Digital Health Adoption

3 Top Tips To Inform Your Digital Health Adoption Strategy In 2019

It’s the most exciting thing since Kinder Surprise and the McDonalds Happy Meal.

No no, it’s better than that.

Digital health adoption is all anybody in the medical space is talking about right now.

Consumer demand for digital healthcare is on the up, according to a recent Accenture survey. And US consumers are increasingly using digital self-service tools to manage their health.

75% of the UK population goes online for health information. And across the EU, that figure is closer to 48%. But that’s still a huge increase from 16% ten years ago. (sources: Deloitte, Eurostat).

Digital health is the buzzword on everyone’s lips. But what does it mean for patients and providers?

“…digital health is empowering us to better track, manage, and improve our own and our family’s health, live better, more productive lives, and improve society.

“It’s also helping to reduce inefficiencies in healthcare delivery, improve access, reduce costs, increase quality, and make medicine more personalized and precise.” Paul Sonnier

So why is digital health adoption so important?

To see ROI, healthcare providers must make sure their digital health tools are fully adopted by users.

Digital health adoption is the future for healthcare providers, whether public or private. Kaveh Safavi, who leads Accenture’s global health practice, says:

“Consumers increasingly expect to use digital technologies to control when, where and how they receive care services.”

As in other industries, healthcare businesses that focus on the total adoption of innovative technologies will survive and thrive. Those that don’t face extinction.

“Observing consumer demand is more important than ever, as patients become more fickle about how they access their healthcare…

Providers and payers that enable consumers to access popular features, such as booking appointments online, AI-powered mHealth apps, and virtual visits, will be more likely to retain their customer base.” Business Insider Australia

Top tips for digital health adoption

1. Base your digital health adoption strategy on patient behavior and demand

Business Insider Graph

(Source: Business Insider)

According to Accenture, nearly three quarters of patients surveyed said they want to be able to make after-hours appointments (73%) or attend educational classes (71%) online.

More than half of respondents wanted to be able to attend a video exam for a non-urgent complaint (57%) or take part in online therapy (52%).

Consumer smartphone penetration is now at peak levels in Australia and the UK. The US isn’t far behind. So healthcare providers must respond with services that align with this behavior and demand.

2. Use tools to improve the digital health adoption process

A top tip for accelerating and improving digital health adoption is to use a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP).

The “Digital Adoption Platform” was pioneered by WalkMe. It uses AI and automation to provide contextual guidance to people learning to use digital systems.

The DAP is customizable and easy to adjust. You create the content. Then the DAP places the guidance layer on top of existing digital healthcare systems. Users are guided in how to use the systems at the point when they’re actually using them.

This sort of real-time, contextual learning rapidly speeds up adoption time. It also obliterates the “forgetting curve”, and provides useful patient engagement insights.

3. Deliver confidence, not just technology

As consumer demand for digital healthcare increases, so do concerns over data security.

Cybersecurity is an ongoing concern for the healthcare industry. Four in five US doctors have experienced a cyberattack of some sort, according to a study by Accenture and the American Medical Association.

55% of physicians are concerned about future attacks. And their main concerns are that patient data will be compromised and business operations will be disrupted.

This is a huge consideration to take into account in your digital strategy. But hacks are a very real threat.

Cybersecurity experts at BlackRidge Technology say that, “if an IP address of a system can be found, the system can be hacked.”

“This includes healthcare systems, databases, medical devices, or even simple operational devices such as printers that are connected into a digital health network.”

But there is an emerging solution.

“The ability to cloak systems and devices has become a very effective option that can keep any unknown or unauthorized users from ever seeing the health systems or devices, whether they’re legacy or brand new.

“By placing this capability “pre-network session” establishment, this adds no further complexity to a network’s topology, and significantly reduces deployment time.” BlackRidge Technology

So, to summarize, digital healthcare adoption is not an option. Consumers are already using the technology. And they’re demanding the digital services. Healthcare providers must keep pace and respond accordingly.

You must ensure the technology is as safe and secure as possible. And you must commit resources to its total adoption, to get return on your investment.

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