The Digital Health Boom is Here: How to Capitalize on It
Digital health has finally achieved its long-awaited status as an essential for healthcare organizations, rather than just an attractive asset. The consumer tech concept of “there’s an app for that” is finally being realized in healthcare – consumers can now talk to mental health professionals, monitor their heart rate and physical activity, and videoconference with doctors and specialists in one click via their smart devices.
While these innovations are essential to managing individuals’ health, they are also causing the healthcare system to become more fragmented. None of these platforms communicate with one another, which leaves doctors, care managers and caregivers without a complete picture of their patients’ health. At VirtualHealth, we’re working to make this data interoperable, collaborative, automated, and meaningful across digital devices for every patient regardless of financial standing, health conditions or zip code.
How can healthcare leaders play a role to ensure data from across the health continuum can be leveraged in a way that leads to high quality patient experience, better health outcomes and lower costs? Here are three recommended steps:
- Build on proactive movement: Now that consumers have several devices and apps at their fingertips to monitor their health, industry leaders have an opportunity to empower patients to prevent major health issues and to fundamentally shift the healthcare experience to be strategic and seamless. What if, using a cohesive technological approach, a provider was alerted that a patient’s Apple watch detected an irregular heart rhythm automatically prompting their care manager to schedule a cardiac examination? Such integrated and thoughtful collaboration would streamline the experience across a connected, automated ecosystem of care and help make healthcare services more proactive with less need for behavioral change.
- Lead with empathy: High-tech healthcare solutions should not be reserved just for individuals on commercial plans, but made equally available to Medicare and Medicaid enrollees who tend to consume more healthcare services and are usually at higher risk. Better technology and automated processes can create a network of care around the patient, incentivizing investments into underserved, underprivileged, and elderly communities. Ultimately, this leads to better care at lower costs, with reduced rates of hospitalizations and better outcomes.
- Rethink “healthcare” services: For years, the industry has discussed the importance of non-clinical factors like finances, nutrition, social wellbeing, or Social Determinants of Health, as a key driver of people’s physical health. Now is the time to integrate these influences together into the digital healthcare delivery system. We need to go beyond healthcare delivered within clinical settings and invite community support, transportation and food delivery services to enter the ecosystem. By providing care directly to the consumer’s home or community, we free up doctors’ offices for management of chronic conditions and thereby free up hospitals for unavoidable emergencies.
To take these steps, health insurance providers are increasingly turning to solutions that bring together bleeding edge technology with cutting edge medical operations to create a transformative healthcare journey for members. VirtualHealth’s HELIOS® care management platform centers around creating an infrastructure that integrates medical, behavioral, social, and service data to deliver whole person care affordably and proactively. The HELIOS® platform’s proprietary rule engines and intelligent workflows guide care teams toward the next best action for the right person at the right time, before a costly, urgent, and potentially dangerous health event.
2020 served as the tipping point of the industry’s long-awaited unified and collaborative digital health revolution. Learn how your organization can keep this momentum going with VirtualHealth’s HELIOS platform here.