It’s easy to get the impression that digital transformation in healthcare is over. Nearly 90% of all hospitals in the US, for example, have implemented ambulatory or inpatient electronic health records (EHRs).
But this signifies the beginning of the journey, not the end. With the 21st Century Cares Act coming into effect, we’re seeing a host of changes that have given rise to increased access for both patients and third parties.
Legal changes plus the explosion of IoT-connected devices and other data-generating tools have created immense amounts of valuable data. Now the question in front of Med Tech, Pharma and other players is: “How do we drive value out of that data?”
That’s not an easy question to answer. While data may be the new gold, it has massive implications, especially around compliance, privacy, security and even your core product offering. For some, this will require harnessing entirely new strategic approaches and partnerships, while others may pivot or create entirely new business models. Meanwhile, for companies that have never been data custodians in the past, they will have an even bigger knowledge gap to cross.
Here’s what you need to know about how to leverage data to ensure your business thrives in the new digital healthcare environment.
Connectivity and Interoperability are on the near horizon
In healthcare and elsewhere, we are in the midst of an IoT revolution. Connectivity is no longer an added perk and will soon become an expected feature of any Med Device.
There are immense benefits, especially for companies, to better understand these devices’ capabilities and embrace the opportunities they create. You can begin unlocking their potential by answering these questions:
- What potential value lies in the data we collect?
- How do we connect health solutions to larger data streams generated by med devices?
- How do we harness AI in healthcare solutions to further scale our efforts?
- Where is there potential for increased revenue, improved sales and support and new business models?
- Likewise, what complications around compliance and security arise from this connectivity?
Unstructured data: one challenge to tackle now
From the system level one vantage, one of the largest digital transformation challenges that remain is what to do with unstructured data. 47% of healthcare organizations have identified managing unstructured data as the most significant obstacle to improving interoperability.
Unstructured data creates additional issues such as:
- It can be hard to identify what data is relevant in a given situation versus what isn’t.
- Lack of data mobility
- It’s difficult to integrate existing infrastructure
- Unstructured data continuously grows
- Protecting all data at risk become incredibly challenging
Processing unstructured data to surface relevant information improves efficiency, ensuring better implementation of treatment continuity along with numerous opportunities to leverage data in new ways to improve operations.
Capturing healthcare innovation moments
Healthcare companies need to think data-first. And this leads directly to a highly impactful and rapidly emerging area where businesses can deliver innovative solutions: data custodianship.
For the first time, legacy device manufacturers have access to the data their product generates. This creates complications that may have never encountered before, such as:
- They might not have consent or access to data after the device is sold.
- HIPAA compliance becomes a new challenge they’ve never dealt with.
- The ever-growing healthcare cybersecurity threat may put their device or the data it contains or is connected to is at risk.
And these are just the challenges Med Device manufacturers face. For Pharma, it gets even more complicated. They have to take all of these considerations into account plus navigate emerging technologies like digital therapeutics. They have to find the right balance between capturing opportunities and keeping breakthroughs like these which may be a threat to their core business model at arm’s length.
Partner with industry specialists to navigate the risk and rewards of the connected health ecosystem
The bottom line is that digital transformation in healthcare is complex and full of risk and reward. Whether it’s an established, multinational healthcare corporation or a freshly formed start-up, teaming up with industry specialists is the best way to navigate the evolving ecosystem.
By doing so, companies can stick to their core expertise while still reaping the digitally-enabled landscape rewards. For example, they can co-create a product and then shift the ongoing responsibility for its management onto their specialist partner.
This can be especially beneficial for companies who have never navigated HIPAA compliance in the past or without medical software experience. Further, these relationships are especially useful for firms that may want to harness data directly or indirectly in an anonymized format.
These are the types of partnerships we offer here at Star. We work across the digital healthcare industry to help businesses create meaningful healthcare innovation. In addition to engineering expertise, we layer on strategy and product definition capabilities to ensure our partners have what they need to thrive in the market.
The platforms we manage across industries handle hundreds of terabytes of data and millions of transactions per minute. We know how to think big and execute. We also couple our capabilities with deep healthcare expertise to help our partners identify opportunities and continue their growth.
Finally, we offer flexibility. Developing an idea into a game-changing healthtech product isn’t always going to be a massive-sized project. At Star, we’re innovation-driven. As companies of all sizes and histories begin stepping their toes in these turbulent waters, we offer both the mindshare and expertise to navigate projects of all sizes.
This doesn’t just apply to new entrants, but even storied brands dealing with these same concerns and want to know how and where to begin.
Creating data-powered healthcare experiences for ZEISS
Our ongoing collaboration with ZEISS is just one example of how we can help industry players embrace new data-driven healthcare opportunities. As a legacy device manufacturer, ZEISS, despite its brand’s strength, needed to overcome several short and long-term challenges in the increasingly digital healthcare ecosystem.
By working with each key stakeholder, including in-store technicians, remote optometrists, regulators and Star’s quality assurance team, we delivered the end-to-end solution VISU360. Not only have we helped ZEISS successfully navigate HIPAA and other regulatory challenges, but we have enabled them to leverage the enormous benefits of telehealth.