4 Reasons Why Medical Providers Should Embrace Digital-Physical Convergence

Published On: July 15th, 20203 min read

Healthcare companies have almost limitless opportunities to use digital tools to improve business outcomes. But it’s all beside the point if these tools fail to improve the lives of doctors and patients.

That’s why DMI recommends digital-physical convergence — using human-centered strategies to deploy digital technologies where they do the most good in the real world. This is especially important in the realm of medicine, where doctors face unique career pressures and patients crave more convenience and improved care.

These for points underscore why medical providers need to converge digital technologies with the lived experience of patients and clinicians.

Healthcare Markets are Getting More Competitive

Human populations grow slowly — if at all — in many communities. Growing numbers of physicians are reaching retirement age and multiple studies have forecast massive shortages of doctors in the coming decade. Today’s medical schools barely keep up with current demand.

Meanwhile, healthcare companies are expanding their presence in more communities. These trends have more medical providers vying for a finite pool of patients and doctors. Rising competition obliges providers to find digital technologies that help them attract and retain physicians and patients.

Doctors are Getting Fed Up and Burned Out

Multiple surveys and studies have noted widespread evidence of burnout among physicians, who feel overstressed by paperwork, bureaucracy, computerization and other aggravations that distract them from patient care. One survey noted that nearly one-half of doctors would not recommend the profession to young people.

These data suggest healthcare companies should pay more attention to the wellbeing of their physicians — or face losing them to the competition. That means creating a deft, user-centered technology strategy that focuses on making it easier for them to do everyday tasks like sharing medical records and entering data into EHR systems. Companies need to rationalize their application portfolios and simplify the experience of using medical technologies.

Patients Want a More User-Friendly Experience

Smartphones and mobile apps have become so ubiquitous that patients expect more mobile options in their interactions with doctors and medical providers. At the same time, increasingly busy lifestyles have patients seeking medical care when it’s more convenient to them — before and after the typical 8-to-5 clinical hours.

These trends underscore the consumerization of healthcare. Patients want the same kind of service they get in other sectors of the economy. Medical providers need to provide more telehealth options and to develop intuitive, easy-to-use apps that streamline their interactions with patients.

Automation and Intelligence Make Convergence Inevitable

Machine learning algorithms can help medical providers develop voice interfaces that add vocal commands to their mobile apps. Pattern-matching algorithms make it easier to analyze X-rays and other medical imagery. Robotic process automation can speed up data entry while intelligent process automation can add complex business logic to the apps doctors and patients depend upon.

The opportunities are so immense that all medical providers will feel the pressure to embrace these tools. Some will do better than others.

At DMI, we believe success requires converging next-gen technologies with the everyday lives of doctors and patients. Technology solutions must have an intense focus on the user experience — anticipating people’s needs and using their feedback to build responsive, easy-to-use tools that remove obstacles and improve their wellbeing.

The Right Partner for Digital-Physical Convergence

DMI’s experts in digital strategy, system design and user experience have developed a sophisticated framework for helping medical providers converge the digital and the physical. This convergence framework ensures that our technology solutions address the real-life needs of the people they serve.

We use Agile and DevOps methodologies to accelerate time-to-value and ensure that user feedback drives each iteration of the software release cycle. And our business consultants ensure that everything we do aligns with clients’ precise business requirements.

Healthcare companies can either elevate the wellbeing of patients and clinicians or cede market share to competitors who do it better. We give our clients the best tools to make that happen.

-Andrew Brockett, senior director, digital technology office