Digital Is Disrupting Healthcare in Real Time With Fluid Patient-Provider Interfaces

Digital Disrupting Healthcare With Patient-Provider Interfaces

Digital engagements are a daily way of life for hundreds of millions of consumers.

That’s why the opportunity that the digitization of the healthcare industry offers is so exciting, according to Tivic Health CEO Jennifer Ernst.

“You’re getting a real-time connection between a solution and a patient,” Ernst told PYMNTS about the healthcare sector’s transition to an online-first, omnichannel landscape. “That’s just the cutting edge of what we’re starting to see as these integration points are happening more.”

Generally speaking, digital engagement in one activity boosts participation in others, particularly those with similar characteristics.

The promise and premise of digital solutions is to disrupt historically fragmented legacy processes with real-time updates and efficiencies that streamline complexities and embed visibility into opacity, all issues that affect America’s sprawling healthcare industry.

Today’s modern FinTech advancements, future-fit payment platforms and next-generation digital B2B procurement platforms increasingly offer an emergent opportunity for critical operational transformations.

Disrupting the Healthcare Procurement Process

New research in the PYMNTS report “Changing Economy Sparks New Priorities for Systems Spending,” a collaboration with Corcentric, revealed that healthcare businesses are increasingly prioritizing digital investments to streamline their performance, as well as leveraging digital B2B platforms to increase opportunities that can ensure their future success.

Ernst explained that her business had been “selling basically direct to consumers” through Amazon and other online sites, but that as part of Tivic Health’s goal to “engage more completely with the health network that surrounds an individual,” her firm recently launched an online B2B marketplace portal.

“The B2B portal is giving us a way to be more [operationally] streamlined rather than trying to handle a one-off every time a physician contacts us,” Ernst said.

From a marketplace standpoint, sinus conditions, which Tivic Health’s ClearUP product helps treat, affect about 85 million people, she added.

“It’s a very tight relationship between the person seeking care or looking for a solution, and the people who need to know about it and provide care,” Ernst noted.

Forty-six percent of all consumers across the United States — or roughly 119 million patients — engage with their healthcare providers using a mix of patient portals, telehealth appointments, apps and in-person visits. This share of so-called “omnichannel patients” is increasing each month, according to data in “The ConnectedEconomy™: Omnichannel Healthcare Takes Center Stage,” a PYMNTS and CareCredit collaboration.

Ernst said that “one of the most compelling things” happening within the evolving healthcare landscape is the creation of a “fluid point of interface” that makes it easier for care providers to support their patients and for the patients to have the right solutions “available at the time they need one.”

The Consumerization of B2B Marketplaces

Digital B2B portals, broadly speaking, provide a streamlined ordering and fulfillment process for business customers and help reduce the logistical complexity and costs for sellers.

But they can also do much more.

“[The B2B portal] gives us an opportunity to engage with customers on an educational level and set up a structure where many people are comfortable buying a product,” Ernst said. “It’s a very hands-on service.”

She explained that one of the most interesting trends emerging from the digitization of healthcare is “the direct availability of physicians” and the shift that is happening as consumers take on more individual involvement in both finding healthcare solutions and managing their well being.

“The entire healthcare industry has been built around pharmaceutical sales representatives calling on a doctor’s office whether the physician wants them there or not … but the doctors don’t love having people taking up time and sitting in their waiting rooms,” Ernst said.

Because doctors tend to want a lot more information about the products they are buying and recommending for and from their practices, there is an attractive whitespace opportunity for healthcare-focused B2B marketplaces to lean into the educational component as a differentiator and sales support funnel.

Separate research by PYMNTS has also shown an increased desire among consumers for a unified digital healthcare platform that lets them access their health data, schedule appointments, pay for care and more. It stands to reason that doctors may be looking for the same.

The right suggestions, at the right time and regarding the right solutions are all but guaranteed to improve the right outcome — and that’s the disruptive promise digital holds for healthcare engagements, Ernst said.

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