Radical Interoperability As the Future of Health

Radical Interoperability As the Future of Health
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Smooth exchange of health and other data — that is, interoperability — between consumers, healthcare organisations and new entrants is undoubtedly necessary for the future success of the industry. The research by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions unveils experts’ view on this matter.

Efficient Data Flow

In the ideal future every patient has access to tailor-made treatments; diseases are cost-effectively prevented, not expensively treated; medical needs are addressed sooner with 24/7 monitoring; and various financial obligations are transparent. All this requires radically interoperable data, or an efficient data flow between shareholders including hospitals, physicians, health plans, technology companies, medical device companies, pharma companies, and consumers. It is not yet a reality, but rapidly becoming one.


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Interoperability includes:

  • Data platforms, people and processes integration for actionable data;
  • Smooth external data exchange;
  • Streamlined access to information for healthcare stakeholders; and
  • Availability of health and other data related to social determinants of health (financial, housing, economics, etc.)

The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions has conducted a research on the current state of interoperability, with 100 technology executives (health systems, health plans, biopharma, medtech) surveyed and another 21 experts interviewed. The focus was on the largest drivers of interoperability, its biggest challenges and benefits.

What Experts Think

Some of the results include the following.

  Biggest drivers for interoperability are:

  •     value-based/risk-based care (51%)
  •     regulations (47%)
  •     adoption of emerging technologies (42%); and
  •     consumer demand (41%).

  Biggest beneficiaries in the next three years are:

  •     cost of care (44%)
  •     consumer experience (38%)
  •     care coordination and patient outcomes (36%); and
  •     access to care (33%).

On its way from aspiration to reality, the healthcare sector is gradually adopting the necessary technology components of interoperability, including the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) and cloud services, dedicated resources and staff with expertise in interoperability. For example, to define their interoperability strategies the majority of respondents (80%) have hired data architects, and 57% have established a relevant architecture strategy across business functions. 73% have a dedicated and centralized responsible team while 53% are building their own APIs. Nearly two thirds (60%) use cloud services for more than half of their applications.

For many respondents, interoperability will be extremely (48%) or very (38%) important to their organization in 3–5 years compared with today (34% and 51% respectively). Meanwhile, only 3% think it will not be important in 3–5 years’ time as opposed to 2% who see it as not important today.

Recommendations for Leaders

According to Deloitte, to succeed in their use of data and analytics, the stakeholders should consider a number of strategies.

  • Make interoperability a priority. A clear understanding is required of interoperability’s importance in the overall strategy.
  • Invest strategically, not tactically, focussing on next-generation solutions and factoring interoperability in all key business strategies of an organisation.
  • Establish a competency centre to lead adoption and competency and value increase.
  • Include interoperability in current and future partnerships. Look out for opportunities to introduce new ways of collaboration with your stakeholders.
  • Harness compliance, privacy and security regulations. Strategic incorporation of those may be the drive for enterprise momentum.

Source: Deloitte Insights
Image Credit: iStock


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Published on : Tue, 29 Oct 2019

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