By Rebecca Nadeau
While healthcare has long lagged behind other industries when it comes to digital transformation, the industry is making up ground at a frantic pace. Thousands of vendors have hit the market over the past few years, promising solutions that range from price estimation tools to workplace wellness enhancement to remote patient monitoring.
At the same time, many hospitals have rushed to acquire new solutions to solve key challenges, such as increasing competition from other hospital systems and industry disruptors, growing demand and recognition of the value of health-at-home models, changing patient expectations, and crisis-level rates of staff shortages and burnout.
The combined momentum—both on the vendor and hospital side—has created nothing less than a tidal wave of change across the industry.
To learn how that wave will continue to shift and evolve in the year ahead, we asked our leadership to weigh in. Here are their top predictions for digital health in 2023.
More Consolidation and More Demand for Platform-Based Solutions
“There will be continued consolidation in the digital health solution market as provider organizations seek to simplify their technology ecosystem and prioritize partners that take a platform approach to solving a wider range of challenges. Access and growth challenges that solution companies are facing will only accelerate this movement to consolidation.”
-David Harvey, Panda Health CEO
More Digital Health Implementations, More Demand for Workflow Automation Solutions, and More Savvy Selections
“Health systems have responded to the wind-down of pandemic relief funding and interest-rate driven economic contraction by generally pausing discretionary purchases. However, the pause in discretionary purchases will likely (hopefully) be short lived with more budget returning in the second half of 2023. Meanwhile, the following trends will accelerate:
- Automation of workflows will continue as CIOs respond to CFO demands to reduce red ink and as long-term reductions in available workers are more formally built into long-term financial plans. There will be related cultural stress within health systems as formerly people-powered processes (the non-digital front door) are de-populated by necessity.
- Digital health vendors will accelerate their efforts to demonstrate that they are a platform of capabilities vs. point solutions. These efforts will take the form of increased partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions.
- Health system buyers will increasingly ask for solution purchase breakeven periods, which are measured in days vs. quarters or years. As a result, vendors will be less able to rely on softer value propositions such as, ‘improved patient experience.’”
-David Nichols, Panda Health SVP, Digital Health Portfolio and Platform
More Emphasis on RPM/Telehealth Optimization and ROI
“Organizations that scrambled to roll out telehealth and other digital solutions to address Covid, are now dealing with the underutilization and underperformance of those solutions combined with an exceedingly challenging economic climate. As a result, digital health spending has slowed and will continue to be down through the first half of 2023. But forward-thinking health systems know they can’t sit idle for too long and are now sharpening their digital strategies and doing their research in preparation for the next wave of technology deployments that will begin in the coming months. The emphasis of those solutions will focus around two main themes. One will be the rationalization and optimization of their telehealth and RPM solutions to deliver on the promise of those capabilities to provide greater access to care and reduce the cost of care. The other focus will be on solutions with proven, quantifiable return on investment as the health systems must shore up the bottom line. Those solutions will still improve patient experience, reduce the burden on the care team, and improve clinical outcomes, but first and foremost, they will need a strong ROI.”
– Ryan Bengtson, Panda Health SVP, Health System Experience
More Recognition of Digital Solutions to Overcome Financial Challenges
“As healthcare fully confronts the economic challenges facing the industry, most health systems in 2023 will pursue a greater adoption of digital health solutions as a fundamental and necessary approach to overcoming the financial obstacles. In other words, healthcare will fully see that digital health adoption is not an expense but a strategic means to financial health. In addition, health systems will further embrace the innovation of digital health technologies beyond the typical patient access and financial engagement enhancements to more clinical operations and outcomes improvements that will lead to a more efficient overall organization.”
– Michael Puffe, Panda Health Chief Strategy Officer
We’d love to help your hospital create a stronger digital health strategy in 2023. Contact us here to learn how.
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