The healthcare industry has long struggled with effectively leveraging technology to drive innovation. Complex and fragmented, and with a suite of challenges hampering technology adoption, the sector falls behind in digital maturity relative to other industries.
However, that was then—before the pandemic. Since then, the sector has met unprecedented demand for services as governments, employers and insurers pushed the industry to do more to meet consumers’ changing medical demands. COVID drove rapid advances in virtual health capabilities and dramatically increased digital adoption rates—while shining a spotlight on the transparency and control consumers have over their healthcare decisions.
All this has been set against a backdrop of punishing economic realities that have forced healthcare providers to focus on cost-cutting measures with more intensity than ever before.
These trends have altered the dynamics surrounding the sector. Margin pressures and hyper-competitive markets force greater consolidation, accelerating the trend toward vertical integration and further blurring the lines between payers and providers. At the same time, the rapid evolution of the market brings new entrants into play—for example, disruptors carving out niche concierge services that help patients receive timely care. Tech giants are leveraging their strengths in data management for patient prognosis and care, while huge retail players are diversifying into healthcare delivery.
Recent Economist Impact research commissioned by Cognizant suggests that while many healthcare companies are developing pragmatic and thoughtful digital strategies, there are clear challenges ahead as talent scarcity, conflicting priorities, and cost pressure keep leaders occupied.
Industrializing virtual health, leveraging data and meeting regulatory changes drive digital investment
Respondents were asked what technologies and methodologies their business has already adopted, or is planning to adopt. (Percentage of respondents who advised they have adopted or are planning to adopt each technology)