Skip directly to search

Skip directly to content

 

Navigating the Healthcare Ecosystem

 
 

Digital | Dr. Gillian Halley |
13 September 2022

The drivers for accelerating the adoption of digital technology in healthcare have, in the past, been offset by technical and organisational issues that have led to delays and put healthcare digitally behind other areas of life. In our lives as consumers, data supports our decisions and connects our world, but for patients, there are two parallel worlds: the connected world and the unconnected one.

Before we look at the patients’ journey, one symptom that is clearly voiced by patients is how disjointed the system really is.

The patient’s healthcare world

To address this, the many caregivers – from clinicians, family members and payers to platforms and technology – must be integrated with a shared health view, centred around the patient. Without this, the patient themselves (or their family) become the care coordinator and the shared health record!

HEALTHCARE EXPECTATIONS IN A DIGITALISED WORLD

Exposure to the internet, social networks and mobile systems from an early age has created a generation comfortable with cross-referencing multiple sources of information and options while integrating digital, virtual and offline experiences. And older patients are becoming increasingly comfortable with digital solutions, too – indeed, it is often the older or more vulnerable that can benefit from new technologies.

And from a patient’s perspective, their health journey should be quite simple: they are well, or they are being treated after their condition has been diagnosed. Patients certainly expect the treatments to potentially be complicated and worrying, but not the administrative pathway.

The health cycle

A patient’s expectation is to access services anytime and anywhere they want, yet the healthcare system continues to pull them into an analogue world. This carries a high risk of disengagement, loss to follow-up and reduced compliance with therapies.

Digital touchpoints in the health cycle

For a connected patient and their clinicians and caregivers, many (and typically most) of the interactions with health providers should be digital.

TECHNOLOGY FOR A CONNECTED HEALTHCARE EXPERIENCE 

Let’s look at a typical journey for a patient. The following examples show the patient’s and clinician’s concerns in the unconnected world and how these can be addressed by technology for a connected patient.

Experiencing a new symptom

Patient: Understanding the potential issue, googling symptoms, making an emergency call.

Clinician: Typically unaware of the patient’s concerns. Managing the case load or the information and education of patients.

Technology: Making patients feel connected to the medical team by using app-based reporting systems which confirm to the patient that their report has been received. Robust and secure messaging and video call services can accomplish this, with potential AI and decision support systems screening cases before they are presented to the medical team.

 

Requesting and booking a healthcare encounter

Patient: Having trouble identifying the appropriate urgency, provider and availability. Having to repeat information to multiple teams.

Clinician: Optimising waiting list management and workforce scheduling. Having a full understanding of the patient history to manage triage.

Technology: Building appropriately secure and private interfaces between a consumer-facing app and the hospital IT systems is critical. Applying AI and decision support systems can help with screening and more automated, efficient scheduling to benefit both patients and medical staff.

 

Having a healthcare encounter

Patient: Only having a face-to-face option, repeating medical history, lots of waiting, no visibility over the process.

Clinician: Staying current, outcome reporting, communication across organisations, documenting for reimbursement. Data siloes create business challenges. Access to the right information in the right place at the right time is essential to ensure the right care is delivered. The time involved in manually entering data for reporting if it is not continuously collected and displayed.

Technology: Portals and apps for shared records allow patients and clinicians to understand the situation and share information. Interfacing complex data back-end systems, with appropriate security and data privacy concerns addressed, is a challenge and uses up product development resources as the number of disparate systems to be connected continues to grow. Legacy systems also need to be connected, not just modern API- and cloud-based architectures.

 

Getting tested

Patient: Scheduling appointments, understanding the results, billing implications.

Clinician: Interpreting in context, explaining to patient, responsibility and accountability, managing large data sets from remote monitoring of patient symptoms and biomarkers, managing patient expectations, concerns about diagnostic software and AI bias.

Technology: Building consumer-facing medical devices with the rigor of medical apps while keeping the compliance of commercial apps is critical. UI/UX design experience is needed to navigate these tricky waters. Also, blending regulated software medical devices with unregulated platforms is a critical area, something that both the long-term architecture and the short-term quality processes must consider. This includes change management, post-market surveillance, reporting, traceability, risk management and a host of processes that meet the medical standards of IEC62304, ISO14971 and ISO13485 for Software as A Medical Device (SAMD).

 

Receiving a diagnosis

Patient: Being overwhelmed with information that is not understood, anxiety.

