Top 10 health care innovations

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Top 10 health care innovations

More value, better outcomes, for less

Health care is an industry in need of innovation. Health plans, providers, life sciences companies, and the government are facing rising costs and inconsistent outcomes. They are working to improve care and health outcomes, all while reducing costs and spending. What innovations are most likely to help stakeholders achieve these goals and transform health care over the next 10 years?

“More for less”: Innovations in health care can enable breakthrough performance

The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions surveyed leaders across the health care system to identify the innovations they think are most likely to transform health care. We then narrowed the list to the top 10 by applying the following definition of innovation:

Any combination of activities or technologies that break existing performance tradeoffs in the attainment of an outcome, in a manner that expands the realm of the possible. Defined in health care as providing “more for less” – more value, better outcomes, greater convenience, access and simplicity; all for less cost, complexity, and time required by the patient and the provider, in a way that expands what is currently possible.

Our current health care system’s performance can be defined by its rules, policies, regulations, enabling technologies, operating models, customs, and patient and provider preferences; together, these elements comprise the frontier of what is possible. They also serve as the constraints to what can be achieved. For far too long the health care industry’s performance, despite attempts to spur progress, has remained at the edge of the frontier. The industry needs to break current constraints and expand the frontier to achieve true breakthrough performance. While the constraints are many, the traditional, dominant, fee-for-service (FFS) payment model, in particular, does not align provider incentives with the goal of achieving more for less.

The 10 innovations we describe in this report have the potential to break the constraints of the FFS-based health care system and expand the frontier through new business models that can deliver care in ways previously not thought possible. Early adopters of these innovations are likely to be those already experimenting with business model change as a result of recent, transformational market shifts: value-based care (VBC), consumerism, and the proliferation of new data sources. VBC creates incentives for providers to experiment with care management and patient engagement approaches that could improve health outcomes and reduce spending. Some stakeholders are recognizing the importance of activating patients in their own care and are investing in capabilities to encourage this. Meanwhile, new data sources and tools are informing clinical trial design, treatment decisions, and ongoing patient care.

Incorporating these top 10 innovations into business models will require changing how health care organizations currently prevent, diagnose, monitor, and treat disease. Leaders should determine which innovations break performance trade-offs, or create more for less, in a way that impacts their core business. They should consider building ecosystems that embrace non-traditional players and sources of knowledge outside their own four walls. They should also consider building pilots before investing in scale, learn to embrace change, and evaluate new revenue sources. And, organizations should strive to be agile in anticipating and adjusting their strategies as innovations continue to evolve.

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Top 10 health care innovations

  • Next-generation sequencing: Applications of genetic sequencing to identify at-risk populations or target therapies to patients who are likely to respond
  • 3D-printed devices: Lower-cost and highly customized medical technology products that can be tailored to suit the physiological needs of individual patients
  • Immunotherapy: Treatments with the potential to significantly extend survival for cancer patients, without the negative side effects and related health care costs of traditional chemotherapy
  • Artificial intelligence: The ability of computers to think like and complete tasks currently performed by humans with greater speed, accuracy, and lower resource utilization
  • Point-of-care diagnostics: Allow for convenient, timely testing at the point of care (e.g., physician office, ambulance, home, or hospital), resulting in faster, more cohesive patient care
  • Virtual reality: Simulated environments that could accelerate behavior change in patients in a way that is safer, more convenient, and more accessible
  • Leveraging social media to improve patient experience: Tapping data from social media and online communities to give health care organizations the ability to track consumer experience and population health trends in real-time
  • Biosensors and trackers: Technology-enabled activity trackers, monitors, and sensors incorporated into clothing, accessories, and devices that allow consumers and clinicians to easily monitor health
  • Convenient care: Retail clinics and urgent care centers that provide more convenient and lower-cost care to patients for a number of health issues
  • Telehealth: A more convenient way for consumers to access and increase self-care while potentially reducing office visits and travel time; may also prevent complications and emergency room visits

“More value, better outcomes, greater convenience, access and simplicity; all for less cost, complexity, and time required by the patient and the provider.”

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