Healthcare personalization trends
POSTED : June 10, 2020
BY : Ham Pasupuleti

Today’s healthcare patients have access to a greater amount of health information than ever before – and yet still demand more that can be used for their benefit. This creates a vast number of opportunities for healthcare organizations investing in personalization to engage patients in their own care, drive better health outcomes, decrease costs, drive greater loyalty, and ultimately improve margins.

The demand for personalization is most prevalent with younger patients, who grew up with technology integrated into their everyday lives. These digital natives stand to have increasing influence over the health system as they age. “Convenience, availability, and accessibility are paramount for capturing millennial patients,” says Kim Jenkins, CEO of OrthoSouth. “Online appointment scheduling, easy access to medical records and a simplified communication path to providers are all key elements to meeting the expectations of millennials.”

Yet, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that patients across all demographics, not just millennials, demand greater personalization and frictionless experience with healthcare organizations in their journeys to find, purchase, access and track care.

With the aid of advancing technologies, some of which have funding support through the CARES Act, healthcare is evolving to meet these demands of balancing standardized and personalized care experiences at scale. Those who capitalize on consumer personalization are expected to emerge as market leaders.

Synthesizing a trustworthy patient 360-degree view

Patients want to be more informed in their care journeys. They are demanding real-time access to all their health and benefit records across the care continuum, which they can consent to share with any provider or insurer of their choice in their engagement journeys. Additionally, we’re seeing an exponential increase in demand for a “Digital Front Door,” replete with contactless engagement using virtual care products and services that permeate care delivery across traditional ambulatory, acute and post-acute care settings. To create seamless, personalized experiences, proactively, even in between treatment episodes, healthcare organizations need to know their consumers better.

medical smartwatch

It is imperative to create a longitudinal view of a patient’s real-world health, wellness, demographic, social, behavioral, payment and experience survey data.With the care continuum being fragmented and siloed, such data lives in many systems of record and engagement within an organization’s control as well as outside its boundaries at partners and amongst medical wearables used by patients.

To stitch data together effectively, securely and on-demand across monolithic, legacy systems that are prolific in the healthcare ecosystem, microservices and an API-first approach are essential tenets of a modern healthcare data architecture. FHIR API-based interoperability has become a federal regulation that payers and providers need to comply with over the next 12-24 months.

PK helped organizations like Humana and EMR vendors like MEDHOST implement transformative API strategies and practice foundations that enabled them to leverage data to be more consumer-centered. Designing and managing APIs-as-a-Product helped Humana improve agility in delivering personalized patient, provider and partner experiences in an omnichannel way. For example, PK’s API management solution increased Humana’s ability to onboard broker partners from three per year to 42 in a year.

Unveiling connections in patient data

A flexible, scalable, curated and secure data platform is foundational in a modern healthcare technology architecture in order to meet the needs of a healthcare consumer’s “choice architecture.” Once created it is important to gain predictive and prescriptive real-world evidence to inform the “next best personalized action” healthcare organizations can take at moments that matter for the patient in their care journey.

Adoption of artificial intelligence is becoming widespread in healthcare, in large part due to the rise and complexity of data use, as well as the fact that AI can perform certain healthcare tasks (including diagnosis and treatment recommendations, patient engagement and adherence and administrative activities) as well as or better than humans. AI’s ability to drive personalization at scale is expected to change how healthcare companies interact with their patients and members and help them evolve for this new status quo.

Recently, PK developed an AI model for reducing hospital readmissions that healthcare organizations can use to deliver better predictive accuracy than the current risk scoring tools in the market. This machine learning-powered patient risk scoring model demonstrated that two different hospital systems could have saved $6.5M in readmission costs and delivered better patient outcomes considering the enhanced predictive accuracy of patients that are likely to be readmitted (which otherwise weren’t identified by current tools employed).

Similarly, PK partnered with Intel and Sharp HealthCare on a Proof-of-Concept where the AI model built draws on electronic medical records to predict imminent patient health decline in an inpatient setting. The model is built using open source machine learning tools, which identify patterns in health records data and predict the likelihood of a rapid response team event taking place in the next 12 hours. This allows healthcare organizations to achieve better outcomes through better prioritization and enablement of personalized care.

New and innovative applications of AI in healthcare personalization such as these are certain to enter into force over the next several years.

doctor data

Powering personalized digital content

Healthcare personalization has become a priority for healthcare marketers for good reason: 63 percent of consumers expect personalization as a standard of service. For Dignity Health, which delivers care in 22 states, personalization extends far beyond the exam room. To offer better communication with its care providers, provide access to medical records and streamline appointment setting, Dignity Health and PK developed a mobile app for iOS and Android. With the resulting app, patients can easily schedule appointments and review their appointment history without the need to call. Its dynamic dashboard displays personalized content based on the patient’s profile, health data and location, offering a one-of-a-kind healthcare experience.

patient data

For more patients today, turning to their smartphone or computer for health information is a typical behavior — a recent study by Penn Medicine found that health-related internet searches doubled during the week before patients visited a hospital, and 15 percent of patients searched for the location of the emergency department or other logistical information. Platforms such as Dignity’s enable healthcare companies to provide a customized experience that aligns with modern patient demands and their own offerings.

Blockchain is solving health privacy concerns

Following numerous healthcare data breaches over the last few years, many patients have grown concerned about how their data is being used and stored. This presents a challenge to personalized medicine because healthcare providers and insurers already balance the use of patient data with HIPAA concerns.

To solve this issue, a recent study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information proposed a patient-centered blockchain model that is both secure and easily accessible. The blockchain model stores patients’ medical records on a decentralized cloud storage, uses multi-signature contracts by both patients and healthcare providers for authentication and generates a new hash each time data has been accessed. One example of how this model has been used is a cognitive behavioral therapy smartphone app for insomnia, designed and tested by researchers, that stores patients’ private health data on a private blockchain. The blockchain design allows for both resistance to breaches and accessibility by the user. Another example of blockchain’s use in healthcare is its application to both clinical trials and medical insurance storage by enabling smart contracts. MIStore, a blockchain-based medical insurance storage system, uses different hospital, patient and insurance company servers that verify each other’s activity and security, allowing for easier communication and collaboration between patients, healthcare providers and insurance companies.

API-based data interoperability, AI, personalized content and blockchain are among the top technologies that stand to change how care is delivered to patients. By adopting these new technologies in their modern healthcare architecture, healthcare companies can develop engaging new omnichannel digital experiences that deliver better patient outcomes, meet patient concerns and improve organizational results in a rapidly transforming healthcare environment.

Learn more about the future of healthcare innovation.


About the Author

Ham PasupaletiHam Pasupaleti has held strategy and operations roles in the IT industry for more than 27 years, implementing and managing business-critical applications and systems infrastructure for Global 1000 companies. At PK, he provides business analytics and optimization solutions to healthcare organizations, enabling them to transform into outcome-based delivery models that are high quality, accountable, patient-centric, and cost-effective.

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