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January 7, 2022

Boston HLTH is a leading platform that brings together the entire healthcare ecosystem with a focus on innovation and transformation. The event was designed to elicit a broad range of themes and ideas that are reshaping the healthcare industry. TCS’ Healthcare business strategists and public health experts share their firsthand experiences, key observations, and echoes from the session.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a myriad of changes in global healthcare. Traditional healthcare is evolving at an accelerated pace with the need to pivot and start looking at the overall health of a patient. Having a strong health and wellness infrastructure is a priority and physical and mental healthcare needs must be addressed collectively. This understanding has given rise to more holistic digital healthcare ecosystems.

Value-based and long-term care

While value-based care holds significant importance in every healthcare system, it is more important to offer longitudinal care. Viewing a patient’s quality of care in the long term and making it accessible, affordable, and sustainable is necessary to make a long-lasting impact.

Managing medical data exchange

Transparency and data sharing create the new secret sauce. Being transparent about care delivery and costs and sharing critical patient information to proactively act upon are critical to reduce healthcare costs. If we can pick our pizza toppings and track its movement from the time of creation to delivery, why can we not apply the same to our healthcare services?

Improving access to healthcare

The convergence and simplification of technology and healthcare reduce the digital divide and increase understanding and engagement. In other words, an increased emphasis on interoperability and digital connectedness is key to growth and transformation.

Omnichannel care delivery can play an integral role in improving access to healthcare. Pharma retailers such as Walmart and CVS are focused on making healthcare accessible and affordable, by making it one of their primary focal points.

Additionally, modernizing Medicare and Medicaid services will enable access to modern technologies and innovative healthcare solutions. Technology and policy changes must match each other’s speed.

Hyper-personalized digital health experience

To reduce healthcare costs, it would help to meet patients where they are and keep them out of hospitals. This encourages us to have a system that is preventative and affordable, for instance, Uber Health partners with Papa to address isolation amongst seniors.

Data liquidity is the new flow, and digital transformation in healthcare companies must contain a strategy that focuses on enabling data liquidity to ensure a seamless flow of data throughout the health and wellness ecosystem from all sources and facilitates hyper-personalized digital experiences.

End-to-end tele healthcare

Breaking away from traditional healthcare delivery, tele healthcare allows for remote monitoring and management of healthcare for patients.

Research suggests, a whopping nine in 10 patients are unaware that they have a kidney disease. Similarly, many diabetics and pre-diabetics remain undiagnosed for a considerable amount of time. An estimated 37 million Americans live with CKD and nearly 700,000 have ESRD. Treatment can be challenging and costly for both patients and payers. Despite the enormous cost, patient outcomes are poor.  Nearly 55% of dialysis patients have died within the first year of treatment.

Telehealth has been a gift to many, especially during the pandemic. By enabling healthcare workers to meet people where they are, it has improved accessibility and affordability, and built trust. Tools such as remote monitoring serves are making high quality healthcare available to patients at low costs, improving patient engagement.

Demand for better mental healthcare 

The increased understanding of the link between mental and physical health is creating a potential breakthrough impact in overall well-being and healthcare cost containment. The demand for behavioral health specialists as well as the tools, digital therapeutics, and other mechanisms for effective patient engagement is on the rise. The awareness around this linkage is resulting in significant investment and innovations that have the potential to appreciably improve overall health outcomes.

Building a resilient, inclusive healthcare ecosystem

We believe that as a society, we need to address the needs of our vulnerable communities. Public health is the sum of individual health, and we are only as strong as our weakest links. We can rise only by bringing up others in need.

The healthcare industry is more aligned than ever in efforts to achieve improved health and wellness with an emphasis on changing care settings. The industry is rapidly converging within and across many industries. Health and wellness are driving the intersection and the need for a strong, expansive ecosystem that is inclusive of a strong infrastructure, transparency, data liquidity, collaboration, and leaders who are empathetic and focused on sustainable, high-quality execution.

Fundamental shifts in population demographics, expansion of health data and predictive analytics, availability of sensors and remote monitoring devices, and increased data transparency and sharing have converged to enable needed collaboration and transformational change. 

Smriti Kirubanandan is a business strategist for TCS’ Healthcare business, working at the intersection of innovation and technology. Smriti is an experienced business development, sales, and marketing executive. She is also a public health expert focusing on healthcare equity, specifically on food equity.

Stuart Gilchrist, a global managing director with TCS’ Healthcare business, leads consulting and service integration for the unit. He is responsible for driving strategic initiatives for health and wellness ecosystems to ensure accessible and affordable healthcare by leveraging technology.

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