Only a few short years ago, renting a movie was a fairly complex process. One that involved getting in your car, driving to the store, browsing through aisles, hoping the one you selected was in stock, deciding between VHS, DVD or Blu-ray, checking out with a member card, and returning home where you might very likely forget to physically return the movie and receive a late fee.

Enter Netflix in 1997, which transitioned into an entertainment subscription service by 2007, built with personalization in its DNA. By recognizing the power of data and analytics, Netflix simplified the movie “rental” process and disrupted the industry with their superior recommendation engine.

The driving force behind digital transformation – across every industry – is the consumer. The financial industry understands people’s lives don’t revolve around banking, with consumers wanting banking transactions to be quick and simple. The goal is to not only make it easy but to make it enjoyable, by “make the banking part invisible.”

Simplicity Pays

Today, consumer expectations are higher than ever, with 81 percent of Americans now owning a smartphone, compared to 35 percent in 2011. Around the same time Netflix decided to start licensing their own content. Their bet on licensing House of Cards was not a blind bet but based on the analysis of their data. 

The lead actor in the series remarked, “Netflix was the only company that said, ‘We believe in you. We’ve run our data, and it tells us our audience would watch this series.’”

Consumers crave things they can do on the go, complex tasks they can perform in minutes rather than hours. Everything from pet grooming to passport renewals have been simplified, not by doing more, but by doing less. Less clicks, less time, less confusion, less stress. 

Brands are no longer competing with the best experience in their respective categories. Instead they’re competing with the best experience a consumer has ever had. According to Forbes, “55 percent of consumers claim they’ll pay more for a brand that delivers a simpler experience.”

Now in its eighth year, the 2018-2019 simplicity index reveals the world’s simplest brands are the ones that put clarity and ease at the heart of the customer experience. The study revealed that 64 percent of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it provides simpler experiences and communications. It comes as no surprise that Netflix was named the World’s Simplest Brand for taking the “ease of experience one step further, with algorithms that track your viewing patterns, eliminating the difficult decision-making process of what to watch next.” 

The Elements of Simple

While healthcare is inherently complex, it doesn’t have to be. The consumer wants simple processes, to be guided seamlessly through their health journey. To accomplish this, healthcare organizations must take a page from some of the World’s Simplest brands. 

It’s about evolving to meet the demands and expectations of the modern consumer with the scalable intention necessary to simplify healthcare’s unique complexities—of data, payment, culture, organizations, regulations, ethics and human beings.

At emids, we understand this complex time in healthcare because we see it from all sides. We work with providers, payers and health tech firms. We’ve witnessed the convergence of payers and providers firsthand and have a unique perspective of what the future may be. We understand the challenges our clients are up against in evolving to a consumer-focused, digital-first approach.

To guide you on your digital transformation journey, we’ve developed The Elements of Simple: a how-to guide to succeed in a digital-first world with human-led solutions to navigate our industry’s unique complexities. By breaking it down into five simple parts, it’s our way of helping you make digital doable. 

Part 1: Strategy

Leading healthcare enterprises take a different approach to digital. Innovation efforts should be targeted at leveraging technology to create positive business value instead of focusing on cost reduction. It’s a mindset that requires an enterprise-wide approach championed by leadership. Our research shows that leading enterprises have 30 percent higher CEO involvement in outlining the IT strategy versus other enterprises. 

Part 2: Design

As new technologies are empowering individuals like never before, thanks to the ubiquity of e-commerce and social media, consumers’ expectations have also changed. Delivering a personalized experience is the core of what’s driving healthcare’s digital transformation. It starts with design thinking and taking a human-centered approach to problem solving. 

Part 3: Experience

Health and wellness are a continuous journey, not an end state. Each journey has to be tailored to the individual. This starts by developing personas, fictional personalities that bring user data to life. This allows an organization to understand and embody the users’ point of view and identify issues and opportunities for improving the healthcare journey. 

Part 4: Data 

Industry estimates suggest that the total healthcare data in the world is growing at 48 percent year over year, and by 2020, each of us will be generating approximately 1 gigabyte of healthcare data every day. Organizations have access to more data than ever before but struggle with managing the growing volume and how to leverage it as a competitive advantage or to enable the consumer experience. The five core elements that enable data simplicity are: 

  1. having the right architecture,
  2. rapid and scalable ingestion, 
  3. governance, 
  4. technology and 
  5. skills and people. 

Part 5: Convergence

The undisputed Holy Grail in healthcare is streamlining the delivery of care for the patient benefit. It’s about bringing together devices, clinical systems and communication media, as part of a bi-directional, actionable, intelligent ecosystem. With connection-as-a-service, organizations can build meaningful healthcare experiences and harness the power of IoT data by deriving meaningful insights from disparate information streams and legacy systems.

We’re on a mission to help make digital doable. That starts with an intentional approach to break down the barriers and complexities that have left healthcare playing catch up. As we dive into each part of “The Elements of Simple,” you’ll learn how to apply a new level of organizational consciousness to maximize technology to fundamentally alter the business of care delivery. 

Michael Hollis, President Strategic Business at emids, oversees the company’s marketing and sales operations. He is responsible for overall sales effectiveness, business development and client relationships, as well as for articulating the company’s service offerings to prospective clients and industries. Michael is an active member of Nashville’s professional and nonprofit community, serving on several advisory boards and as a committee member of the Nashville Technology Council and the Nashville Health Care Council’s Leadership Health Care initiative. Be sure to connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

As Healthcare Technology Solutions (HTS) president at emids, Kumar Kolin focuses on strategic initiatives, growth and research and development. Kolin leads the Innovation Team by serving as executive leader of Cloud Engineering. 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.