Healthcare organizations need to become more collaborative in creating new digital healthcare experiences to help customers feel engaged, important and informed, according to research from Accenture.

Based on a survey of 259 payer and provider healthcare executives, the report — Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision 2020 — notes that the vast majority (85 per cent) of executives believe that technology has become an inextricable part of the human experience.

Furthermore, 45 per cent of those polled said that rapid advancements in new technologies and scientific innovations are positioned to disrupt their industry.

“The intersection between digital technology and healthcare experiences has certainly accelerated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and leading the future of care will demand rethinking core assumptions about the intersection of people and technology,” said Dr. Kaveh Safavi, a senior managing director in Accenture’s Health practice.

“People’s perceptions of and relationships with technology are changing, and to adapt, healthcare payers and providers need to redesign digital experiences.”

The research found that 69 per cent of healthcare payers and providers are already piloting or adopting artificial intelligence, which will enable fluid interactions between human and machines. Yet only 39 per cent said they have inclusive design or human-centric design principles in place to support human-machine collaboration.

In addition, more than two-thirds (71 per cent) of the executives believe that robotics will enable the next generation of services in the physical world, yet 54 per cent believe that their employees will be challenged to figure out how to work with robots.

“The use of robotics is especially exciting in healthcare, where need has no boundaries and workers are already spread thin,” Safavi said.

“But as robotic capabilities extend beyond controlled environments, healthcare organizations will face new challenges around talent investments, data collection, and human-machine interaction and collaboration.”

The report argues that despite benefiting broadly from technology, people are expressing concerns about how and for what it’s used. A majority (70 per cent) of healthcare consumers polled as part of the research said they are concerned about data privacy and commercial tracking associated with their online activities, behaviors, location and interests.

The same number (70 per cent) of consumers also said they expect their relationship with technology to be more prominent in their lives over the next three years.

With more than three-quarters (78 per cent) of the healthcare provider and payer executives saying they believe that the stakes for innovation have never been higher, the report notes that “getting it right” will require new ways of innovating with ecosystem partners and third-party organizations.

“COVID-19 has not slowed digital technology innovation; rather, it’s amplifying it to historic levels,” said Safavi.

“Given the current environment, healthcare organizations must elevate their technology agenda to explore emerging digital technologies that provide the right infrastructure to help people feel safer about using technology tools for their healthcare experience.”

Image source: Unsplash

Note: Due to a problem with the CMS the byline in this story is incorrect. It was actually edited by staff writers.

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