How Healthcare Can Change from Digital Laggard to Leader

Digital innovation has never been a strong suit of the healthcare industry—especially when it comes to customer care. The patient experience you received 30 years ago is largely the same as what you get today.

Why? Because for the longest time, the patient experience was not a priority to medical practices. We’re seeing a dramatic change in that sentiment though as 82% of healthcare organizations now see the patient experience as a top three priority for the next three years, according to The Beryl Institute.

With the technology available to patients and healthcare organizations alike, there is enormous potential to deliver on a new, frictionless healthcare experience. Here are three ways some healthcare organizations are leveraging new technologies to transition from digital laggards to leaders.

Establish Mobile Healthcare

When you think of healthcare, efficiency is one word that tends to elude the vocabulary. Simple tasks like scheduling an appointment or filling out your medical history continue to be cumbersome processes for both consumers and employees alike.

These processes should all be accessible on one centralized platform and companies are beginning to take notice. Dignity Health is just one example of a company that has embraced digital with their mobile platform. Patients can now easily book appointments and update important information in the same location, effectively reducing paperwork in-clinic for patients and staff and simplifying the overall experience.

Explore Telehealth

Certain aspects of healthcare cannot easily be translated to the digital world. Most tests and evaluations require a licensed physician to complete, but there are many facets of healthcare that can be accomplished digitally—including diagnoses, certain treatments, and monitoring.

Telehealth affords patients the access to the doctors they want without geographic limitations or the constraint of fitting an appointment into their work day. When 34% of Americans 18 to 64 have not talked with or seen a doctor in over a year, that sense of convenience will only help to ease that burden.

Telehealth has also proven to be a viable alternative (or complement) for many healthcare organizations. For example, the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has an established Center for Telehealth where patients can access doctors for consults, education, and certain outpatient treatments across a variety of fields.

Embrace IoT

Over the past several years, consumers have been increasingly taking ownership of their health through wearable devices. Whether you are using a FitBit, Apple Watch, or one of many other popular devices, the health information you are capturing could help improve the healthcare you receive.

Wearables have always served as a health motivator for consumers, but there is far more value than meets the eye. With all of the additional data being tracked beyond step counts, metrics like heart rate and sleep score are flashy, but leave customers wondering how to use the information.

The National Institute of Health recently announced a new study that will monitor the FitBit data of 10,000 participants. With the wealth of data, they hope to create a personalized approach to medicine that can help prevent and treat disease in the future.

How Crowdtesting Can Help

The healthcare industry will not make the jump from laggard to leader in the digital space overnight. With that said, time is of the essence. If companies continue to delay establishing a digital footprint, patients will begin to explore other options.

Crowdtesting provides that help in getting a new app or app feature to market. With the help of a group of additional testers, you can catch those critical bugs earlier and avoid costly roadblocks along the way. In addition, you have the luxury of testing across a wide net of device/location/OS combinations, ensuring your device functions well in any situation.

Crowdtesting not only helps speed up product development though, but it provides companies with the perspective and insight from the people most likely to use it—their patients. When the patient experience is priority number one for the future of healthcare, getting first-hand feedback is invaluable to launching a new app or feature.

Though slow to adapt, the healthcare industry has immense potential in the digital space. It may seem daunting now, but the payoff will surely be worth it in the end.

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Jay Selig
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