Digitalization of Healthcare and Life Sciences

Publication Date
22 September 2020

Digitalization of Healthcare and Life Sciences

Thank you for your interest in our Digitalization of Healthcare and Life Sciences Primer! In this primer, you will explore:

Healthcare and life science organizations have a unique opportunity to build out their digital strategy as the world begins to realize the unlimited potential of technology to improve lives. COVID-19 has nearly quadrupled the number of U.S. consumers that are now using telehealth, a trend that could lead to nearly 1 billion virtual telehealth visits by the end of 2020. And with statistics showing that telehealth consultations are typically 20% shorter than in-person appointments, helping patients see their doctor faster and allowing providers to see more patients than before, digital healthcare is likely here to stay.

But with these digital solutions poised to change the way patients interact and engage with their healthcare providers in the future, there are challenges arising. These challenges are lessons to be learned by all stakeholders involved in digital healthcare, giving organizations the opportunity to implement new digital solutions that create better user experiences.

As medicine and healthcare technology moves through the 21st century, you will need solutions that provide new levels of information, comfort, and control for patients that ultimately help them live happier, healthier lives.

What Digital Solutions are Emerging in Healthcare?

The possibilities that digital strategies present when it comes to healthcare are virtually unlimited. Digital technologies have the potential to make healthcare more flexible and accessible to those most in need. 

Let’s explore some of the ways that healthcare companies can enhance their organization with strategic digital solutions. 

Digital front door
A digital front door is a concept that emerged as a result of the digital revolution. Some patients may no longer be opening the physical door to a practice or organization. Instead, they are engaging through digital means. The digital front door may be a website, mobile app, patient portal, or other technology. But regardless of how a patient engages with their provider, the front door must be accessible. Patients are already likely seeking a healthcare provider because they have an ailment, so the point of entry needs to be easy. Creating a digital front door requires strategic thinking because it’s more than “just” the website that needs to be updated. It’s an entire experience that must be seamless across all channels.

Internet of things (IoT) for patients & healthcare providers
Most health care providers (HCPs) understand the idea of IoT. But the reality is there are so many opportunities that have become much more apparent now that COVID-19 has transitioned our communities, putting more space between the healthcare provider and patient. Once a patient has technology that can report real-time results back to their doctor, the entire process of early discovery of conditions, faster treatment, and quicker recovery becomes much more realistic.

Wearables that track patient data points
Digital solutions in healthcare can also include wearable devices that monitor and relay a patient’s vital signs and telemedicine options for those too sick or contagious to meet with the doctor in person. And with items like the Fitbit, Apple Watch, and other tech becoming more common and accessible to a greater pool of people, this may be the easier way for both patients and clinicians to track and create a healthcare plan.

Mobile apps for virtual telehealth visits
Virtually every kind of company today has a mobile app of some sort, and healthcare will soon be no different. COVID-19 expedited this need by forcing the hands of HCPs to invest in a new mobile app or enhance the one they already had so that patient visits were seamless. As time marches on, mobile apps will begin to become a go-to resource for many patients and healthcare providers. That’s because mobile apps enhance healthcare experiences by making healthcare providers’ lives more efficient, helping them better manage their patients and see more people effectively. This is beneficial for both the provider and their patients because it helps more patients get the treatments they need. 

Healthcare mobile apps also provide: 

  • Safer visits between a patient and doctor during peak infectious periods, such as flu season
  • Faster diagnosis for certain conditions (and quicker time to determine a treatment plan)
  • Efficiency updating health information, such as medications, new symptoms, and healthy activities, without the need for pen and paper records or high-touch, high-contact recording via a shared office tablet/iPad, computer, or other device
  • Secure patient information transfers, such as records, medical images, and prescriptions, to appropriate doctors
  • Tracking and detection of medication with technology – in one case, through a digital pill
  • Verification of insurance and billing for patients
  • Retrieval and acceptance of digital co-payments

Telemedicine solutions for patients and healthcare providers
Telemedicine mobile apps have also seen increased activity due to COVID-19 and the efforts to keep both patients and healthcare workers safe from the virus, while also staying up to date on regular visits and check-ins. Organizations investing in these efforts are saying anecdotally that they don’t foresee them going away, but rather becoming a common practice for those who choose to use it post-COVID.