Clinician: Developing an evidence-based care plan, coordination.

Technology: Expertise in UI/UX is needed to simplify software for patients and to provide only pertinent data to the medical teams at the right time. To develop appropriate clinical software, it is critical to understand the need to have separate controls for software used as a medical device, e.g. in diagnosis, and for software that is the platform to access the data. There must be a clear delineation and supporting organisational approach in technology companies providing the solution.

 

Following up and managing the condition

Patient: Not personalised, one-size-fits-all, fixed-length outpatient appointments. Lack of choice, not human-centric, lack of clarity and transparency about who to call and when. No way to access services flexibly as expected, e.g. using a smartphone.

Clinician: Wishing to use remote monitoring, video, chat, telephone, triage, multi-disciplinary team, making care bespoke to patients. Patient’s disease progression is only observed through episodic clinical visits, meaning fluctuations in disease progression are not always captured.

Technology: Software plays a key role, as it can run on the patients’ phones when they are away from the clinic. They can act as a hub for other devices, such as blood pressure or blood sugar monitors or different types of wearables that can connect through the patient phone. Building a sense of connection through a device that the patient is very familiar with and that is usually with the patient is the key to making the patient feel connected to their medical team. The software design needs to consider the requirements related to maintaining compliance and keeping the patient’s attention and interest to avoid device and software burnout.

 

CONCLUSION

The health system is complex

Within the overall context of the health system, the patient journey is complex, but from the perspective of the patient, it should seem simple! Only a digitalised and connected system can provide that kind of patient-friendly, simple experience.


This article has been adapted from our longer paper on Delivering for the Connected Patient.

Dr. Gillian Halley

Consultant

Gillian has over 20 years’ experience as a medical consultant in frontline healthcare delivery, with 5 years as service director, is a recognised NHS innovator in transformational change through digital health technology, and has been awarded innovation funding from the NHS, Innovate UK, and SIBG. She has extensive experience and knowledge of navigating healthcare strategy, regulations, and commissioning from both a vendor and purchaser perspective.

 

Related Articles

  • 13 September 2022

    Navigating the Healthcare Ecosystem

  • 16 August 2022

    De-risking Digitalisation

  • 03 December 2021

    Evolving Digital Self-Service in Insurance

  • 17 December 2019

    Demystifying omnichannel and making it a reality

  • 21 May 2019

    Eight factors to consider when creating a corporate start-up

  • 07 May 2019

    Failure to launch - Why contactless in the US is behind the rest of the world

  • 04 February 2019

    Can a business thrive in the age of continuous innovation?

  • 07 January 2019

    Delivering Business Value at Speed: A Recipe in Three Steps

Most Popular Articles

Current Challenges in the Transportation & Logistics Industry
 

Transportation & Logistics Insights | Brian Estep | 22 March 2022

Current Challenges in the Transportation & Logistics Industry

AI Art in Game Production – an XDS 2022 Table Discussion
 

AI | Thomas Bedenk | 27 September 2022

AI Art in Game Production – an XDS 2022 Table Discussion

4 Buy Now Pay Later Trends Set to Disrupt the Industry
 

Payments | Annmarie Mahabir | 22 February 2022

4 Buy Now Pay Later Trends Set to Disrupt the Industry

Payments Data Monetisation is Key to Driving Sustainable Growth
 

Payments | Annmarie Mahabir | 20 September 2022

Payments Data Monetisation is Key to Driving Sustainable Growth

Buy or Build? A Game-Changing Question in Insurance
 

Next Gen Insights | Robert Anderson | 12 January 2022

Buy or Build? A Game-Changing Question in Insurance

The New Ways of Issuing Cards
 

Payments | Peter Theunis | 19 July 2022

The New Ways of Issuing Cards

The Metaverse Evolution and Learning from the Games Industry
 

Next Gen Insights | Thomas Bedenk | 30 March 2022

The Metaverse Evolution and Learning from the Games Industry

Top Challenges in Warehouse and Distribution Centers
 

Transportation & Logistics Insights | Brian Estep | 01 March 2022

Top Challenges in Warehouse and Distribution Centers

Buy Now Pay Later: Will Regulation Burst the Bubble?
 

Payments | Annmarie Mahabir | 01 February 2022

Buy Now Pay Later: Will Regulation Burst the Bubble?

