The healthcare industry’s march toward broad engagement with digital health solutions continued in 2016, as market forces continue to re-shape how consumers manage their own health and how consumers engage in the healthcare marketplace.

Expect this trend toward digital health to continue as consumers become more empowered to exert control over their own health and providers continue to be motivated to better monitor and manage patient population health outside of acute care settings to reduce costs and improve outcomes.

Here are the key market forces driving digital health in 2017:

Value-based care: Medicare, Medicaid and private health payers are increasingly linking payments for health care services to the quality of the care provided. Technology is critical to value-based care, because it facilitates population health management and makes it easier for health providers to make contact with patients and aid in personalized care management outside of health care facilities. Value-based care also shifts the burden of cost management to providers and patients.

Wearable technology: The Internet of Things has led to an explosion in the availability of technology solutions patients can wear to manage their own health, including devices that can collect data and share it directly with healthcare providers. Wearable devices empower consumers to participate more actively in their own care and create an expectation that providers they’re engaged with can provide care that incorporates this patient gathered data. As the technology that powers these devices improves, their usage will only become a bigger part of patient health care.

High deductible plans: Health plans continue to shift more costs to the patient, including plans that have steep patient deductibles to meet before the plan covers the cost of care. These plans further motivate patients to be more engaged in preventive care.

Employer wellness initiatives: Employers are pushing for better employee health and wellness through incentives to better self-manage chronic conditions and improve overall health, driven by the desire to reduce insurance costs and absenteeism.

Patient demand for digital driven health care delivery, coupled with value-driven payment models being pushed by insurance payers means that health care providers of all sizes should expect to engage with technology-driven healthcare solutions. As healthcare providers compete for patients, the robustness of the provider’s digital engagement is quickly shifting from a perk to a basic patient expectation.

Download this eBook today to learn more about the major market forces for healthcare providers in 2017, and how joining the data revolution might be the solution to potential hurdles.

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