Voice and conversational AI to maintain patient adherence
The uses for voice in healthcare are virtually unlimited. Leveraging a voice skill, such as an Amazon Alexa skill, to keep track of a patient’s health and help them maintain a healthy lifestyle is growing in popularity, especially among people who are motivated by gamification. Companies have also been exploring the benefits of using voice within a hospital setting so that patients can use their own voices to communicate more effectively and safely with their nurse and care team. Conversational AI can even be implemented through chatbots on websites to help patients self-service and triage through the system in order to get an appointment, make a payment, or verify their insurance – without needing to call a doctor’s office.

Patient data analysis
While new digital technologies can create more efficient, and safe engagements for patients and healthcare providers, these tools are nothing without data. Healthcare practices need to incorporate data analysis into their approach when thinking through their digital strategy to help them spot trends, patterns, and opportunities that they otherwise miss, helping them to better serve their patient populations and communities at large.

Digital ecosystems for doctors and healthcare providers
One way that some companies are tackling the digitalization of healthcare is through the creation of a digital healthcare ecosystem. By bringing all of their digital channels under one umbrella, healthcare systems are able to streamline the data from every single data source and use that information to make better decisions that benefit their patients. 

What Digital Solutions are Emerging in Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, and Biotech Companies?

Let’s discover how life sciences can integrate digital technology into their ecosystem for a faster, more efficient clinical landscape.

The pharmaceutical digital front door
Pharmaceutical representatives are now beginning to feel a shift from their in-person visits with healthcare providers (HCPs) to a virtual, remote, or digital engagement. Several pharmaceutical companies are looking at a model that puts the pharma rep at the center of all digital engagements, acting as a coordinator for all their digital channels, as well as for the company’s various pharmaceutical teams (medical science liaisons, key account managers, consumer reps, etc.). This ensures that HCPs receive the appropriate level of coverage and interaction, with the goal of creating synergies across all communication channels. 

This is especially important when we think about how information is shared. Rethinking the process between marketing, clinical research, legal, medical affairs, and other functions at the pharma company will be necessary in order to share new information and products with HCPs. It’s all about refocusing the pharma rep’s efforts so that there is more efficiency, engagement, and efficacy because there is no time to waste. As an industry, healthcare and life science companies need to find a more effective way to help patients live healthier lives and it’s exciting to see the transformation that organizations are making in order to achieve that goal. 

Leveraging the internet of things (IoT) and wearables in clinical trials and big pharma
In the clinical trial space, especially as more remote clinical trials pop up, digital solutions can offer trial participants the ability to virtually and digitally record their patient-reported outcomes, eliminating the need for travel and expenses that stack up when site visits are required. Similarly, with items like the Fitbit, Apple Watch, and other tech becoming more common and accessible to a greater pool of people, your subjects are likely getting more comfortable with the idea of a wearable device, which would allow them to go about their day while still participating in your trial. 

Leveraging mobile apps for more effective remote patient monitoring
Pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, and other life science companies that regularly execute clinical trials can benefit from a mobile app that can easily deploy their clinical trial program – everything from electronic informed consent (eConsent) to electronic clinical outcome assessments (eCOA), adverse event tracking, and more. By creating your own mobile app, you can also promote other treatments that patients within your clinical trial may like to try to keep themselves healthy.

Voice and conversational AI in virtual clinical trials
Think about the power that you can give clinical trial participants by implementing a voice skill, such as an Amazon Alexa skill, to report their clinical outcome assessments. Similarly, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies can use voice skills to remind subjects when to take their trial drug or product. During patient recruitment, clinical research organizations or pharma companies could use conversational AI, such as a chatbot, to screen potential subjects. 

Clinical trial outcomes and data analysis
While all of these tools are a fantastic way to create more efficiency, safety, and engagement for patients, contract research organizations (CROs), pharmaceutical and life science companies, these tools are nothing without the data. Especially when you are looking to prove real-world evidence (RWE), patient data will help unearth adverse events, comorbid conditions, population health trends, and opportunities that otherwise may have been missed through traditional methods.  

Digital ecosystems for pharmaceutical, biotech, and contract research organizations
Life science companies looking to prove real-world evidence in their products and therapies need to factor in their entire digital ecosystem in order to quickly understand where frictions and opportunities exist for the development of their drug. By bringing together all of their digital channels under one umbrella, life science companies can streamline the information from every single data source and use it to make better decisions that benefit patients around the world. 

Mental and Behavioral Telehealth Digital Solutions

According to Forbes, “One medical specialty that has seen a telehealth surge is behavioral health. In a recent survey, nearly half (45%) of respondents said that their mental health is being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the use of virtual visits for mental health needs has hit record highs. The current situation has drawn attention to the value of access to telemental health for both existing patients as well as an influx of new ones.”

