Building a healthcare future full of appy patients

Posted on 24/02/2021 by vmwareemeasmt

Jens Koegler, Healthcare Industry Director, VMware

We’re seeing the future of healthcare unfold in front of our eyes with advances in artificial intelligence, VR/AR, 3D-printing, robotics or nanotechnology.  And while the big picture is both exciting and intriguing, we’re also seeing major changes led by day- to- day consumer technology too. Devices like wearables and tablets are starting to replace conventional monitoring and recording systems and people are now given the option of undergoing a full consultation in the privacy of their own homes.

Passionate about patients

These advancements in healthcare have contributed to services being taken out of the confines of hospital walls and integrating them with user-friendly, accessible devices. All the while making healthcare patient-centric. People are no longer just patients but valued customers with the very best organisations determined to offer silver service alongside treatments and care.

But how can this patient experience not only be sustained, but improved on? It’s a subject we’ve looked at in our report from Forrester, which found more than 92% of healthcare executives believe improving their app portfolios are key to enhancing the patient experience. This staggeringly high percentage underlines that the demands placed on app development teams will only become greater as healthcare organisations look to new business services to adapt customer engagement models, create new revenue opportunities and serve a more distributed set of employees.

But delivering these critical business services will require new approaches to teams, tools, processes and architectures.

Improving the patient experience

One of the headline findings from the report is that 84% of healthcare executives say improving their application portfolio is now top business priority. It’s a mandate rather than an option: move to a new, value-based, patient-centered model of care that prioritises outcomes and patient experience above all. We’re seeing leading healthcare organisations building online portals powered by applications that allow patients to book and cancel appointments, check lab results, and even communicate directly with their doctors via text, email, or video. Apps that run on a broad range of mobile devices—smartphones, tablets, netbooks—give patients access to all this from anywhere, at any time. Clinicians, too, are empowered by applications that let them easily register, monitor, and otherwise care for patients. In addition, applications that integrate Internet of Things (IoT) devices into healthcare workflows are becoming increasingly common.

And those organisations that have invested in modernising their apps are already seeing results with improvements to the patient experience – 92% in fact.

Improvements require agility

Behind this drive for more, better, quicker and secure applications is agile software development. The report found this to be ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important to 84% of healthcare tech executives. This is because today’s healthcare senior executives are balancing an eclectic mix of public clouds, private clouds, and edge environments to manage apps and this complexity is only expected to increase – in three years, 95% of healthcare organisations expect to be managing more than three separate environments and two thirds (67%) of those will be managing more than six.

Senior healthcare tech leaders know they need to move from complex and inflexible, monolithic legacy environments. They also know that this relies on solutions evolving through collaboration between self-organising, cross-functional teams and the users they serve. This needs a simplified infrastructure, with consistent operations and a consistent model to build and operate modern applications across clouds.

Counting the cost of care

This comes at a cost but, thankfully, one healthcare IT leader sees value in. Three years ago, most healthcare organisations surveyed were spending less than $1 million improving their application portfolios. Today, the number is between $500,000 and $5 million. And three years from now, most intend to spend a minimum of $1 million and as much as $10 million in order to develop superior apps and improve proximity and service to patients.

However, despite prioritising investment to improve app development, senior healthcare executives have concerns about roadblocks that lie ahead. More than half (54%) of healthcare IT executives haven’t made any improvements to their app portfolio in at least a year with two major challenges cited – the need to prove that investing in apps will positively impact patient experience and internal resistance to change – and this is precisely where VMware can help.

Boosting the customer experience

A first step to better experience is improving underlying infrastructures. Senior technology executives are turning to partners to help them identify which apps can be migrated to public or private clouds fastest, easiest, and without compromising security. Healthcare CIOs, more than senior tech executives from any other industry, look for guidance on where to make technology investments with almost four in ten (39%) surveyed relying on partners.

VMware’s digital foundation platform is helping the sector to build, run, manage and secure the next generation of applications. Along with expert guidance on how to drive stronger collaboration between developers and operations teams it also informs how to architect modern app platforms that speed delivery of new services, how to access innovative cloud services from all major cloud providers, including the leading hyperscalers, and how to better align the new world of business strategies with application priorities.

With the help of trusted partners like VMware, healthcare organisations will jumpstart the boosting of customer experience that begins with better apps and ends in higher patient satisfaction – even in times of uncertainty.

Discover the latest report from Forrester here. For more information on how VMware can support your journey to delivering exceptional patient experiences, please contact us here.

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