Hospital CIO (or as he prefers, CDO – Chief Digital Officer), David Chou, recently asked the question “What Is the Main Driver of Digital Health?” and then he shared this image from Cognizant.
These results are pretty interesting since the main driver of digital change in healthcare is the consumer. That’s right. Patients are asking for healthcare to go digital. However, health reforms, health insurance exchanges, and new risk accountability are influencing it pretty heavy as well.
While these drivers are interesting, the real message here is that digital change in healthcare is going to be required. The future consumer is not going to accept a healthcare organization that doesn’t embrace digital. This is going to be true in so many different forms.
For example, I can’t imagine my children going to a healthcare organization that doesn’t do telemedicine or that doesn’t support some sort of text messaging or similar digital communication. The idea of not communicating this way will be completely foreign to them. Those organizations that embrace it will be the big winners.
One thing that might hold this back is that in some cities healthcare organizations have near monopolies. Since healthcare is local, these near monopolies are really only competing with themselves when it comes to their digital health options. It won’t matter much that another hospital or health system across the country offers something better. Or will it matter?
We’d all love to have our normal doctor be the one doing our telemedicine visit. However, given the option of an in-person visit with our normal doctor or a telemedicine visit with a doctor across the country, I think we’ll start seeing many people opt for the later. We need a few more laws to change to make this a reality, but changes to those laws would certainly open up a new competition to own the online relationship with a patient.
What’s clear to me is that digital will dominate the future. What’s not clear to me yet is who will own that digital health relationship with patients. Will it be local? Will it be national healthcare organizations? Will it be some other large company?
What do you think about this digital change in healthcare? What’s making this a reality? How do you think this change will play out?