Healthcare Industry Insights

Digitization, Digital Transformation and Digital Reinvention: What’s Happening in Healthcare?

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If you are a ‘trekkie’, you will know that a ‘medical tricorder’ is a device used in the Star Trek franchise to collect bodily information and help diagnose diseases. What you might not know is that the X Prize Foundation, an innovation organization and a facilitator of exponential change, recently announced the winning team in a competition to develop a prototype of a mobile diagnostic device, inspired by the medical tricorder of Star Trek. The winner, Final Frontier Medical Devices, received $2.5M for their achievement. Developments like these are so exciting. In my 35 years of healthcare experience, I would say the transformation we are seeing in healthcare today, particularly within large healthcare systems, is like nothing we’ve seen before!

What we are witnessing in healthcare is automation giving way to digital reinvention as there is an urgency to respond and support continuous information services while being focused on optimizing costs, improving quality and experiences. Healthcare organizations are increasingly the recipients of value-based payments from insurers and employers, which are quickly replacing traditional volume-based payments. So, like other mature industries, a fee for service model is giving way to a pay for performance model. The most important element is that everything is patient-centric, whether it be service delivery, use of digital technology or creating loyalty.

You might remember a time when Digitization was the buzz word in healthcare space. That basically came to mean implementing Electronic Health Records and having a web and/or mobile presence. We moved from that to a time where focus was on Digital Transformation, where healthcare organizations used technology to transform the way they work.  For example, derive consumer insights, create mobile and digital experiences, and redesign processes to focus on telehealth.

The next wave of transformation that is almost upon us is of full fledged Digital Reinvention. One that will be led by value-based care, new technologies like AI, IoT and blockchain and personalized patient care delivered anytime, anywhere. Digital Reinvention is not just adopting technology and using it to transform care. Rather it is completely reinventing the care model based on the new capabilities of innovative technologies. Just as with the medical tricorder from Star Trek, the technology itself opens up opportunities that didn’t exist before the technology was available.

As in any journey, challenges are inevitable. Particularly around buy-in from top management, enablement of care providers and addressing IT infrastructure needs. But once you are convinced of the impact these technologies can have on costs, efficiency and patient experiences, it will be a matter of time before gates open-up!

It’s up to healthcare organizations, how soon and how much they are willing to reinvent. The ones that are ahead on the reinvention curve will be the innovators, disruptors and leaders of tomorrow.

Want to learn more? I invite you to attend a complimentary webinar:

Utilize new age technologies to reinvent your hospital and the community

September 26, 2018 | 12 Noon (EST)

In this webinar, I will join with other IBM experts, to discuss how technology can play a center piece in your digital reinvention. Click here for more details and to register.

Visit our IBM Services Healthcare page to learn how IBM Services can partner with you on your journey to digital reinvention.

Chief Nursing Officer, IBM Global Healthcare

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