The Digitization of Healthcare


As we’ve been speaking with various healthcare organizations, the one consistent message we keep hearing is that healthcare’s required changes can be overwhelming. Frequently it requires rethinking care delivery, patient engagement, training, marketing, and IT strategies. But take heart – you are not the first to walk this challenging, but exciting path.

This McKinsey interview with GE CEO, Jeff Immelt regarding the digitization of the industrial space, is of profound importance to healthcare industry strategists and C-suite leaders. Immelt leads off with the following quote,

“So industrial companies are in the information business whether they want to be or not.”

And this is exactly the space that many health systems and payers find themselves in today. While there will always be the need for human interaction in the delivery of health services, the world is expecting the healthcare industry, just as it expects GE, to engage in new and unique ways that utilize the the latest digital advancements.

I was particularly struck by this quote from Jeff Immelt:

“We want to treat analytics like it’s as core to the company over the next 20 years as material science has been over the past 50 years. We can hire the talent. We can evolve our business model accordingly. We need to treat our service agreements to share outcomes with our customers the same way an IT company might approach that in the future. So, in order to do that, we have to add technology, we have to add people, we have to change our business models. We have to be willing to do all those things.”

Just substitute “material science” for “intuitive medicine.” This kind of change is difficult, to be sure, but very achievable. It takes vision and leadership. While most companies don’t have the same resources as GE and can’t build their own platforms and sensors in house, it doesn’t mean they can’t control their outcomes.

Healthcare companies can derive similar benefits to GE when they have a digital engagement and care delivery platforms that they can control. Platforms that offer choice and agility, reduce the impact of external change forces. When organizations select which health services to “build” in house and when to partner with best-of-breed providers for the others, they can re-claim margin control and better engage their providers and patients to improve outcomes and reduce costs.

As the healthcare industry matures and becomes more integrated into the digital world embraced by their customers and service delivery partners, it will become stronger and achieve better health and financial outcomes.

We hope you will consider reaching out to us when you are ready to take control of your digital health strategy.

Posted in: digital health, Patient Engagment

Email Subscription