AHIP Consumer & Digital Health Forum: Digital Transformation is a Journey, Not a Sprint

I recently attended AHIP’s Consumer Experience & Digital Health Forum in Nashville, Tenn., where the discussion focused on several key initiatives that will continue to guide our industry on the digital transformation journey.

Healthcare innovators from around the country convened for three days to help organizations advance their digital transformation efforts in a shared learning environment. Thought leaders included those in marketing and branding, strategic planning, business development, consumer experience and health information technology. Conference organizers stated their goal was for attendees to leave “with big ideas and big results to make health care simpler for consumers.” From my perspective, many important conversations were had to achieve that goal.

Important topics facing our healthcare system today were discussed, but a few key themes emerged from those conversations centered around next generation CX, customer engagement and branding, data analytics, actionable intelligence, industry transformation, disruption and product innovation.

Empowering Consumers
There were valuable insights shared on strategies to empower consumers, ways to incorporate digital health to serve complex populations and tactics to best balance the digital and consumer healthcare experiences. I also had several discussions focused on how digital-led CX strategies are transforming healthcare, including how to use digital transformation for better decision making, better care, more efficient automation and stronger connections with members and prospects.

Attaining Payer and Provider Collaboration
There was also intriguing conversation around new-generation health plans that are disrupting the market with an “experience first” approach and enabling strong payer-provider strategies to allow for a single pane of glass for members and providers.

This provides excellent insight into ways of not only achieving better digital engagement but understanding exactly what this engagement means moving forward in our digital transformation journey.

Achieving Digital Engagement
We are utilizing digital engagement to help ensure consumers are receiving the best possible care in the appropriate care setting. Stemming from this is the fact that consumers still trust providers more than anyone else for most treatment options and cost decisions. Lastly, considerable attention was given to how payers are successfully engaging with providers to help build a valued level of trust and empathy with consumers.

I came away with a stronger understanding of how building internal partnerships and collaborations are vital to make digital transformation a reality. This can only be achieved when we reach a place where we are identifying who is going to make decisions – be it HR, legal, technology or business. These organizations must have a self-selected group of people who are motivated and knowledgeable about the company and are inspired by what digital can really do. It is best to start small, perhaps with a 90-day project cycle with a business focused outcome, so the company is able to recalibrate strategy faster in the event the task at hand doesn’t initially come to fruition. It is imperative to have the customer as the voice of trust within the organization moving forward, to take small steps in the process, deliver quick wins and not to focus on ‘how big can I make it?’

We recently released the results of our Digital Transformation Readiness Survey, and what I heard at AHIP echoes the results of how leading enterprises are finding success along the path to digital transformation. The survey’s key findings, including starting with a smaller team, having a clear line of vision, finding the right talent and creating the right combination of influences to achieve optimum results, all align with AHIP’s key themes.

Remember, digital transformation is a journey, not a sprint. Let the journey continue!


Overseeing payer and digital solutions for emids, Dr. Praveen Soti is a physician thought leader and healthcare business and digital innovation executive with more than 18 years of health tech experience across private and public sectors in North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific. Dr. Soti holds an MD and MBA and is an alum of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He served as a past board chair of the Microsoft Health Users Group. He has been a featured industry speaker at the World Congress, Harvard Patient Safety Colloquium and HIMSS-Microsoft HUG. Be sure to connect with Praveen on LinkedIn.

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