By Arti Bedi Pullins, Founder of Pundit Consultantz
While it is true that digital health and patient-care-focused technologies have steadily grown over the last decade with tools like EMR, telemedicine, and consumer/patient-centric apps, the actual acceleration has been in digital health technologies, health-based applications, and digital-tech based integrations over the last five years.
To discover the reason for this explosive growth in digital health integrations, we need to take a step back in time, review the start clinical pushback and then look at the current situation. EMR ideation first came out in the 1960s when it was postulated by Larry Weed with the simple suggestion to record patient information electronically instead of paper. It wasn’t until 2009, after loads of debate and the adoption of incentives, that EMR was finally embraced. Nearly 40 years after Weed’s thoughts, technology eventually advanced enough to consider clinical workflows to solve real patient care problems. Fast-forward to 2022, where over 86 percent of office-based and 94 percent of hospital-based physicians currently use EMR at the center of every clinical workflow, patient engagement and tactic, and patient monitoring system.
Today, clinicians typically prefer all-new patient-related data feed directly into their EMR systems for better patient health alignment and overall outcomes.
The key lesson learned for EMR’s slow growth into healthcare is to have clinicians at the table when making overall digital health, digital technologies, and healthcare-based technology innovations. That said, this collaboration is still not as oblivious as it sounds.
Look at IBM’s Watson Health and its stardom to stardust fall. One of the critical reasons that Watson failed was the lack of physician, clinician, and healthcare data-scientist involvement and the lack of alignment on how patient data collected by IBM would have been used for treatment and therapies. IBM lacked alignment between technology, health data, patient needs, and real-world clinical use-cases to continue to develop its AI for better care decisions.
Clinical teams are at the center of care, delivering personalized treatments and ultimately improving patient outcomes, which is why getting them engaged earlier can further help accelerate both the development and adoption of digital health products and solutions. Here are three fundamental reasons for engaging clinicians.
1) Delivering actionable, personalized patient data
Clinicians value relevant, actionable, and contextual data that helps with their decision-making per patient. Delivering clinical teams loads data surely sounds good on paper, but it ends up hindering their decision-making if not presented, shared, and configured contextually.
A Q3 2021 survey conducted by Accenture confirmed that clinicians are interested in digital health technologies and integrations; however, over 60 percent said the lack of interoperability between IT systems that they use daily is a top reason for not rolling out daily digital health
within their systems. This kind of boots-on-the-ground feedback is highly valuable for applying new technologies to real-world applications.
2) Understand Clinicians’ Day-to-day
Creating technologies, digital health applications, and health AI that helps clinicians be more proactive towards patient care daily is essential because care teams are integral components to delivering better outcomes during patients’ medical journeys.
Even though EMR platforms have become a standard operational platform in most healthcare settings, they will continue to require additional enhancements and health data integrations from digital health companies to make it the end-to-end platform needed for clinical decision-making and delivering enhanced patient outcomes.
Examples of some digital health technologies like Neurable, Cerebral, Hippo technologies, and iRhythm Technologies, to name a few, are leading the pack in getting clinicians involved early. By working alongside them to understand clinical challenges in the field and create digital pathway solutions to work within their current workflows to provide their digital health solutions that ultimately lead to better patient outcomes.
3) Building tools that enhance clinical decision making across the patient journey
Using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and operational technology for healthcare can help medical experts further their patient-data knowledge and accelerate their decision-making.
Digital integrations in healthcare have repeatedly shown that they can enhance patient engagement and create tremendous acceleration in early detection for chronic conditions and disease deterioration by clinical teams. Still, these building blocks and tools must connect to facilitate clinical engagement, as well.
Think of a day when there is a “personalized patient-centric” on-demand clinical model. Where AI, wearables, connected and digital health all work together in real-time to detect early signs of disease onset in a patient, and through pre-established clinical workflows and patient-centric pathways, medication or therapies are delivered directly to the patient fully approved through their payor
Now that is the magical intersection of a patient, provider, payor, and digital technology at our fingertips!
Editor’s Note: Arti Bedi Pullins is a strategic, data-driven entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in business strategy and deployment, product innovation and digital marketing. Her passion sits at the intersection of customer-based design-thinking, innovative technology, and market data/research.
Arti has architected and led over a dozen technology businesses towards successful growth, applied market, customer, and product research data to the development of in-market execution, and worked on minimizing risk and unnecessary costs by understanding how consumers’ emotions, interactions, cultural and socio-economic demographics impact brand engagement and adoption.
In 2017, Arti founded Pundit Consultantz, a healthcare innovation, and creative services design consultancy. Pundit Consultantz is the change agent and problem solver for healthcare and life sciences clients. The firm works exclusively with healthcare companies to incubate, innovate, and digitally transform. Pundit Consultantz helps businesses, institutions and developers in healthcare and life sciences technology ideate and then build products and services with real-world applications to produce better outcomes. The company also has creative design services that executes practical go-to-market strategies for clients’ products and services.
Prior to founding her business consultancy, Arti held senior leadership roles with SessionM, Glassdoor and CareerBuilder.com. She earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a bachelor’s degree in business communication from Michigan State University.
In addition to English, Arti is fluent in Hindi and Punjabi.