A successful digital health ecosystem will be a collaborative effort between health systems, research organizations, and other stakeholders. The Roadmap to Successful Digital Health Ecosystems identifies the components that will make an ecosystem successful, including standard information models and data repositories that are technology neutral. To create a successful ecosystem, stakeholders must first determine a clear definition of the ecosystem’s goals and objectives. A digital health ecosystem can then be designed and implemented based on those goals.
For a payer to orchestrate a digital health ecosystem, it must decide on a variety of governance issues, including entry and exit criteria, data access rights, and capital structure. It must also work out agreements with partners to create mutually beneficial relationships. Several critical elements must be considered, including initial capital investments, incentives for payers’ members to participate in the ecosystem, fee structures for services offered, and value proposition messages to attract all partners.
In addition to incorporating digital and physical health services, ecosystems are also likely to include a central orchestrator. These systems aim to encourage consumer monitoring of their health. Examples of digital ecosystems include the Singapore HealthHub app, China’s internet hospitals, and Medlinker and ClouDr. Developing these ecosystems is an ongoing process, and there is no single solution that can guarantee a success. To build an ecosystem, you need a combination of technology, expertise, and funding.
Privacy management in healthcare is based on a defined context and the data flow is regulated. In health ecosystems, however, the PHI needed to conduct these processes is outside the healthcare domain. Furthermore, borderlines in health ecosystems are virtual and dynamic, and stakeholders’ privacy policies may differ. For example, a healthcare provider will likely collect PHI of patients through their online presence, while a commercial entity will use it for commercial purposes.
In order to build a successful digital health ecosystem, payers must create a data landscape that integrates with providers and their data. The next-generation data layer should provide API capabilities and establish data exchange based on interfaces. While most payers already have this data layer, they need to improve their tools to support the diversity of interfaces that ecosystem partners use. Data management must be implemented with appropriate privacy safeguards and adequate consumer disclosures.
While digital self-service channels are at the core of consumer engagement, they must also be supported by omnichannel and virtual care elements. Providing convenience to consumers across the healthcare ecosystem can improve quality of care and patient satisfaction. Additionally, innovative services should be offered throughout the consumer journey. This may include seamless payer onboarding, personalized treatment options, and on-demand access to caregivers. The future of healthcare is based on this new paradigm.
The key components of a digital health ecosystem include the data subject, public and private healthcare service providers, researchers, and research organizations. Some ecosystems have multiple players and include single services while others are digital platforms. One Drop, for example, provides support along the patient journey for fixing specific diseases. These companies are focused on the patient journey and the consumer health type. There are several other components that can contribute to the health ecosystem, but the key drivers are the characteristics of each organization and the protection they provide.