Summary: 2020 was the catalyst healthcare needed. Here we discuss how the industry is shifting to a virtual-first model and doubling down on interoperability for the foreseeable future.
Original author and publication date: Arielle Trzcinski – June 14, 2021
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Something as personal and even sacred, our body and our health, will soon be in the hands of intelligent machines.
From the article:
Virtual care is healthcare
Virtual care has become a core component of consumer-clinician engagement and will forever change the way consumers engage in their care. According to the Forrester Analytics “Consumer Technographics U.S. Omnibus Q4 Survey, 2020,” 41% of U.S. online adults have had a remote primary care visit, with the rate of adoption nearly doubling since March 2020. Forrester estimates that the virtual care market will reach a potential $43 billion in 2021, with upwards of 440 million virtual ambulatory encounters. On the supply side, more than 50% of practicing physicians plan to make virtual care a permanent part of their care models for patients.
Today, most virtual visits are delivered by health systems and clinics — not outsourced models — and support patients for chronic care management and primary care. Large health insurers like Humana and Kaiser Permanente have already responded to this virtual-first primary care shift and launched new product offerings for members.
Healthcare must address inequities to better serve all patients
For many patients, virtual care was out of reach due to lack of connectivity, lack of design for accessibility and lack of support for a diverse population. While a virtual-first engagement model is not new, the sheer volume of net-new patients experiencing this model created a watershed moment that brought many inadequacies to light at once. Without a strong, differentiated digital-first strategy, healthcare institutions will continue to experience customer attrition. The new empowered healthcare consumer will make the shift to alternative healthcare offerings and competitors.
By addressing the needs of the minority, the whole population wins. Improved experiences that remove barriers for some increase the ease of access for all and ultimately drive improvement in population health. These outcomes drive community benefit, with all individuals able to be healthy and contribute at work, to their local community and society at large.