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Accenture Report Predicts Five Digital Trends for Healthcare Innovation

June 14, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Leading healthcare organizations will need to embrace advances in artificial intelligence (AI), digital ecosystems and other technologies to empower consumer experiences and scale health expertise to meet a changing healthcare landscape and a changing consumer demand, according to a new report from Accenture.

The findings of the report, Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision 2017, were presented last week at the annual America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Institute & Expo in Austin, Tx. Based on C-level responses from 104 health organizations, the report identified five trends that Accenture predicts will converge over the next three to five years to reshape the healthcare experience: AI is the New UI; Ecosystem Power Plays; Workforce Marketplace; Design for Humans; and The Uncharted.

The five digital trends Accenture identified and their likely impact on the healthcare industry, as described by researchers, are laid out here:

• AI is the new UI. The growing role of AI in healthcare is moving beyond a back-end tool to the forefront of the consumer and clinician experience, becoming a new user interface that underpins the ways individuals transact and interact with systems. Emphasizing its growing importance of AI, more than four-fifths (84 percent) of healthcare executives surveyed as part of the research believe that AI will revolutionize the way they gain information from and interact with consumers, and nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of health organizations surveyed are already using virtual assistants to create better customer interactions.

• Ecosystem Power Plays.  Accenture’s research found that two-thirds (66 percent) of health organizations are taking steps to participate in digital ecosystems, 90 percent of health executives believe it is critical to adopt a platform-based business model, and more than three-quarters (78 percent) of the executives believe that competitive advantage will be determined by the strength of the partners and ecosystems they choose.

• Workforce Marketplace.  Driven by a surge in on-demand labor platforms and online work management solutions, traditional hierarchies are being replaced with open talent marketplaces, which four-fifths (80 percent) of health executives surveyed believe will drive profound shifts in their economics.

• Design for Humans. Ninety percent of health executives believe there’s a gap between the wants and needs of health consumers; four in five (81 percent) believe organizations need to understand where people want to be and shape technology to act as their guide, and four in five (82 percent) also believe that organizations that truly tap into what motivates human behavior will become the industry leaders.

•The Uncharted. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of health executives surveyed said their organizations are entering entirely new digital industries.

“When we adapt technology to the people that use it in healthcare, it creates new opportunities for patients to take control of when and where they want to receive care services,” Kaveh Safavi, M.D., senior managing director of Accenture’s health practice, said in a statement. “With the convergence of these five trends, the health industry will increasingly tap digital technologies to empower human labor, personalize digital services and free-up clinician time to focus on where they’re needed most.”

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