Home / Events
Healthcare - changing industry dynamics and new normal post-Covid
Everything is changing right from policy and practice to service delivery and consumption. Covid-19 has brought about a whirlwind of change across the healthcare industry. What are you as a healthcare provider building, a Wall or a Windmill?
COVID-19: A Crisis or An Opportunity
Over the past year, humankind has witnessed one of the worst chapters in its history. To name a few; we have seen the highest rate of deaths, turmoil in the global economy, stock market crashes, crude oil diving to the lowest, public stuck in lockdown, many people losing their jobs and others working from home, the list goes on…
But does this mean that Covid has brought only challenges that we ought to be worried about? The Answer is No. It is interesting to note that “Crisis” in Chinese is written with two characters – 危机. While one represents danger, the other represents opportunity. It is our choice on how we choose to perceive and react to it.
Innovation During a Crisis: It Is More Critical Than Ever
Historically, firms that focus on innovation during a crisis have managed superior growth and performance after it is over. For instance, during the dot-com bubble burst and the 2009 economic crisis, while most firms were laying off people and cutting costs, Steve Jobs invested heavily in people and R&D to help Apple outperform; and it worked tremendously post-crisis1.
A Mckinsey2 report shown in Exhibit-1 below further suggests that companies focused on innovation during the 2009 financial crisis emerged stronger, outperformed the market by more than 30 percent, and continued to deliver accelerated growth over the next three to five years.
The Healthcare industry is no different. The pressure brought about by the sudden influx of patients, risk exposure, and workforce mobility has exposed system-wide inefficiencies, capacity constraints, lack of IT infrastructure, and inequalities across the system. It is time for healthcare firms to identify opportunities, unlock their hidden potential, and strategize for sustainable business in the longer term. This requires a new approach to relook at the norms and operational best practices, redefine the key success factors, and leverage technology to build a competitive advantage. Let us first evaluate the recent changes and see where the opportunities lie.
Changes in the Healthcare Landscape
In recent times, the Covid pandemic has put the industry through a stress test, making an impact in a huge but unique manner. Consumers have become proactive and health-conscious. There is increased adoption of digital platforms for consultation, e-pharmacy, wearable, and other devices to monitor vitals and symptoms. Consumer choices are also influenced by web search, social media, and review sites. They prefer Care-at-home rather than visit a hospital. Value and quality of care have taken precedence over proximity for the selection of healthcare services. The industry’s key success factors shift to delivering care when, where, and how the patient wants it.
Many hospitals are struggling financially with the dual effect of incurring increased costs due to additional infrastructure and the falling revenue due to shut down of non-emergency and elective OPD and IPD services. Hospitals have implemented safety measures to screen each patient and visitor, mandated PPE and sanitization, mobilized resources, and modified existing infrastructure to create isolation facilities.
An excessive demand for services that is disproportionate to supply, insufficient doctor to patient ratio and inadequate IT infrastructure have forced policymakers to put measures in place to deal with a pandemic such as Covid in the future. We are likely to see more public spending on healthcare infrastructure and public-private partnerships among stakeholders to make secondary and tertiary care more affordable. Policy and process reforms during Covid will continue to be a part of the new normal.
Use of Technology to Capitalize On the Opportunity:
Technology can facilitate the paradigm shift in the healthcare industry towards treatment based on prevention, prediction, and pre-symptomatic detection. Implementing the right IT solutions can lower medical costs, simplify medical procedures, and deliver more accurate, accessible, and affordable services. Adequate IT infrastructure can not only improve the service quality, but also patient engagement to retain their trust. A good Hospital Information System (HIS) integrated with a Patient Portal can make a huge difference. A hospital can also leverage tele-consultation, tele-triaging, digital communication, and data analytics to strategically scale up services and improve efficiency.
Telemedicine is the perfect frontline platform in managing infectious disease outbreak. It enables doctors to perform health assessment on patients remotely, and patients can use their mobile app to send their responses in a secure data environment. By utilizing the telemedicine platform, doctors can also perform real-time monitoring on patients, send educational material to the mobile app to keep patients informed of their health status and adopt preventive measures.
Healthcare Apps can help patients decide when, where, and how they want to receive services. EHR can provide personalized insights. Wearable devices integrated with smartphones can capture patient vitals remotely and in real-time, eliminating unnecessary hospital visits. It also assures patients that they are being monitored continuously. Healthcare leaders need to think about which simple, easy-to-use, high ROI IT solution they want to implement quickly and which advanced technology they would like to develop with a long-term vision.
Advanced technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be advantageous in a variety of use cases. It can help in analysing large volumes of unstructured data to bring about actionable insights and prediction of outcomes. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) can be used to gather and transmit vital signs to a clinician. It plays a key role during recovery and reduces readmission rates regardless of the condition. A combination of IoT with telemedicine, known as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), has many applications in tracking health-related data.
Collaborating with the Right Technology Partner:
It is absolutely necessary for healthcare service providers to adopt tech solutions to build a robust, scalable, and agile digital infrastructure. However, this requires the right thought leadership to lead the cultural shift, build the support system, focus on core strengths and outsource tech activities to a trusted partner. Choosing the correct technology partner is a strategic decision that leaders have to embrace, in line with their strategic objectives for the long run.
Napier Healthcare Solutions
Avinash is a sailor turned entrepreneur. As Napier Head of Customer Engagement, he is particularly involved in developing the overall customer strategy and service delivery expectations that drive customer retention and satisfaction.
Get in touch with us
And we’ll get back to you within 48 hours.
Sign Up for FREE Consultation!
Headquartered in Singapore, Napier Healthcare is leading provider globally for innovative, technology-enabled solutions for hospitals, long term care providers, nursing homes, health insurance and other industries with healthcare touchpoints.