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Fixing the digital plumbing in Healthcare

As rapidly changing needs in the healthcare industry effect how companies react, Amit Shukla, AVP & Head of Sales - Healthcare, Infosys and Abhishek Singh, Vice President, Everest Group get together to discuss how the industry is transforming itself through technology

Highlights

  • Digital technologies have become that default channel which healthcare companies, both payers and providers, want to use as they reach out, and work with their own customers, patients and employer groups.
  • Whether it's telehealth, cloud, AI, or any of the newer and upcoming technologies, where the investments are going, everyone is trying to solve what they call triple aims of healthcare.
  • While (enterprises) need to maintain the focus around patient centric technologies, it's the digital plumbing, things that sit at the back office in the mid office that need to be fixed first.

The healthcare space has experienced a sweeping change over the years, and expectations from both, service providers as well as the payers in the ecosystem has evolved. Quite expectedly, the same has happened with the role that technology plays in the healthcare space as well.

From the time that was once dominated by discussions around things like database integration creating enterprise data layer, this change is evident, says Abhishek Singh, Vice President, Everest Group in a conversation with Amit Shukla, AVP & Head of Sales - Healthcare, Infosys.

“Digital technologies themselves have become that default channel which healthcare companies, both payers and providers, want to use as they reach out and work with their own customers, patients and employer groups, etc.,” Singh says, adding that the conversation these days is more about deeper technologies such as telehealth, AI, and health technology platforms.

And this conversation is everywhere, feels Shukla, also talking about how all the digital health initiatives are targeting the same thing. Whether it's telehealth, or cloud, or AI, or any of the newer and upcoming technologies, and where the investments are going, everyone is trying to solve what they call triple aims of healthcare.

“How do you improve the health care for the individual? How do you really figure out a way to deliver better care to the population? And how do you reduce the cost?” notes Shukla, adding, “These are essentially the three broad aims, which, healthcare companies, as well as the digital health companies are trying to address.”

Singh’s agrees that cost is an important topic of conversation. His conversations with his clients, he says, are primarily around two questions, one of which is reducing the cost of healthcare itself.

“Health care deals with cost in a very different manner. It's one of the largest spend areas within US. So that's one aspect that most enterprises think and live and breathe every day,” he says. The second, aspect, he says, is about looking at the efficacy of the technology costs that they are deploying.

“Most of my conversations in the last 18 months, and specifically so during COVID-19, has been around audit of the SGNA cost, as well as the medical costs that payers and providers end up accruing,” he notes, adding, “And, how can technology play a role in improving one the efficiency of it and also bring the overall level of cost down.”

Singh also notes that while having discussions on enterprise vendor interactions, the conversations are now not only gearing towards unit cost of spend, but also total cost of ownership of a lot of services implementations that are being putting in place.

As the conversation concludes, Singh shares his advice to enterprises and service providers.

He says that the key opportunity lies in orchestration. As CIOs deal with large tier vendors, and are seeking service providers who can come in, and play that central role in managing all of these different pieces of the ecosystem, whether it's cloud data, and different platforms.

For enterprises, his advice is simple. Fixing the plumbing.

“While they need to maintain the focus around patient centric technologies, it's the digital plumbing, things that sit at the back office in the mid office that need to be fixed first,” he says, adding, “Whether it's regulation, whether it's cybersecurity, whether it's your legacy platform that you have in the mix that needs to get fixed.”

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