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Digital Health is Here to Stay—Get Engaged

Summary

With increasing legislative and regulatory activity promoting adoption of digital health, interest has continued to expand in 2019.

In 2018, US investors put $11B+ into digital health startups, a 16% increase year over year. Many organizations are exploring partnerships with digital health companies and identifying pilot studies to assess the feasibility of new technologies.

Few life sciences organizations, however, are fully engaged in digital health, given the difficulty in defining and assessing return on investment. Stakeholder demand for digital health engagement will grow as technology is increasingly viewed as essential for a positive consumer experience.

Designing Sustainable Digital Health Investments

Holistic, enterprise-wide coordination on business priorities is key to aligning unmet stakeholder needs with available technologies.  Effective approaches to digital health innovation facilitate meaningful behavior changes, incorporate real-world data, reduce barriers to coordinated care, and address key user needs.

In order to execute a successful digital health strategy, healthcare organizations must consider 4 factors:

  • Awareness of Regulatory Landscape: As state and federal activity continues to shift the ecosystem surrounding digital health, organizations aiming to maximize innovation efforts should ensure timely, comprehensive updates on key changes
  • Strategic Stakeholder Engagement: Broad adoption will require involvement of multiple user groups prior to the dissemination of a “final” product or study; providers, payers, and patients should be engaged early and often
  • Meaningful Evidence Generation: Research studies should be carefully aligned with outside entities to ensure success; involving decision makers at the design stage can ensure evidence that interventions affect outcomes critical to their priorities
  • Ability to Scale: Discrete pilots or standalone investments based on trends alone can lead to innovation fatigue among executive leadership; organizations should consider plans for future expansion when designing initial investments and partnerships to ensure a sustainable and scalable business model

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