What Shapes a Modern Healthcare Platform?
A modern healthcare platform is a mosaic of many technical elements. There is a hub of technical elements which can be used to enhance and imply modern healthcare platform, beneficial for both doctors and patients
Before we answer that question in the header, let us identify the stakeholders and their unique pain points.
1. Hospitals that typically struggle with data, application integration, wait times, strategic pricing and cost control.
2. Physicians who want better scheduling, and more influence on patients.
3. Patients who would desire to self-manage their condition, desperately need behavior alteration, want better value for money, and reassurance about care quality.
4. Government which wants to control spends per patient; improve overall health of the nation, wants disease surveillance.
5. Payers who want to manage risk pool.
There is perhaps one more stakeholder who has not played its cards fully yet and that is the telecom. All digital initiatives are eventually built on a telecommunication highway. Telecom companies have a significant subscriber base and reach. I wonder why they would not provide healthcare on demand as an option using digital channels.
A modern healthcare platform is a mosaic of many technical elements. A few notable components would be data exchange facility, electronic record store, sensor hub, analytics engine, audio video communication hub, administrative elements of subscription, identity, and access management. While every stakeholder will have interest in all components, a few will be critical and that begs the question, which stakeholder has the highest influence on the platform.
At the epicenter of the platform there are some core needs. Patients and doctors need one to one interaction. Doctors need contextual information to make decisions on the fly to work with the patient’s context and background. Modern patients would like to take charge of and manage their own health. According to my un-
derstanding, any platform should be built keeping the patients in mind. For example, should a prescription module designed to make it easier for the physician to prescribe or for the patient to understand? Maybe we should consider manifesting data for different user groups differently. The platform should provide an endto-end solution for the patient across prevention, diagnosis, therapy, and care considering unique needs of acute and chronic segments, and patients across different age group.
For example, prescriptions for elders could have a different font or color so that it helps with better medication adherence. An HbA1c report could provide a call for action to a diabetic recommending low glycemic food, exercises depending on the patient’s age, social context. When we design a future ready platform, it has to start with the patient in mind and end with the patient in mind. This is not to say that expectation of other stakeholders should be disregarded. The intent here is to emphasize that all other players will organize themselves around the patient thereby knowing their end customer so well that their services will add overall value to the customer experience.
Such a system is best build by a consortium in partnership so that all relevant skill sets can be available in its design and construction. Such a platform needs to establish an emotional appeal to all its constituents. For example: 1. If telemedicine should be the norm, the emotion orientation of the patient doctor relationship has to be challenged. 2. Hospitals would have to be ready with better integration capabilities and have confidence to host their data on the platform. 3. Physicians would have to learn to rely on Amazon Alexa like entity to help them shift through large data sets to provide insights just in time. In effect, the platform is an aggregator for multiple players to come together to deliver value to that one buyer – the patient. The split of every unit of currency spent by the patient has to be such that patient always gets maximum value. The beauty of this is that it is not a zero sum game. Once we have a platform that transcends the physical realm into the digital, the entire planet is the customer base. All we need to do is to find out people/ who are in denial, borderline and unexplored customers and bring them on-board and they will be happy to do so when they see exceptional utility. While there are high decibel conversations about customer centricity, I think we really need to get our focus on patient for a true modern healthcare platform to dominate the health IT conversation.