- The healthcare market is ripe for an insurgence of patient engagement technologies that help connect patients to their healthcare, according to a recent market report from the International Data Corporation (IDC).
The report, which outlines some of the most innovative vendors that specialize in patient engagement technology, discussed the potential for these tools to improve patient activation. In an age where patient engagement with care is high priority for most healthcare providers, health IT is beginning to revolutionize those goals.
"The industry and, more importantly, patients have suffered under inconvenient access to healthcare; digital patient engagement is poised to change that by providing healthcare consumers access to both administrative and clinical support conveniently in a personalized and interactive dialogue when needed,” IDC Health Insights research director Cynthia Burghard said in a statement.
“IDC believes this will improve not only the patient experience but improve patient compliance to health management strategies and result in better health,” Burghard added.
Specifically, patient engagement technologies are combining numerous patient-facing tools. Engagement tools have patient and healthcare navigation capabilities, support chronic disease management programs, and connect patients with their care using remote patient monitoring capabilities.
Patient engagement technology has become commonplace in the healthcare place through the ubiquitous patient adoption of computers, smartphones, and mobile tablets, the report noted.
Healthcare technologies are increasingly becoming more patient-facing, the report continued. Traditionally, leading patient engagement technologies have included patient portals or secure messaging tools. But these technologies have left the patient beholden to the provider.
Current tools that center on patient activation in care management have put patients in the driver’s seat.
Additionally, these technologies are driving home the notion of consumer-centered healthcare. As patients become emboldened by their experiences with other business sectors, they are demanding a more interactive and engaging experience in healthcare as well. Different from patient portals and other more traditional patient engagement tools, newer technologies are making healthcare personal, convenient, and interactive.
The IDC report identified a number of innovative patient engagement technology vendors currently on the market, each being recognized for delivering value to customers while having less than $100 million in net revenue. High-performing vendors include Clarify Health, Conversa Health, Get Real Health, mPulse Mobile, and Vivify Health.
Patient engagement technology has assumed an increasingly important role in the patient experience in recent months. While patient-facing tools have always held promise for improving patient activation in care – the patient portal has long been the linchpin in patient engagement initiatives, after all – they have only now become an essential part of improving patient satisfaction.
An April 2018 market report from Black Book Research found that access to patient engagement technology and full medical records via the EHR raise patient satisfaction scores.
The Black Book report referenced a patient survey that found that 84 percent of patients are looking for providers who use advanced patient engagement technology that helps patients communicate with their doctors and engage with their own medical data.
Ninety-two percent of patients said limited or lack of access to their own interactive medical data hinders higher patient satisfaction scores. Patients are showing a growing capability for managing their own health, so long as they have access to the necessary tools to do so, the report noted.
"Involvement with healthcare consumers through technologies is proving to be a significant element of patient satisfaction," said Black Book Research’s managing partner Doug Brown. "Healthcare consumers more frequently interact through electronic media in 2018, and while they value contact with their providers, they don't have the patience for lacks in hospital interoperability, incorrect billing and access to scheduling and results."
Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that the IDC report has named companies with less than $100 million in revenue.