Disconnect between new technologies and triple aim

Few digital health technologies simultaneously emphasize all three components of the "triple aim," according to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Researchers used an algorithm to assess 87 technologies for their focus on improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per-capita cost of healthcare. 

They analyzed technology in categories that included population health management, hospital/clinic administration, telemedicine, personalized health, remote patient monitoring, patient engagement, interoperability, devices and more.

The researchers found no relationship between investment and evidence of the technologies' value. In fact, some technology types, such as interoperability and telemedicine solutions, did not find a single example of an evidence-based offering. 

This disconnect may represent a lack of awareness or perceived value among health technology entrepreneurs, but also could indicate a market in transition from fee-for-service to value-driven delivery and reimbursement models, the authors wrote.

Though hospitals and physician groups have a high evidentiary threshold for making purchasing decisions, the evidence suggests those decisions are based on a technology's ability to achieve at least one triple aim component or on factors independent of it.

Technology for patients tended to focus on improved outcomes, but not on reducing costs. Technologies for payers and providers focused on costs and outcomes, but lack emphasis on improving patient experience. Entrepreneurs may find opportunities by addressing the areas that competitors are not, the authors said.

Investment in digital health this year already has surpassed last year's total, with wireless and cloud technologies among the trends to watch, according to market research consulting firm RNCOS.

To learn more:
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