In addition to the current situation, mental and behavioral health providers need to be thinking about the implications that the current pandemic will have on patients over the long term. Like any traumatic event, the pandemic may cause some long term effects on certain patients. Those patients will require support as we emerge from COVID-19, and especially as people get back to work and lives get busy again, telehealth visits over video, phone call, or SMS may be the lifeline that helps patients cope.

Creating and Implementing Healthcare Digital Solutions

Not all of these solutions will fit every area of patient care. Companies should create a strategy that starts by focusing on the areas where a digital upgrade would be most impactful and that allows for scalability so that adding new features and applications is easier down the road. Above all, digital solutions centered around improving patient care with the flexibility to meet patients where they are in their digital journey will be the most prudent. 

Still, if creating a digital infrastructure seems totally overwhelming – you can relax. Fortunately, healthcare technology consulting firms exist for just this purpose.

At Mobiquity, we specialize in finding digital solutions to tough industry problems, and one of our areas of expertise is the healthcare and life sciences industry.

We match our clients with the most talented digital healthcare technology user experience and user interface (UX/UI) designers, engineers, strategists, and data scientists to create a custom solution for your business. Whether that means creating a mobile app, helping you find better ways to store, manage, and interpret your data, making your digital interfaces more patient-friendly, or whatever else your company’s specific digital consulting needs may be – Mobiquity can help.

Find Your Friction

Sometimes it’s easy to know that your organization has challenges, but do you know the root of these problems so that you can work on improving them? Mobiquity has created the Friction Report, a tool that utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to analyze and report the top pain points experienced by users of the most widely-used mobile apps. This year, companies can see comparative insights between 2019 and 2020 that show how COVID-19 has impacted mobile apps in the healthcare industry. This Friction Report uncovered insights including:

  • Frustration from existing users that the influx of new customers has disrupted the platform. For example, the accuracy of scheduling and wait times dramatically dropped for telemedicine apps with the influx of new patients.
  • A dramatic increase in first time app usage from populations previously resistant (technology laggards). These populations require a richer onboarding process, simpler designs, and access to customer service.
  • Consumers are 50% less likely to download an app with a rating below 4 stars and 80% less likely to download an app below 3 stars. And 55% of consumers say that a 1 or 2 star rating negatively influences their perception of the overall brand. 


Request a Friction Report

Contact Mobiquity for Digital Healthcare Solutions Now

We’ve helped companies like Otsuka, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, GSK, and others digitally transform their experiences for better patient engagement and organizational efficiency. 

We are proud to offer the following solutions for companies that are ready to make the leap to digital or enhance their existing digital health programs:

Mobile app design & implementation
From user experience and design to backend engineering, we can help ensure that your mobile app is easily accessible and meaningfully applied for patients, healthcare providers, or pharmaceutical representatives. 

Voice skills
Whether you’re looking to implement voice technology in your hospital setting or looking to engage patients and keep them on track, our voice experts will help you design a program that works.

Digital innovation strategy sessions
We’ll help you and your team think through your digital strategy. What do you need? What don’t you need? What steps do you need to take today to get quick results, and what steps can you take today for your long term success? Our strategists, data scientists, and digital experts will work with you to develop a clear plan that you can action. Plus, we have the world’s best creatives and engineers to help you implement the goals we’ve outlined together.

Connectivity & IoT strategy work
Do you have a network of technology that needs to be better connected to make your processes more efficient? From strategy and planning to execution and design, our team of solutions architects and engineers can support your team and help them achieve success.

Data analysis & North Star ideation
What is your “North Star” goal? Our teams have worked with leaders like you to set your goals and the tactics that will help you achieve them. 

Innovation lab access
Mobiquity’s innovation lab gives you the opportunity to ideate with our experts around how you can create new solutions that will differentiate your business and bring you into a new era. We’ll help you identify the most creative ways to level up your processes, strategy, and methodologies so that your teams are the most successful.

Digital ecosystem build & implementation
Ensuring that your ecosystem of platforms come together under one umbrella so that it’s easy for you to decipher where frictions or opportunities exist is our specialty. We’ll connect you with our high quality team of data scientists to ensure that your programs provide you the knowledge you need to make real-time, confident decisions.

Security & patient privacy
Ensure that your data is protected and generating evidence in a way that is respectful of patient data is our top priority. Our teams are well versed in HIPAA, GDPR, and other regulations. Everything that we build follows state and federal guidelines. 

From digital strategy to user experience to analytics, plus cloud services and more, Mobiquity excels in finding digital solutions that suit your company perfectly. To learn how we can put our skills to work for your healthcare or life sciences company, talk to us today.

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