A decade ago, digital transformation in healthcare was focused on product features and large-scale transformation was often cost-prohibitive. Ideas were solved as engineering problems with technology tacked on, leading to wasteful spending and frequently failed initiatives. However, over the past two decades, growing consumerism and advances in technology have necessitated a shift in the status quo.

The tipping point of this decade is when the capabilities of technology have finally outpaced the ideas brought to the table. The speed of change brought on by the global health crisis showed how healthcare’s operating models need to change to meet the digital consumer’s needs and expectations for usability, connectivity, hyper-personalization, contextualization and integration.

The age of leveraging emerging technologies and analytics to support value-based care initiatives and cost optimization is upon us. To create a more value-rich experience in a digital world, healthcare must engage consumers by leveraging emerging technologies and data for relevant insights on who the human is at the center.

A New Foundation for Transformation

According to Forbes, companies spent $1.3 trillion on digital transformation in 2018. Based on just these numbers, the progress appears significant. However, of the $1.3 trillion spent, an estimated $900 billion went to waste. Reverting to problem-solving techniques from a decade ago will only waste money, time and allow competitors to forge ahead with more successful tech implementations. Today’s technology is ready and waiting to solve problems, leaving the opportunity before us to adopt a consumer-centric perspective as a business priority.

From our own research, 78% of healthcare organizations feel their digital initiatives are not yielding results. To execute truly effective digital transformation, the question is, “how is my consumer having their needs met on their own terms?” and seek strategies for engagement that address patients as individuals with unique circumstances, needs and preferences.

Human-Centered Design: Being the Truth Seekers

Human-centered design thinking embraces the individual, and their context, at the center of product design. Encompassing a deeper understanding of patients is transforming the way healthcare organizations improve the patient experience, achieve better clinical outcomes and lower costs.

After uncovering and defining a meaningful problem, Macadamian integrates tools, research and processes that examine both the “what” and “why” at the heart of the solution. The “why” space extracts insights about specific patient problems to guarantee the final solution has a profound impact on their engagement with no roadblocks or friction to usability.

It is an iterative process, with innovative solutions emerging after cycling through several rounds of ideation and validation with the human at the center of the solution. This process is a delicate balancing act requiring an alignment of business and technology objectives, resources and stakeholders to ensure the final solution effectively meets consumer needs and leverages technology in an integrated manner.

The result? Innovative, connected solutions that deliver enhanced insight into customer behavior and uncover new opportunities for generating operational efficiencies and consumer engagement.

The Way Forward

By embracing human-centered design thinking, healthcare organizations can leverage a deeper understanding of patients to solve problems, achieve better clinical outcomes, improve the patient experience and lower costs along the way. As a means to design and domain-led thinking end, our acquisition of Macadamian will drive genuine collaboration and new ideas to the forefront of healthcare’s digital transformation.

The opportunity before us is to not disintegrate in the face of today’s disruption and instead break legacy thinking to raise the bar on consumer engagement.

Download our 2021 Outlook Report for more on this and four key healthcare trends to better understand how you can accelerate insights for long-term value and enterprise-wide impact. 

As Chief Technology Officer at emids, Kumar Kolin leads the overall technology excellence charter and drives the evolution of emids’ design and engineering capabilities and execution. Kolin oversees the technology office, all practices, design-led engineering and emids’ labs. With over 25 years of success managing and leading high-performance technology teams, he served as Technology Partner, Deputy CIO and Digital Innovation Leader at industry giant Deloitte. Kolin is also founder and CEO of cloudx, a company designed to create an integrated partnership of domain, design and engineering constructed to reboot how technology services are delivered. Be sure to connect with Kumar on LinkedIn.

Lorraine Chapman leads Healthcare Services at Macadamian (recently acquired by emids) and has been practicing in the field of User Experience for 20+ years. As part of her role, she provides strategic UX and business direction to digital and connected health companies and providers across the United States and Canada. The result of Lorrain’s commitment to solving customer problems is a unique ability to harmonize technology with the needs of people who use it. Lorraine’s goal is to make interactions with healthcare (services and technology) easier, satisfying and meaningful for all stakeholders involved – including patients. Be sure to connect with Lorraine on LinkedIn