Five Predictions: What’s Next in Digital Health?
With increased demand during the pandemic, health plans, health systems, and employers are all investing in the infrastructure necessary to support digital health solutions and facilitate convenience and better outcomes for their members and patients. As this rebalancing occurs over the next several months, these are the changes I see on the horizon:
- Solutions that leverage the smartphone and put consumers at the center of care are going to win the day. Frequent check-ins-personalized across the domains of time, frequency, channel, tone, content, and intervention-support people outside the doctor’s office by ensuring adherence, facilitating long-term behavior change, and catching escalations before they become major problems.
- While smartphones and Wi-Fi are available to the majority of people, some populations still aren’t able to take advantage of these tools. Because 2020 reinforced the idea that digital access is a social determinant, I predict that more work will be done to ensure connected tech for more people.
- Telehealth will lead the way toward permanent digital health reimbursement.
- The digital health marketplace will consolidate. DarioHealth’s acquisition of Upright this year, for example, expanded our suite of solutions to include back pain and other musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders. MSK problems often go hand in hand with diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, other chronic conditions.
- As effective digital solutions rise to the top and expand their market share, healthcare costs will go down and patient responsibility for the cost of digital health management will decrease. Creative risk structures will develop, and solution providers will be held accountable for patient outcomes.