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Readers Write: Taking the Friction Out of Digital Health Adoption

May 10, 2021 Readers Write No Comments

Taking the Friction Out of Digital Health Adoption
By Manny Fombu, MD

Emmanuel “Manny” Fombu, MD, MBA is founder of Marché Health.


COVID-19 showed the value of digital tools, encouraging a flood of new solutions into the market. The resulting confusion has launched a seemingly unending cycle of pilots, delayed digital health adoption, and hampered progress.

In pandemic-hit America, health organizations are expected to do more with less — less patient volume, less funding, less resources, less staff resources. Having the right tools in place can extend and assist burdened care teams, allowing them to improve patient retention and raise STAR ratings / HCAHPS scores.

Staying ahead of the latest digital health innovations can be challenging. Information is coming from disparate sources, creating noise and hindering the ability to garner any actionable insights. With global digital health companies raising $1 billion a week in March 2021, there is no slowing down yet.

However, there still isn’t one unified digital health focused marketplace and community where all key stakeholders in the ecosystem — including health systems, clinicians, payers, consultants, biopharma, entrepreneurs, and investors — can go to, not only to find out which digital health tools work best, but to actually review products, learn, and connect with key decision makers to quickly adopt them.

Today, more than ever, it is crucial for healthcare organizations to simplify the evaluation and adoption of digital health initiatives by adopting a marketplace that meets community engagement needs to educate, connect, and empower individuals in order to stay safe in the tsunami of tools and one-sided information creating friction and plaguing consumers.

An independent, objective, and trusted marketplace helps health systems innovate and improve healthcare outcomes by:

  • Lowering acquisition costs.
  • Gaining insight through centralized, unbiased data.
  • Learning from buyer recommendations.
  • Learning about programs that advance patient care.
  • Streamlining the procurement process.
  • Gaining objective peer-to-peer feedback.

A marketplace must not only connect buyers and sellers, but also create a community where all sides can come together to actually learn from the other and to identify which solution is the best.

These days, it is all about lowering healthcare costs and achieving IHI’s Quadruple Aim (better outcomes, lower costs, and improved patient and clinician experiences). Innovative health systems must make connections that cut through the “app-pollution” that prevents the customer from making better purchasing and partnering decisions leading to empowerment and advocacy , not confusion and frustration.

This can only be achieved by the ability to:

  • Compare vendors based on objective, trusted data.
  • Make connections.
  • Increase transparency.
  • Enhance knowledge.
  • Simplify elevations.

It is time to break the pilot merry-go-round and find ways to not just increase, but improve digital health adoption. Then, we can achieve the promise that these innovations offer and discuss lasting results.

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