Digital health or Health Tech makes use of various technology such as applications, databases, wearables, and mobiles to improve the payment, delivery, and consumption of care, with the ability to increase the commercialization and development of medicinal products. In 2017, the digital health market globally was valued at USD 122.66 billion, approximately and is anticipated to make around USD 423.11 billion of revenue by the end of 2024, growing at a CAGR of around 19.35% between 2018 and 2024. The reason behind this massive growth is simple, it was necessary. In many ways, the healthcare sector remains one of the least receptive industries to change, technological or otherwise. The health industry still relies far too much on inefficient and outdated modes of working. Digital health represents the disruption to the healthcare industry that consumers, investors, and founders, alike are very keen to see visualized.
What drives health tech adoption?
One of the most important drivers of health tech has been behavioral, and it has come in two waves. Today, firstly the market is more open to change. Consumers have grown accustomed to adapting to disruptive technology in various sectors, like the sharing economy. This has emboldened users to look and be open to better experiences in other sectors too. Secondly, the digital health wave has picked up just as consumers globally are starting to take much better care of their health and the awareness related to various health issues is rising. This new attention is now reflected in the consumers buying habits. Wearables, a particular vertical, has seen explosive growth over the past few years. Health Tech’s growth in its largest market, the US, is also fuelled by regulatory changes. Also, the world today is housing an aging population. Innovative Health Tech will have to evolve to meet new challenges, as the stress an older population places on the medical world begins to show.
What are the challenges faced by the Health Tech industry today?
- You’ll find yourself adapting to, and abiding by the rules of the Affordable Healthcare Act, the Food and Drug Administration, HIPAA, and more. You have to remain committed enough to make sure your business doesn’t inadvertently break any rule. If you abide by the rules, you’ll soon be rewarded for your efforts. In fact, it’s not that difficult if you know how to work through that regulatory process. It can even prove to be a competitive advantage.
- A major roadblock when it comes to Health Tech development is privacy protection. The health tech industry might be starved of the foundation for future technological development by limiting or preventing the distribution and sharing of data. For the future of Health Tech, the proliferation of data becomes incredibly crucial, and it is necessary to the continuation of solutions to facilitate patient communication services, disease prevention, and consumer wearables technology. Moreover, the stakes are far higher in the healthcare industry than most others.
- When it comes to lean approaches to innovation, many new sectors tend to become complacent. The fail-fast attitude that many in various industries have adopted so successfully cannot so easily be applied to the healthcare industry and digital health startups. In the same way, the ethics within other digital sections cannot be mapped to the ethics of Health Tech industry.
- Lastly, the Health Tech industry aims to grow beyond national or domestic borders. Many organizations house the potential for their products or services to be utilized in hospitals across the globe, or to deliver information to patients in hard-to-reach regions, but healthcare regulations vary from country to country. Health Tech can only become truly global when it can manage to meet the expectations set within each country.
Affordable digital healthcare solutions are the need of the hour. By helping to provide universal, quality care to patients, they can bring sustainable growth to emerging markets. If you want to ensure your digital healthcare service is both loved by your consumers and practical, you'll have to give it a lot more thought than just its technology to ensure a successful launch.
A simple 'How To' or demo showcasing the new digital healthcare service can help your consumers understand it in a way they'll remember. Then, get creative about how to continue the conversation via email and other internal channels. Try out the service yourself, if it applies to your lifestyle. This will enable you to give practical tips and insights to your consumers and help them through bits of the service that might take time to get accustomed to. Plus, trailing the service first also gives you the chance to ask your questions before answering theirs. Also, spacing out information is key to helping people absorbing it, as any teacher would tell you. Increase benefits adoption rates and help your consumers beat the info overwhelm by scheduling updates, launches, and announcements with a bit of time between each one.
Lastly, a truly effective launch depends, at least in part, on the quality of your pitch. Inspired organizations use purpose to fuel action. Help consumers understand why your company is launching health tech services. How will it help their families and the business as a whole? How will it change their lives for the better? Be open about why you believe happy and healthy consumers have the greatest impact on your company's success. And make sure you have answers to important questions such as its various features, what kind of medical professionals they can see, whether consumers can enroll their dependents, and how their medical information is kept secure.
Yes, it can get tough out there for an enterprise attempting innovation in the health tech space, let alone for digital healthcare startups, but the rewards are immense, the ground is fertile, and the audience is receptive. Accept that as a startup, you’ll be partnering with the Big Guys to get anything done, familiarize yourself with the regulations you’ll need to abide by and acknowledge that, in this space, mobile technology is the sweet spot.