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Time to become Virtually perfect

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gorengan

Some might believe that the COVID ’19 pandemic was the harbinger of a heightened digital health wave, while others might believe that the pandemic simply hastened the process of its evolution and adoption. I, for one, stand by the latter. The Digital Health market size was around US$ 195.1 billion in 2021, and is estimated to substantially grow to around US$ 780.05 billion by 2030¹. The spending on digital healthcare solutions is estimated to reach US$ 244 billion by 2025². Digital Health companies have been slowly simmering, brewing, adapting, and growing, and seizing the market when the time was ripe.

When the pandemic necessitated the need for mitigation amidst disruption and chaos, Health Technology companies were ready to offer mature plug and play solutions that made adoption seamless and imperative. Furthermore, several countries quickly recognized the need to alter privacy policies and data protection regulations to enable remote consultations and virtual health interventions³. This was propelled by the paucity of physical resources, coupled with an alarming need for accessible, quality healthcare. But more importantly, there was a stark realization and label for a new type of care delivery that need not be in-person- virtually, virtual.

Objectively, virtual care could be segmented into care that makes you get better, and care that makes you stay better…alternatively, curative and preventive. While the former milked patient care during the need of the hour, the latter emerged a new, unsung hero; An unexploited solution to a global, age-old opportunity. Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services’ (CMS) intent to incentivize increased and improved care management could/can take swift flight upon the wings of software platforms like that of HealthViewX. Solutions like Remote Physiological Monitoring (RPM), Transitional Care Management (TCM), Chronic Care Management (CCM), among others, help care teams monitor, manage, and engage patients in the comfort of their homes. This in turn has shown to reduce costs and readmissions, mitigate risks, improve outcomes and increase reimbursement⁴. A win-win-win!?

But, hold on! While all this sounds rosy and convenient, I have wondered whether there has/had been resistance in adoption amongst clinicians and patients…the end-users, ultimately. I stumbled upon an informative adapted strategy matrix in an article by Ande De. In a matrix outlining the degree of change behavior needed from clinicians, versus the degree of patients’ resistance to adopting new technology, TeleHealth, RPM and COVID screening, response and monitoring, emerged the most victorious with the least resistance from both stakeholders⁴. While cloud based web portals and health applications that record patient data were met with some resistance, it was a pleasant surprise to note that there were no digital health ‘failures,’ that were met with high resistance⁴. The data also shows that Artificial Intelligence (AI), Prescriptive and Predictive Analytics are here for the ‘long haul,’ being met with high resistance amongst clinicians and low resistance amongst patients⁴…all predictable, yet surprising at the same time!

While there could be several intuitive, understandable reasons for resistance, I’m compelled to boil it down to,

  1. Change Management: Willing to and making the time to familiarize with change
  2. Liability: Fear of the unknown
  3. Proof: Need for evidence based results
  4. Access: Socio-demographic barriers to access

My presumptuous, yet sagacious retort to these four points is, time.

Time to be moved. Time to take the plunge. Time to embrace. Time to get and assess outcomes. Time to advance. Time to revolutionize.

Time to become Virtually perfect.

References:

  1. “Digital Health Market Size Will Attain USD 780.05 Billion by 2030 Growing at 16.1% CAGR – Exclusive Report by Facts & Factors,” February 2023, Facts and Factors, https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2023/02/01/2599148/0/en/Digital-Health-Market-Size-Will-Attain-USD-780-05-Billion-by- 2030-Growing-at-16-1-CAGR-Exclusive-Report-by-Facts-Factors.html
  2. “The Use of Digital Healthcare Platforms During the COVID-19 Pandemic: the Consumer Perspective,” Alharbi. F, March 2021, PMC, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8116074/
  3. “Digital health and care in pandemic times: impact of COVID-19,” Peek. N, Susan. M, Scott. P, 2020, BMJ Journals, https://informatics.bmj.com/content/27/1/e100166
  4. Degree of adoption diagram, “Five ways Digital Health Innovation will grow + evolve post pandemic,” Ande De, April 2020, Alteryx, https://www.alteryx.com/input/blog/5-ways-digital-health-innovation-will-grow-evolve-post-pandemic