The digital health era is almost a decade old. Apps play an essential part in our daily lives, and more and more people are using apps to manage their health and chronic conditions. I would argue we have in a watershed moment. More healthcare systems are leaning into systems to leverage digital health to support team-based care models, which are more prominent after 2010’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). The cadence of how care is accessed is also changing. Generation Z has different expectations for care. They will access care in the future, likely via digital channels- digital health will play a significant role in delivering that footprint.
Another change is a shift toward value-based payments, being paid for results and outcomes versus volume of procedures. Value-based payments will also be used to pay for digital therapeutics to deliver clinical-grade outcomes. Healthcare systems will want to see results in clinical markers like blood pressure, weight, and blood sugar that are device verified.
For healthcare systems, the time to explore digital health and digital therapeutics is now. Start-don’t wait for market maturity or perfection, as consumers have expectations that these tools will be part of their benefit structure. If you want to differentiate yourself, do the work to determine how they fit into your care model. Groups like the FDA’s Precert program and the Digital Therapeutic Alliance are doing essential work to set the standard for digital therapeutics.
Build trusted partnerships with digital health companies, step into the knowledge gap as many companies are new and don’t have a lot of experience in healthcare. Related is the fact many health systems don’t have a lot of experience in working with app companies, so it is an opportunity to build new business models to solve for traditional pain points in care delivery.
Lastly, consider interoperability, tech, and data debt early- will you port app data into your electronic medical record? If so, that data will make sense for clinical teams to review? Will your patients want you to see that data? What will that data burden entail?
It may seem like a culture class of healthcare with “first do no harm” with tech culture of “move fast and break things”- understanding how these cultures differ and how they blend best will be essential to developing functioning partnerships.
Thanks for reading – Trina
(Opinions are my own)
Value Based Payment