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Horizon 2030: What Does the Next Decade of Digitization Look Like?

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As technology rapidly evolves and the normalization of digital healthcare expands, Leading Health Systems (LHS) will have to redesign and optimize their strategies and ways of working to thoroughly incorporate digital health modalities.

Key themes that will define the next decade of digitization for LHS include:

1. A digital front door strategy will allow integration of digital technologies to create a single, coherent platform that emphasizes the user experience, thus increasing patient engagement and operational efficiencies.

  • Whereas healthcare’s front door used to be brick-and-mortar locations, virtual patient encounters will bring the front door directly to the patient, allowing consumers to dictate the care they receive. Health systems will be primed to build a cohesive digital journey to guide the patient experience.
  • These strategies will require data analytics and integration to streamline workflows to ensure patients receive the right care, at the right time, and in the right place.

2. Virtual care and wearable device data will become fully integrated in healthcare delivery, resulting in more flexible, personalized patient care.

  • The virtual health market is projected to grow more than 23% annually over the next five years, reaching close to $100B by 2025; similarly, by 2030 the health technology and wearable devices industry will boom to $6.2B worldwide.
  • Outpatient care, preventative care, long-term care, and wellness services are projected to be delivered virtually, and wearable technologies will increase monitoring of chronic diseases and enable widespread data sharing. The lines for “virtual care” will soon become synonymous with “care.”

3. Cloud computing and AI will drive improved digitization.

  • Increasing investments in the healthcare infrastructure will support data-driven decision making, shift toward digitization in patient data recording, adoption of big data analytics for real-time information management, and growing integration of advanced technologies.
  • AI applications within the healthcare industry have the potential to create $150B in savings annually for the United States. In the next decade, it is projected that 20% of all patient interactions will involve some form of AI enablement within clinical or nonclinical processes, up from less than 4% today.

The Road to 2030: Combatting the Digital Divide

For Consumers & Patients

  • Does your LHS digital strategy account for easy access and use experience for those with varying levels of internet access (e.g., partnering with libraries and telecommunications companies)?
  • Is your LHS promoting digital literacy programs among the community, and offering digital health navigators?
  • Is your LHS broadcasting digital health offerings to the community (e.g., virtual health appointments)?

For the Clinical Workforce

  • Does your LHS have a communications plan in place to combat negative perceptions and quell concerns around job loss?
  • Does your LHS have dedicated training programs in place to ensure employees are well-versed on new technologies?
  • Is your LHS taking a “basics-first” approach (e.g., working with EMR capabilities prior to bring on new tools) to ensure duplicate technologies aren’t brought on?