When it comes to market success for digital tools in the health industry, business strategy can be a lot more complex than in other industries. Understanding customer-driven market tendencies is crucial, but healthcare’s sophistication can camouflage customer demand and its own regulatory ecosystem adds layers of additional considerations.
The advantage, competitive pricing, answers-at-your-fingertips responsiveness and hyper-personalization delivered by top technology manufacturers and their integration into other industry sectors has created an expectation for digital health solutions that deliver the same experience.
In some cases, consumers are finding the solutions. For instance, telemedicine is gaining momentum as customers find that electronic interactions with high quality providers are oftentimes more convenient and less costly than face-to-face encounters. Other resources are supplying access to prescriptions, better health state management alternatives, better information sharing enabling smoother transitions among care settings, and much more efficiency in everything from hospital operations to scheduling appointments to identifying healthcare options.
When it comes to business plan, nevertheless, digital wellbeing solutions need to recognize that consumer pressures are frequently at odds with existing incentives in care delivery systems and, perhaps regulatory and legal requirements. Accordingly, it is critical not just from a compliance standpoint but also from a business strategy perspective to navigate the healthcare business’s unique market and regulatory dynamics.
Balancing Demand with Reality
Many health care regulatory requirements can be addressed without resulting in significant adjustments to a company model. By way of instance, consent or authorization requirements can interrupt otherwise seamless patient encounters, but not fundamentally alter a business plan. In other cases, a business model might be fundamentally flawed due to legal limitations — for example restrictions on payment for referrals — that undercut a heart adoption or revenue strategy but which don’t have any application in many other business settings. Further, other consumers within the healthcare ecosystem, like providers of healthcare services and third-party payers, do not always share the same view as patients. Accordinglya digital health tool that may be beneficial to a provider may not be a thing a patient discovers useful (or usable), and a digital wellness tool which addresses a patient demand may not find traction with a payer or provider, requiring the patient to pay out-of-pocket for this tool. Thus, even if a product itself works very well and produces valuable information or outcomes and is encouraged by customer need, if it doesn’t find traction inside the clinical and financial interests of all of the pursuits, then adoption is going to be limited as well as the very revolutionary technology will not recognize its potential. Healthcare regulation — that is sometimes tied directly to monetary structures — is daunting, and can occasionally be a barrier to the best digital health deployment models. Nonetheless, digital health programs are increasingly finding traction and two tendencies in health care economics and oversight are helping open the marketplace to more opportunity.
The arrival of more risk-sharing or threat shifting arrangements, capitation models and outcomes-based reimbursement systems are attracting consumer need nearer into the forefront of health care economics, and therefore are also generating more economic incentives for consumers, providers and payers to adopt electronic health tools. Rather than a pure focus on reimbursement for services, these payment models are producing economic incentives for payers, providers and consumers to find solutions to the price, quality and access challenges our system confronts. That is opening the door for the standard technology value proposition — to perform moreefficiently and effectively.
Along with the evolving financial models, health care legislators and regulators have started the process of modernizing their strategy to better address the installation of digital health tools. This won’t be a speedy process, as the issues are extremely complex, but reform is the word of the day. Laws and regulations are being updated to address digital health solutions directly, like through expanded settlement chances, or indirectly, like through reforming fraud and abuse legislation to accommodate the increasingly cross-party collaborative method of delivering care.
Change within a intricate system, obviously, brings more sophistication. Nonetheless, this sophistication is navigable and effective business strategies have been developed and deployed. Change, it is stated, brings uncertainty; but in the event of digital health the tendency of change we are seeing in health care economic models and regulation is creating both opportunity and confidence that this traditionally insular and isolated market is opening.