 

Archive

  • 27 September 2022

    AI Art in Game Production – an XDS 2022 Table Discussion

  • 20 September 2022

    Payments Data Monetisation is Key to Driving Sustainable Growth

  • 13 September 2022

    Navigating the Healthcare Ecosystem

  • 30 August 2022

    hey y’all! I’m Ashley Grant

  • 23 August 2022

    5 Ways to Fix Your Data Spine in Banking

  • 16 August 2022

    De-risking Digitalisation

  • 09 August 2022

    hi, I’m Brian Estep

  • 02 August 2022

    hey! I’m Lia Rollman

  • 19 July 2022

    The New Ways of Issuing Cards

  • 12 July 2022

    Scores on the Door: Rating Autonomous Vehicles

  • 06 July 2022

    Data-Driven Impact: Don’t Settle for Less

  • 06 July 2022

    We’re in Nottingham – a Q&A on Endava’s New Delivery Centre in the UK

  • 05 July 2022

    hey, I’m Chris Hart

  • 28 June 2022

    Platforms: a Blessing or a Curse?

  • 23 June 2022

    A Payments View on Marketplaces – How to Be(come) Successful

  • 21 June 2022

    Intelligent Commercial Underwriting

  • 14 June 2022

    The Future of Supply Chain: What’s Next?

  • 31 May 2022

    The Future of Autonomous Vehicles in T&L

  • 26 May 2022

    hello! I’m Hannah McCarthy

  • 24 May 2022

    Going Native: Why Cloud-Native Services are Essential

  • 19 May 2022

    How to Tackle Legacy – Breaking Down Walls Between Change and Run

  • 17 May 2022

    Advantages of a Yard Management System

  • 12 May 2022

    Are Phones About to Become the New POS Terminals?

  • 10 May 2022

    The Digital Economy is an Upgrade of Smart Cities and Communities

  • 05 May 2022

    hello! I’m Sumita Davé

  • 03 May 2022

    Physical Automation in the T&L Industry

  • 28 April 2022

    zdravo! I’m Andrej Kotar

  • 26 April 2022

    Open Banking in the US

  • 20 April 2022

    hello! I’m Paul Maguire

  • 19 April 2022

    Digital Automation in the T&L Industry

  • 12 April 2022

    How Do Banks Embrace Embedded Finance – Have the Fintechs Already Won?

  • 06 April 2022

    ESG Data Architecture is a Business Imperative – How to Get Started

  • 05 April 2022

    hi! I am Roy Murphy

  • 05 April 2022

    Modernizing the Shipping and Cargo Process

  • 30 March 2022

    The Metaverse Evolution and Learning from the Games Industry

  • 29 March 2022

    Do Androids Dream of Trading Electric Sheep for Digital Wood? An Introduction to Automated Game Design

  • 23 March 2022

    Real-Time Payments in Australia – Why Corporates Should Get on Board

  • 22 March 2022

    Current Challenges in the Transportation & Logistics Industry

  • 16 March 2022

    bok! I’m Sanja Cvetkovic

  • 15 March 2022

    Rapidly Transforming: Healthtech Trends in 2022

  • 08 March 2022

    How to Digitize Warehouses and Distribution Centers

  • 01 March 2022

    Top Challenges in Warehouse and Distribution Centers

  • 28 February 2022

    Tackling CIB Legacy at its Core

  • 23 February 2022

    salut! I am Isabela Buhai

  • 22 February 2022

    4 Buy Now Pay Later Trends Set to Disrupt the Industry

  • 15 February 2022

    salut! I’m Natalia Ciobanu

  • 14 February 2022

    Product-Led Innovation – a Q&A with Joe Dunleavy

  • 01 February 2022

    Buy Now Pay Later: Will Regulation Burst the Bubble?

  • 31 January 2022

    Innovation Will Spur Ireland’s Race to the Top

  • 28 January 2022

    The Value of Digital and Automation in the Product Returns Process

  • 26 January 2022

    Virtually Disrupted? Keeping Pace with Accelerating Customer Expectations

  • 19 January 2022

    The 3 Big Ps in Modern Insurance: Personalisation, Prediction and Prevention

  • 18 January 2022

    An Introduction to Mobility as a Service in the US

  • 12 January 2022

    Buy or Build? A Game-Changing Question in Insurance

  • 12 January 2022

    hello! I’m Paul Willoughby

  • 11 January 2022

    Payment Service Providers 2.0

  • $name

We are listening

How would you rate your experience with Endava so far?

We would appreciate talking to you about your feedback. Could you share with us your contact details?