Recently I was asked to provide my thoughts on the biggest drivers for digital health care. Below were my responses.

Question: What is the most important next step for healthcare providers to engage consumers in digital health solutions?

Answer: Health information is extremely context-sensitive. We need to provide actionable information at the right moment at very low cost. Think of providing interactivity in the waiting room, during the doctor’s visit, and at various points throughout medical care as soon as the patient needs it.
Question: What will be the biggest impact for consumers as a result of digital health solutions?
Answer: Efficiency and self service. Consumers will find they can get easier access, more selection, and customized solutions with more control and participation.
Question: What will be the biggest driver for digital health market?
Answer: The biggest driver will vary between the different segments of non-consumers, patients, providers, and payers. For non-consumers, digital health will be driven by demand in health and wellness solutions that meet the lifestyle and prevention needs of consumers.  For patients, the biggest driver will be convenience.  The ability to get faster, better, and safer healthcare at lower costs will drive adoption. For providers, in the near term, the biggest driver will be lowering costs through efficiency, automation, and safety. Longer term digital health will help providers expand into health and wellness. For payers in the near term, the biggest driver will be analytics to fine-tune operational efficiency by supporting more specialty providers, personalized needs, and consumer lifestyles. Longer term, I predict payers will evolve into brands that offer different service qualities akin to the difference between Target, Macy’s, and Nordstrom.

Summary:

Fundamentally, I believe the biggest driver for digital health will be similar to the reasons that digital grew in other markets. Digital workflows enable highest end consumers to do things that were previously not possible, making lives easier and driving efficiency.  The next generation digital workflows drive down costs to enable a larger segment of the market to get more functionality that was previously not economically feasible and the next generation of digital workflows repeats the same cycle. It is to be noted that this cycle is explained in great detail by leading business researchers like Clayton Christensen and others.