A Paradigm Shift in Healthcare, Part I

Posted July 30, 2020 | Industry | Leadership | Technology |
A Paradigm Shift in Healthcare, Part I

A new wave of innovation within healthcare is driving the need for more advanced, robust, and scalable hospital information systems (HIS). New models of care are on the rise, focus is shifting from illness to wellness, and costs continue to climb amid rising demand for personalized, long-term care and the need for patients to participate in their own care management. Increasing expenditure on global healthcare delivery is unsustainable, which is making innovation and transformation imperative for sustainability. In this two-part Advisor series, we illustrate how healthcare providers —  hospitals, in particular — are starting to reorient their investments in core technologies and how technology vendors are adapting their solutions and services to meet these needs. Here in Part I, we focus on the key features of this paradigm shift.

Emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, powered analytics and diagnosis support, and cloud computing) as well as practical technologies (e.g., 3D printing and robotic surgery) are changing how, where, and when healthcare can be delivered. Indeed, as we battle the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, various healthcare avenues such as telemedicine, contact tracing, and mobile hospitals are becoming commonplace. Such developments combine to enable a fundamental shift toward coherently integrated health systems, in which multiple stakeholders — providers, patients, insurers, researchers, and regulators — interact in a continuum, with a combined focus on enhancing both the care delivery methods as well as outcomes achieved. As illustrated in Figure 1, these shifts in healthcare delivery are characterized by some key features:

  • Emergence of “population health management.” Patients are no longer just treated as individual cases. With digital information exchanges, health data is being aggregated at community, national, and regional levels. All stakeholders in the health ecosystem are creating mechanisms to access and share essential health-related information from disparate sources, allowing detection of key medical trends with greater speed and accuracy.

  • Patient centricity. Delivery of care is being tailored toward specific needs, preferences, and patient values through increased digitized engagement models. Providers are focusing on building personalized treatments, which create positive impact on outcomes and the overall patient experience.

  • Preventive- and lifetime-care approach. Advancements in medical knowledge and abundance of information dissemination methods are increasing patient awareness and participation in the management of their own wellness. Providers and regulators alike are focusing on increasing people’s knowledge of medical conditions, symptoms, and care options to encourage a more proactive approach toward health management. Moreover, medical scientific advancements will make curative treatments more available to patients with severe conditions.

  • Decentralized care. Patients now have access to high-quality care well beyond the confines of traditional geographical boundaries. Telemedicine is creating a decentralized model of operation among health facilities. Moreover, increased availability and adoption of technologies in home care are extending care interaction well beyond the confines of the traditional hospital. This is transforming the traditional hospital-based care delivery model into an integrated but dispersed model of care management.

  • Noninvasive treatments. Advancements in medical technologies are creating a new generation of minimally invasive treatment options, thereby reducing dependence on complex physical infrastructure needs and reducing the duration of care delivery. Such treatment options, coupled with delivering such care outside the confines of the traditional hospital setting, are fundamentally altering how patients will experience health services.

Figure 1 — Paradigm shift in healthcare. (Source: Arthur D. Little.)
Figure 1 — Paradigm shift in healthcare. (Source: Arthur D. Little.)

Several factors have contributed to this rapid shift in the health management and care delivery paradigm, including rising costs of service delivery, the need to improve access to care, greater patient involvement, and underlying technological advancements. Moreover, healthcare providers are facing challenges with health information exchange (HIE). Sharing health information can help health providers reduce readmissions, avoid medication errors, and even decrease duplicate testing. However, there are continued concerns about how to effectively access data/information for health professionals to conduct their jobs efficiently and safely. In addition, there are growing concerns regarding how to keep data secure, ensure interoperability of various systems, remain competitive, and successfully implement the transformation program for the paradigm shift toward a digitally enabled era. These factors have been strengthening with a shift in global demographics and increased demand for health services. Moreover, dramatic changes in lifestyle and increased average life spans that exponentially raise the demand for health services are making the underlying imbalances escalate.

This paradigm shift has forced many health organizations (particularly hospitals) to change the way they deliver healthcare, as well as their operating and business models, and has made a digitalized healthcare system imperative. In the midst of this digital transformation wave, the last decade has seen hospitals shifting their care-delivery models. Furthermore, with increasing maturity in technology adoption, most healthcare-sector executives are increasingly focusing on developing a new generation of smarter, digitally enabled hospitals; fundamentally rethinking hospital capabilities; and adopting an integrated approach to design, management, and operations. In Part II of this Advisor series, we will look at three challenges of digitalization as well as eight key trends changing the HIS solution space.

About The Author
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
Samir Imran
Samir Imran is a Senior Consultant with Cutter Consortium and a Principal at Arthur D. Little (ADL), based in Dubai, where he has been instrumental in building ADL's Middle East Healthcare practice. Mr. Imran has over 15 years’ experience working with clients in healthcare, telecommunications, financial services, and the public sector across a broad range of topics, including strategy development; digital transformation; and the delivery of… Read More
Regien Sumo
Regien Sumo is a Manager at Arthur D. Little (ADL), based in the Netherlands, and an adjunct faculty member at New York University. She helps clients in the areas of innovation, corporate strategy, investment strategy, governance, and organizational design and transformations. Dr. Sumo’s experience covers the natural resources/ oil & gas, healthcare, and financial sectors. Prior to ADL, she was a visiting researcher at Eindhoven University… Read More
Nitin Kenkere
Nitin Kenkere is an Engagement Manager at Arthur D. Little (ADL), based in Dubai, and a member of ADL’s Middle East Healthcare practice. He leads projects in payer and provider segments with a focus on digital health and value-based care solutions. Prior to ADL, Mr. Kenkere held the position of Strategy and New Business Development Lead at Philips, where he defined strategy for cardiology solutions based on clinical and operational needs of… Read More
Louay Saleh
Louay Saleh is a Manager at Arthur D. Little (ADL), based in Lebanon, and a member of ADL’s Strategy & Organization practice. He helps in clients in the areas of strategy, governance, organizational restructuring, business process re-engineering, and transformation. Saleh’s experience covers healthcare, utilities, and public sector. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut. He can be… Read More