What does Digital Healthcare mean to you? Before we explore scaling Digital Healthcare, let us quickly run through the basics.
Digital commerce means trading online using digital money for the transactions. Digital learning is educating the students virtually using a digital device as the medium with the help of technology. But can Digital healthcare heal patients virtually? To some extent, yes! But in concept, it goes much deeper than just online consultation and prescription. This is how Food and Drug Administration of USA (FDA) describes Digital healthcare.
From health IT to wearables to telemedicine and electronic records, all the mobile applications and software that digitizes healthcare delivery and helps doctors to make clinical decisions come under Digital Healthcare
The internet says, digitization of medical records has started in early 1990’s. But if we closely observe, it’s not until 2000’s and the outgrowth of Digital Revolution that the telemedicine, wearable technology, and sensors gained popularity. We all should be thankful for the normalization of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for facilitating countries to offer efficient care during the on-going global pandemic especially in population-based studies and trend analysis. That is also part of digital healthcare.
Established medical institutions, governments, pharma companies, businesses selling or dealing with healthcare products, and technology firms – nearly everyone is either creating or backing Digital Healthcare initiatives. It is not only one of the in-demand ventures but also generates and collects humongous amounts of data which would look like rusty Rhodium to those who knows its value.
Now for Digital Healthcare or any other digital venture, the high-level action plan is more or less the same - Assess, Plan, Operate, and Improve. If you are reading this, I assume you are through the first 3 steps and ‘Improve’ is where you need some notes. Scaling Digital Healthcare could be trickier than other industry verticals. Because every next big step in the process of scaling and improvement is usually triggered by an unforeseen event or medical trend. So, the players should be highly responsive and equipped to create a reliable solution in no time. These are the aspects one should be considering while scaling digital healthcare applications.
Reliability of the network, bandwidth of the internet, availability of electricity – there are numerous limiting factors to be considered for scaling digital healthcare applications. Whether you are building a new one or expanding an existing application, think of hardware and connectivity limitations because retrofitting is a much harder and expensive process. Ensure the system backups and patient record security are not at risk. Enable offline capacity to every feature you can.
If you think, ‘we have already covered network and power dependencies’, they aren’t even half of the technical factors that enable or obstruct scaling digital healthcare. As you chart down the technical features of your application, remember these things.
- ‘Simplicity’ of usage is a must. Simple applications tend to have fewer dependencies.
- Consider your user’s technical literacy. Digital Healthcare should be dependable not intimidating.
- Always opt for robust messaging channels. Reliability is more important than jumping into what’s trending.
- If you are aiming for global operations, ‘Interoperability’ is the key.
- Whatever you do, DO NOT IGNORE YOUR DATA!
In our mission towards scaling Digital Healthcare application, ‘humans’ could be users or stakeholders. Your digital healthcare initiative will only succeed when the end-users are expecting it, convinced that it is for them and motivated to exploit the solution for their benefit. Also, just like any other digital initiative, a complete buy-in from internal stakeholders, clear distribution of roles and responsibilities, as well as accountability is recommended. All these humans form a community that can make or break your digital healthcare application.
As much as the human and technology factors are aligned; regulatory standards, compliance adherence and operation frameworks are important for a successful and sustainable onset of scaling digital healthcare initiative. Ensure your application is following your local and national data and healthcare guidelines. Have clear discussions and documentations about your funding models, contingency planning, and incident management.
Internal Program Characteristics
Whether your digital healthcare application is aimed for general public or the healthcare professionals, aim for user-centricity and outline it with continuous improvement. Each digital healthcare venture is unique and consists of different intrinsic drivers. Identify your internal characteristics for the program and fabricate a solution to acquire the insights that’ll help your decision making around scalability.
The guidelines and best practices for scaling digital healthcare are likely to change promptly and as we mentioned earlier, responsiveness is essential to stay ahead. Technical, financial, innovative, and human capabilities can accelerate the said responsiveness. Maintain close association with all the stakeholders and have a technical partner who have led Digital Transformation initiatives with cross-industry expertise.
If you have identified a scope for a digital healthcare application and potential customer base, then there is never a better time to jump start your project. Why you ask?
The rising demand for Mobile Applications
Statista projected a report from Google play and there are over 10,000 new mHealth application downloads globally in the last one year. The mandated isolations, sudden change in work mode and lifestyles, the panic, and the need to ‘know’ – there are so many reasons why people are more motivated than ever to have every application handy and stay connected. Precedence research is anticipating a CAGR growth of 27.9% in global digital health market by 2027.
Exciting phase for technology in Digital Healthcare
Did you see Gartner’s Digital Health Hype Cycle 2020? The global leader of research listed Remote Testing, Machine Learning (ML), Online Therapy, Imagine Recognition, and Online Symptom Checkers under the Plateau of Productivity. So, there is huge potential for digital healthcare contributors who have applications at any stage to serve these areas. The medical world could be all against Self-diagnosis but looks like Self-service is going to make its formal entrance into mHealth applications so your scaling Digital Healthcare initiatives should be mindful of this fact. Healthcare Big Data is a huge contributor to value-based healthcare, and it can reduce medical errors, enable preventive care, manage staff burnout through efficient scheduling, predictive analysis and of course assist informed decision making.
Whichever phase your digital healthcare project is, our expertise in scaling digital initiatives could make it better for you. Our people love a good conversation discussing impossible business challenges. Drop us an email and who knows, we might just create something awesome together. email@example.com