As 2019 kicks off, it's safe to say there are going to be a few trends leading the way in the digital health space. When you look across the board at these trends, the majority have a common theme:
Improving Patient and Member Outcomes.
With many healthcare organizations adopting a Value-Based Care model, the need to improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital re-admittance numbers is heightened even further. Technology holds many of the keys to making this a reality:
In 2019, expect more work with AI, and more healthcare organizations putting their dollars towards clinical trials management and monitoring in order to develop further potentially life-saving technology. AI and predictive analytics have proven solutions that can help improve patient outcomes.
Over the past year, there have been an increased number of virtual clinic solutions available where patients can be treated through video conferencing for ailments such as sinus infections, conjunctivitis, and even influenza, rather than going to an urgent care; and using these apps has become more mainstream.
Additionally, more and more patients are reaching out to their physicians through online messaging tools and portals for things such as questions on medications or procedure follow up, rather than scheduling appointments that cost more time and money for both parties.
Millennials are more inclined to seek convenient, technology-friendly care, such as the digital health solutions listed above, in an easy-to-use platform. Rather than "toughing it out" or waiting until a medical situation requires emergency care, they are more likely to seek preventive health measures when technology makes it easier to "self-serve."
Meanwhile, as the baby boomer generation ages, their need for convenient care increases. A 2018 article published by the Boston Globe shows hip and knee replacements in the United States have more than doubled between 2000 and 2014. With these procedures, patients often face 4-6 weeks of recovery time before they achieve the optimal results they were seeking to obtain in the first place. During this recovery time, they need clinicians available to answer questions, and copious amounts of rehabilitation. Virtual tools can help make this process easier, especially for those not within a quick drive of a rehab facility or without transportation resources to get them there.
As healthcare organizations further embrace digital, and specifically blockchain, there are many areas of opportunity, including claims processing from a payer perspective and improving the exchange of patient information and data from a provider view. Blockchain is a definite way of the future when it comes to increasing productivity and operative ability across healthcare organizations.
In 2019, it's more important than ever that healthcare organizations' contact centers provide a superior level of customer service.
While this listing may only be a snippet of the trends we're already seeing come to fruition here in the new year, there is little question that most financial expenditures for payers and providers will fall into one of these macro categories. Choosing technology to enable your healthcare enterprise to ensure patient, member, and clinician satisfaction is not an easy task, but Appian is here to help navigate those waters with you.
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