23 Jan 2023
by Dr Mark Davies

Rethinking the front door of Healthcare (Guest blog by IBM)

Guest blog by Dr Mark Davies, Consulting Chief Health Officer at IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences

IBM’s new paper entitled Digital Health Engagement: Rethinking the front door of Healthcare explains why at this critical time we need to put people at the centre of everything we do, examining the opportunities for citizen engagement to improve experience and outcomes but also to take some of the existing pressures off the NHS.

Healthcare is at a turning point in most countries where there is a mismatch between supply and demand. In this paper IBM argues that citizen engagement is one of the most powerful ways of addressing this challenge. We discuss approaches that have delivered in other industries and the opportunities and practical steps to apply these lessons to healthcare.

Whether we look at the approach from a population perspective or a provider perspective there are established methods that can be used. We describe the four main population healthcare needs i.e., I am and want to stay well, I have a new symptom and want to know what to do about it, I have a long-term condition and need support in managing it or I know what service I want and need a specific transaction like a repeat prescription. These needs statements can be used with segmentation models to drive a design conversation enabled by technology.

Considering a provider perspective, we describe large scale engagements like screening or vaccinations, the digital optimisation of existing services and lastly the creation of ‘net new’ models of care that utilise digital capability e.g., remote monitoring.  This classification of service types can be used to think through the specific value propositions for the transformation. There are also important implications for this in the life science arena and a rethinking of how we recruit into trials.  The paper describes the user centred approach to implementing this at scale and a reference architecture to think about the enabling technology.

The link between operational efficiency and citizen experience has been demonstrated repeatedly outside healthcare and research. The key is to demonstrate fast benefits by applying human centred design and a repeatable ‘component model’ of technology deployment. The pressures currently on healthcare are so extreme that rather than being a laudable aim, citizen engagement strategies are now an operational imperative.

Read the full paper here: https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/MDPY3KVG


Dr Mark Davies

Dr Mark Davies

Consulting Chief Health Officer, IBM