What You Need to Know
- COVID-19 has accelerated technology adoption in the health care system.
- The pandemic has also widened the gap between consumers' health care experiences and other retail experiences.
- Artificial intelligence systems can come to patients' aid.
Personalization has long been the holy grail of health care. And, during the pandemic, as our reliance on digital tools that easily collect personal information has soared, the promise of personalization has seemed closer than ever.
The right kinds of data paired with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can unlock the ability to improve health outcomes by tailoring care and engagement strategies to individual patients at scale. With this approach, health plans and providers can finally maximize each step in a patient’s health care journey.
But the path to personalization is paved with hard — and valuable — questions about privacy. Protecting personal health data is not a responsibility any of us in the field take lightly.
The thing is, there doesn’t need to be a trade-off between privacy and personalization. There can be a third way. We can create a more personalized health care system while protecting patient privacy if we leverage the right data and prioritize the business objectives that are meaningful: improving health outcomes, minimizing sick care and creating the greatest lifetime value for the people we serve.
As a health insurance professional, you can help your individual and benefits clients understand why this shift matters.
The Reimagination of Health Care Is Underway
The national landscape has never been more conducive to this kind of revolution in health care. Digital health was already taking off before the pandemic. But the past 18 months have accelerated the use of everything from consumer health apps and telemedicine to smart devices and sensors.
Not only are consumers increasingly responsive to digital tools that provide more empowerment over their care, health leaders say digital health is gaining steam within institutions. According to a recent Accenture study, 81% of health care executives said the pace of digital transformation is accelerating in their organizations.
In government, momentum is picking up as well. Recently, the Biden administration expressed its commitment to advancing digital health expansion. And in another positive sign, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced earlier this year that it was moving up its goal to report all quality measures digitally from 2030 to 2025. While the goal may seem ambitious to some, it further demonstrates that a data-driven health care future is approaching fast.
Improving the Evaluation Process Is Key
For consumers frustrated by the slow and fragmented nature of traditional health care experiences, that future can’t arrive soon enough. Whether in-person or online, the pre-pandemic health experience already lagged behind increasingly slick consumer experiences. But now that consumers are accustomed to curbside pick-up and other coronavirus-era conveniences, the gap between health care experiences and other retail experiences seems even more pronounced.