As a passionate advocate of healthcare technology, I’ve consistently seen the same message over the past year - customer experience is everything. This sentiment was underscored even more after I recently attended HIMSS19 where many of the tracks touched on healthcare organizations wanting to drastically improve customer experience by creating a consumer-like experience for patients. This means focusing on modernizing organizations to provide people and patients with access to affordable, high-quality healthcare.

What is healthcare innovation?

According to Deloitte, “technology that reduces healthcare costs while expanding access is likely to see rapid adoption this year.” In order to accomplish that, organizations need the ability to develop new technologies that help healthcare stakeholders overcome the performance limitations of their current systems. Updating from legacy systems creates increased business value by enabling new capabilities and features that will ensure delightful experiences that empower patients.

From the main stage and vendors at HIMSS19, these emerging technologies include data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, interoperability, and collaboration tools. The adoption of new technologies will be essential for any healthcare system to successfully progress and transform. Here are a few ways in which health tech can level up health care organizations.

1) Health tech isn’t your only competition

In creating ‘consumer-like experiences’ healthcare providers are looking at the success of organizations such as Uber, Airbnb, and Apple. These companies have set the bar for the experience that folks now expect across the board, including from their healthcare providers. As the expectations for an exceptional user experience rise, the healthcare industry is required to meet the expectations of savvy patients and users across the globe.

With that in mind, healthcare has broadened their lens in looking at innovative companies in retail, banking, and software to help inform them on how to best meet their patient’s needs. Roy Beveridge, Chief Medical Officer at Humana who spoke at HIMSS noted, “people don’t want fancy technology, they want control over the treatment they get.” For many, healthcare can be an already overwhelming experience. Providers should be aiming to create platforms that simplify and streamline the patient experience. In taking notes from thoughtful user flows and CX by game-changing companies, healthcare can drastically improve what can often be a difficult time in patient’s lives.

2) Don’t compromise on a personalized health experience

Personalized experiences for patients go well beyond a delightful user experience. What is important is having a holistic view that allows the provider to focus on what matters most. During one of the talks at HIMSS, Dignity Health’s Sara Toy-Ding and Tiffany Shields made their first of two presentations concerning medication adherence.

Two interesting statistics that stood out to me were first, poor medication compliance is related to 125,000 deaths/year. Secondly, cost of non-medical adherence is a staggering $290 billion/year due to that patient's condition worsening thereby requiring longer hospital stays and further medical attention. Their solution to this pressing issue? Developing and implementing technology that allows providers to personalize instructions that reduce medication errors, improve medication adherence and demonstrate proper medication administration techniques.

3) Modernizing legacy healthcare tech is critical

Currently, most organizations focus on integration that ties software and applications together through API’s. However, tying API’s into your infrastructure shouldn't be your primary focus.

Organizations and healthcare providers should focus on modernizing legacy systems.

Modernization should be top priority for organizations because of the numerous pain points around current frameworks. Legacy infrastructure can be decades old, causing a severe lack of agility in an organization. While the maintenance of current systems is costly, the largest factor is how much it stifles an organization’s ability to innovate.

For example, it’s estimated employees typically spend over 25% of their time on administrative tasks such as data entry from one system to another. When it comes to healthcare technology, numbers like these make a huge impact.

4) Artificial Intelligence isn’t the future of heathcare. It’s the present.

Another major opportunity for health tech is the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI)  and machine learning. The potential use cases between the two fields make it valuable across most business units in healthcare as the possibilities are essentially endless. In my opinion, AI image analysis is the most fascinating of the bunch as it will create the ability to support remote areas that don’t have easy access to healthcare providers. Additionally, it will make telemedicine more effective as patients can use their phone to send pictures of ailments such as rashes or cuts to determine the severity and what care is necessary.

Conclusion

The vast potential of the technologies I’ve mentioned learning about at HIMSS will all play an essential role in providing seamless and intuitive experiences for patients. Forward-thinking healthcare providers that adopt telehealth platforms will undoubtedly have the advantage as companies such as Uber have set the bar across industries for what a customer experience should be like. My advice to anyone in the healthcare space for 2019 and beyond is to create consumer-like experiences, focus on relentless personalization, upgrade your legacy systems and leverage AI and machine learning capabilities when possible.

Interested in learning how you can upgrade your user experience in health tech? Take a look at how we approach healthcare tech at Rangle.1