Healthcare’s Transformation Requires a Shift from “Digital” to “Data-Driven”

Posted September 27, 2023 | Technology |
Healthcare’s Profound Transformation Requires a Shift from “Digital” to “Data-Driven”

We are living in an era where every activity of our lives is going digital. So how does that impact the healthcare industry when, primarily, the success of any health organization requires the pursuit of three aims:

  1. Quality — guaranteeing the effectiveness of care and improving the experience of patients

  2. Access — providing proactive care or facilitating entry into the healthcare system upon recognizing a need

  3. Efficiency — improving healthcare processes and reducing per capita costs of healthcare while guaranteeing quality and access

The digital transformation of healthcare is key to achiev­ing these objectives, especially since this indus­try lags sectors like media, financial services, and wholesale trade, which have gained clear advantages from global digitalization. But, clearly, people miss human contact when interacting with an artificial intelligence (AI) system. Moreover, healthcare facilities approve few digital initiatives, and a significant number of these facilities have not even introduced relevant new technologies in their strategic plans.

From Digital Health to Data-Driven Healthcare

New definitions of eHealth and digital health are continuously emerging. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines eHealth as “the use of information and communication technologies in support of health,” while digital health is described more broadly as an umbrella term covering areas including eHealth, telehealth, and more.

During the next decade, the healthcare industry will undergo a profound transformation as many important technologies, including AI, reach mainstream adoption. Clinical workflow will become more agile by virtue of AI and advanced analytics that automate decision-making processes. The emergence of these technologies requires a transformation from mere digital health to data-driven healthcare given the fundamental role of data in automated decision-making (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Adoption curve of healthcare technologies (source: Arthur D. Little)
Figure 1. Adoption curve of healthcare technologies (source: Arthur D. Little)

Big data, in particular, is the trigger to move the health­care industry forward. Big data analysis aggregates information and makes possible the identification of patterns and trends. For the healthcare industry, big data can provide several important benefits, including:

  • More accurate staffing — helps hospitals estimate future admission rates

  • Facilitation of chronic care — facilitates effective management of a population risk cohort by creating lean processes for continuous and standardized treatments

  • Lower rate of medication errors — can identify and flag any inconsistencies between a patient’s health conditions and drug prescriptions and alert health professionals and patients of any discrepancy

[For more from the authors on this topic, see: “What’s Driving Data-Driven Healthcare?”]

About The Author
Mario Nico
Mario Nico is a Partner at Arthur D. Little, based in Italy, and is responsible for the public administration sector. With more than 23 years in management consulting and a deep knowledge of the public sector, he has led several projects in strategy development, program management, ERP, CRM, price and cost optimization, business process reengineering, reporting and controlling, and IT management. Previously, Mr. Nico worked at Andersen… Read More
Dario Garante
Dario Garante is a Principal at Arthur D. Little (ADL), based in Italy, and a member of ADL’s Strategy & Organization and Operations & Information Management practices. His main areas of expertise cover strategy definition, organizational design, change management, performance improvement, and transformation programs in several industries. Mr. Garante has managed complex projects in these areas, working mainly for financial institutions… Read More
Katia Valtorta
Katia Valtorta is a Principal at Arthur D. Little (ADL), based in Italy. She is a member of ADL's Global Energy & Utilities practice and is responsible for the Technology & Innovation Management practice in Italy. Within the energy domain, her professional focus is on gas and power retail and wholesale markets, sustainability, energy efficiency/sourcing for large industrial users, distributed generation, smart grids for the utilities… Read More
Ulrica Sehlstedt
Ulrica Sehlstedt is Managing Partner at Arthur D. Little (ADL), based in Sweden, and a member of ADL’s Healthcare & Life Sciences practice. Dr. Sehlstedt’s work includes strategy development, opportunity assessment, complex procurement, operational and commercial due diligence, change management, and program management for healthcare suppliers (pharma, medtech, and biotech), providers (public and private), and investors. She is passionate… Read More
Vikas Kharbanda
Vikas Kharbanda is Partner with Arthur D. Little (ADL), based in Dubai, and leads ADL’s Healthcare & Life Sciences practice in the Middle East. Over the past few years, Mr. Kharbanda has worked with several leading healthcare service providers in the Middle East and Asia on growth and expansion strategies. He works extensively with clients, advising them in their digitalization strategies and leveraging technology to improve both patient… Read More