personalized care, recommendations, and support. Personalization is at the heart of our Sydney health app.
- Improve accessibility: Virtual care and digital technologies available in a central hub made possible by the platform can make consumers’ access to care faster and more convenient by removing the requirement to travel to a doctor’s office — while preserving the option of in-person care when needed or desired.
- Create more efficiency for consumers and clinicians: Through the connectivity offered by the platform, we can help improve the healthcare experience for individuals and providers by creating a seamless experience with web- and app-based symptom checkers and triage tools, automated self-scheduling, and other, more efficient ways to exchange data.
What’s exciting is that the idea of digital transformation is becoming more popular in the health industry. According to a 2019 American Medical Association survey, almost 90% of clinicians who responded said they see advantages to digital tools.
Building a digital healthcare system that focuses on consumers first — just like many retail companies do — is what will make this successful. Let’s make the healthcare experience safe, convenient, and efficient but also rewarding and engaging. The future of health is consumer-centric, digital-first, proactive, and oriented toward total well-being. Experience across industries shows us that this can be better enabled by a digital platform.