For many industries, embracing digitization has become a matter of survival. Healthcare has always had a reputation of being resistant to change, but consumer demand and a rapidly evolving technology-driven world have led the digitization of healthcare to move at a frantic pace.
In comparison with other industries, healthcare has been slow to take advantage of the digital revolution. Traditionally healthcare has always been a difficult industry in which to innovate; it is highly regulated, expensive, complex and risk averse. However, rising drug development costs, increased patient expectations, and a growing dependence on health resources, place the industry under increasing pressure to move with the times. Many organizations with an interest in health, including the pharmaceutical industry, medical technology companies, health insurers, and payers are focusing on the digital world. However, the strongest digital health innovators are now coming in from outside the industry.
How tech companies are driving digital transformation
Healthcare represents an incredibly lucrative opportunity for traditional technology companies. The tech giants – Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and IBM – are taking the lead and heavily investing their time, resource and talent into healthcare.
Each of the major tech companies are using their core business strengths to create digital health initiatives across a variety of platforms. These are being implemented at every touchpoint of the patient/health professional journey ranging from data storage, artificial intelligence (AI), e-commerce, voice-enabled solutions, consumer apps and wearables. By developing tools that patients and health professionals embrace, and through collaborations with healthcare providers, the Big 5 are poised to reinvent the healthcare industry.