Health care organizations are being challenged to reduce costs and deliver better outcomes, while at the same time they must invest in and implement strategies that focus on prevention if they are to thrive in the future. This is according to the latest EY annual publication New horizons: Executive insights on the future of health, which explores how increased consumer demand for more personalized health care and advances in technology are changing global health care delivery and business models.
New horizons notes that health care organizations are methodically examining their processes, procedures and patient interfaces to identify and eliminate waste and inefficiency. Many are also exploring how new technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI), can help lower costs by systematizing care delivery, business processes and case management, while other emerging technologies, like virtual interfaces and remote monitoring, can improve the patient or consumer experience.
To uncover how receptive physicians and consumers are using digital health tools, the report also includes the preliminary findings from an EY survey of health consumers and physicians in England, Australia and the Netherlands. Overall, the findings show that nearly half of consumers (45%) and more than half of physicians (57%) believe their current health care systems perform well, though results varied across country and type of respondent, with Netherlands physicians and British consumers holding more favorable views.
When it comes to using new technologies, physicians see those that enhance patient safety, clinical excellence and facilitate communications with consumers as priorities. Sixty-two percent of physicians see the use of virtual technologies for communication with patients favorably and more than two-thirds (68%) see the benefit of patients using smartphones to capture and send biometric data. Equally, consumers are highly willing to share with physicians their biometric data (75%) and patient-generated data (70%).
David Roberts, EY Global Health Sector Leader, says:
“Consumers are now accustomed to technology making their lives easier, speedier and more convenient. They expect more simplified, coordinated interactions throughout their care and they expect the health ecosystem to deliver what they already have in other areas of their lives: connectivity, mobility, agility, transparency, immediacy and the tools for self-direction. Health systems today must invest in designing the right consumer experience.”
In addition to investing in systems that improve the consumer experience, New horizons notes that health organizations must improve their capabilities in sharing data, and exploring new sources and combinations of data that will lead to a better understanding of the drivers of health and disease.
“The value of health companies will not be in just owning data but rather in the algorithms and the ability to use the insights they generate to affect health outcomes in ways that matter to all stakeholders in a participatory health ecosystem. To be a full participant in the future, health care organizations must have a digital strategy that can make use of the data and an operational model that can rapidly respond to the insights generated.”