Building a Competitive Advantage with Virtual Healthcare

Virtual health is made up of three core modalities of telecommunication and digital technologies that can be implemented to deliver proper health care – synchronous, asynchronous, and hybrid. In simple terms, it can serve as a complementary addition to the basic care needs of patients worldwide. In addition, virtual health can substitute legacy systems in an organization, completely revamping access to resources and enabling leaders to gain a competitive advantage.

A core end-goal of healthcare technology is to improve existing services, reduce costs, and streamline operational processes so that patients can get access to continuous care from anywhere. As the industry continues to embrace the perks of advanced technologies, the increasing adoption of EHRs paves the way for developing new sets of digital tools to boost care delivery.

Care delivery re-imagined

New wearable technology can give organizations the upper hand when providing healthcare. Remote monitoring and evaluation of a patient’s wellbeing has morphed into a full-blown industry. Estimated at $13.2 billion, the wearable device market is divided into four core segments: fitness, lifestyle, monitoring, and diagnostics. With 90% of adults in the US connected to the internet, physicians now have the capacity to communicate digitally and deliver efficient care without consulting patients face-to-face.

By 2022, it is estimated that the virtual health market will reach a staggering $3.5 billion in revenue. Increasingly more HealthTech startups are looking to demonstrate the value technology can bring to the table in areas like remote monitoring and telehealth. The fight for supremacy is on, with the key differentiator being the ability to develop suitable operating models and innovative infrastructure that are scalable.

Evaluating organizational capacity

In spite of having great potential, healthcare technology is being questioned by many organizations skeptical about the added value it claims to bring. Most concerns relate to resource constraints, technical infrastructures, and reimbursement considerations. The more companies acknowledge the benefits the better chances they have to tailor strategies that can transform into successful, scalable virtual health deployment solutions.

As healthcare technology advances and virtual health wins more ground, organizations should settle on a delivery plan for ensuring patient care to attain long-term success. Overcoming adoption barriers, understanding the different market scenarios, and choosing strategic approaches that are enterprise-wide, are key actions that must be taken to ensure that implementation aligns with the company culture, mission, and vision.

Partnering up to gain a competitive advantage

There’s no secret that the traditional health system is outdated, fragmented, and faulty. For decades, healthcare has been about in-person appointments, paper files, and records held physically in hospital offices. When new technologies emerged to disrupt the industry, many organizations were hesitant about their effectiveness. Right now, it is no longer a matter of “if” it works but “who” it works. Based on the maturity of the health system, desired capabilities, and financial health, organizations will have to decide on the way execution is done to benefit all stakeholders. Three options stand out:

  1. Partnering up with a FinTech/third-party vendor to help them scale via on-demand, value-added services; an option that helps organizations save costs on internal resources to develop, test, and deploy the systems.
  2. Developing an internal platform system via a proprietary tool to streamline customization and make sure the data stays in-house. However, this option comes with additional costs because there will be a need to invest in training existing staff.
  3. Implementing a spoke model/hub, which involves partnering with other organizations in healthcare to centralize virtual delivery and build strong affiliations with the best in the industry.

As virtual health morphs into a full-scale industry ruled by mobile apps, wearable, and additional treatment and diagnostics technologies, building a competitive advantage can only happen when a strong foundation is set in place to develop advanced capabilities. To make it all happen, all stakeholders must get involved in the process starting from planning all the way to implementation and launch.

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