Digital health innovation a priority but barriers remain, survey reports

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CHICAGO – A majority of health care leaders believe digital innovation is an important part of their long-term strategy and competitive differentiation, according to a survey by the American Hospital Association and AVIA Health Innovation Network.

More than 300 health system CEOs, executives and other innovation leaders participated in the survey over a month-long period.

“Digital solutions and innovation have never been more at the forefront of health care,” said Jill Seidman, value-based care leader at AVIA, a health system innovation strategy provider. “With this survey we really wanted to get a read on what health care systems are doing as innovation becomes more integrated.”

Highlights from the survey include:

  • More than 75% of respondents believe digital innovation must include partnering with other innovative organizations.
  • About half of the respondents believe in testing and scaling externally developed digital solutions.
  • About half of respondents believe that innovation should include investing in companies that are developing digital solutions.
  • The majority of respondents said their health system is planning to or already has built a digital innovation center within their organization to drive scaled and impactful transformational changes rather than incremental improvements.

The survey also revealed several top digital innovation priorities for health care organizations, including understanding how to integrate patient-generated data, as well as providing convenient patient access through telemedicine, remote diagnostics and virtual exams.

“Our hope is that by collecting and sharing this data about their aspirations, priorities and challenges we can accelerate the pace of change in the field,” said Maryjane Wurth, executive vice president and COO of the AHA, in a statement.