One question dominated the conversation at last week’s Becker’s Hospital Review Annual Meeting: What can healthcare systems learn from the success of the tech behemoths that are now positioning themselves to enter healthcare?
We are excited by the answer because it forms the basis of our own founding and all of the work that we do at monARC. Success starts with the consumer — and requires technology to backfill to meet consumer needs.
This approach is truly disruptive in our industry, because when it comes to the tools that consumers use in their daily lives, the healthcare sector is behind the times. Technology has become more pervasive in healthcare, but the customer experience for both patients and providers can be miserable. For example, the burden of interfacing with electronic medical records (EMR) is the leading cause of burnout for clinicians. But we can take a lesson from other sectors. Netflix, Lyft, AirBnB, disrupted industries through customer experience, opening a digital door through which they could better meet consumer needs.
In healthcare, we have been talking about “big data” for years. However, data alone will neither improve care nor provide better insights. These improvements on care depend also upon technical tools, their thoughtful interpretation and application. All of which must be tailored to improve the customer experience and meet consumer needs. Seeking this differentiator is how healthcare executives can tell when partners are the right ones.
We need to truly engage people in their care, with the idea that they are customers we want to please. We must use their definition of care, not our own, to guide the use of technology in a way that solves the most important issues to them.
At monARC Bionetworks, we are guided by patient and provider needs. This approach informed our Smart Health Record (SHR) where we better organize health records along with the variety of digital health data from remote sensor technologies and patient reported data through our monARC App.
This approach was also the inspiration for our vision for our SHR; a single, digital record providing a complete patient record — including symptom tracking and care management between clinic visits — that is easily shared and viewed patients themselves, their doctors, and caregivers. It drove our innovation in using real-world data (RWD) to make precision matches between patients and clinical trials, improve trial design, and use the life science’s industry’s new demand for RWD to generate new revenue streams for healthcare systems.
Most importantly, we need to truly start with the patient. If we think of them as consumers, we should work as hard as any consumer-facing company to identify and meet all of their needs. Through this approach, monARC has developed products and services that not only delight consumers, but also promote the integration of clinical research and care. This is exciting as numerous studies have demonstrated this integration can improve patient experience, reduce costs and improve outcomes.
Starting with the consumer and opening a digital door has been the key to success in other industries. To improve healthcare, we must focus on the needs of patients and clinicians, and that is what we do here at monARC every day.