How the pandemic paved the way for value-based healthcare
Ibo Teuber, partner of Deloitte’s healthcare practice, discusses his assessment of the next stage of the digital health transformation journey, with value-based care as its ultimate destination.
Even before the pandemic, health systems were moving tentatively towards data-enabled, value-based health models. Ibo Teuber, partner of Deloitte’s healthcare practice, says the acceleration of transformation will take patients and players to the next stage of the journey.
HITN: What do you think are the three main things the pandemic showed us about the state of digital transformation in Europe?
Teuber: I think the most important thing it showed us is how valuable it is to have the data points available along the patient’s - even the citizen’s - health journey, interoperable and flowing through the health system.
It also showed how willing patients are to share data as soon as they see any benefit for their personal health, and beyond – some of them even felt free to donate their data sets for the better health of community or population health research.
The third aspect is that many of the technologies to virtualise part of the patient journey are basically already in place at different levels of maturity, and the pandemic has accelerated utilisation.
HITN: Would you agree that as transformation accelerates, so do the interoperability challenges that come with it?
Teuber: The good thing is that many of the evolving trends fueling digital transformation are strongly inter-dependent. Interoperable data will enhance collaboration in the ecosystem, support a shift in point of care and ultimately empower the patient to own their health journey.
I think we are seeing strong efforts in establishing data exchange standards, open and secure platforms that allow for data exchange across sectors, and the patient will demand this because more patient records are evolving around them where they are the orchestrator of the system. If you are a provider that is not contributing to that data set, they will probably vote with their feet.
HITN: So data and how we use it will also play a major role in transformation. What’s your perspective on the future for AI at a more granular level, throughout healthcare?
Teuber: I really believe these technologies will emerge in in a meaningful way but on different horizons. Leveraging biomarkers in devices like lenses or toothbrushes that identify illnesses before they arise will be a crucial tipping point, the basis for the patient to have their health journey in their hands. That will emphasize a shift in the discussion from the break-fix health model we have at the moment to a more preventive model.
This is something I really see as beneficial for the individual and all the way to academia and research, and for population health models.
HITN: These are technologies that will become available quickly in more digitally advanced countries – how do you think they can address the digital gap elsewhere?
Teuber: As seen before with many other evolving technologies, they will very likely become commodities and available to all communities. This will contribute to a more harmonised patient journey across geographies. I can also imagine we’ll see healthcare providers in different countries and new market entrants seeing the benefit of providing their virtual health services to a broader range of communities. The required devices won’t come with a cost question any more and developers will likely provide devices to lower income countries, scale their services on a global basis, and offer them at different price points. That’s something that we are also seeing in the pandemic with pricing discussion around vaccines.
HITN: You mention the shift from break-fix to preventive health models, the value-based systems that we hear a lot about. How do you see digital transformation influencing this?
Teuber: In most developed countries we see an ever-rising portion of the GDP allocated to health care. Since this won’t continue forever, the transformation towards value-based health provision will also be a lot about taking structural inefficiencies out of the system. Digitalization could help gain transparency and reduce complexity. Duplicated services would disappear if there was a longitudinal patient record containing all the radiology images, lab tests and an AI algorithm to check the reimbursement billing. So would unnecessary treatments.
Even though the shift towards prevention will not pay off in the short term, I strongly suggest that we foster the design of digitally enabled population and value-based care models.
Healthcare IT News spoke to Ibo Teuber, partner of Deloitte’s healthcare practice, as part of the 'Summer Conversations' series.