New data from Accenture Consulting reaffirms “the primacy of people in the age of digital health.” For those in senior care and senior living, technology offers particular benefits to patients and residents who are typically less mobile and less able to access health services.
An overview of the study’s findings outlines five digital trends currently changing the ways healthcare workers work:
According to the study’s author, Kaveh Savafi, intelligent automation means using technology to help us work more efficiently and productively. IT automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning can all be leveraged to save health care workers time and energy, allowing them to focus more on personal interactions.
A liquid workforce addresses patient needs with targeted skills wherever and whenever they’re needed. Through Skype technology, doctors and patients can consult cross-country or globally. They can reach patients unable to come to them and all but eliminate in-person visits for treating many chronic conditions. This trend also affects everything from professional development to employee work-life balance with its options for remote learning, crowdsourcing, and virtual care.
Platforms have the potential to link entire healthcare ecosystems. Accenture predicts that health plans will use platforms to connect with consumers in more meaningful ways and to reduce out-of-pocket costs by supporting healthier consumer lifestyles. Platforms allow for scaling and integration of wellness programs and other initiatives, but they still require people to develop these programs and maintain their connection and relevance to consumers.
The digital economy thrives on disruption. For healthcare, that means startups, wearables, and device manufacturers–even virtual reality and gaming developers–are noticing consumers’ needs and looking for ways to address them. Competitive healthcare leaders of the future will be the ones who look outside of their industry, relinquishing their dependence on legacy models, and seizing opportunities to anticipate and partner with the disruptors.
According to the report, 87% of healthcare executives agree that data ethics breaches pose similar risks to their business as security breaches. At the same time, 65% of consumers believe that the benefits of digital access to their medical information outweigh potential privacy risks. As expectations for digital trust rise and become more complex, healthcare companies must establish solid policies and procedures for governing ecosystems.
Rather than eliminating jobs, Accenture maintains, the age of digital health will both allow and require workers to function more efficiently and knowledgeably, consult across distances, centralize records and care plans on common platforms, and stay attuned to disruptive technologies that will continually refocus–but not replace–human skills and capabilities.
Savafi emphasizes, “the outcome of a people-first, digital health strategy is that it liberates the healthcare workforce to focus on more meaningful work that requires judgment and personal interaction.”
This infographic gives a visual overview of the five trends indicating how people will drive success in health care’s digital age.
Each of the five trends’ overviews includes a case study that highlights the trend’s development in real time.
For more information on the Accenture report, register for their Tech Vision Webcast on June 28.