Despite the apparent benefits of digital solutions, healthcare industry incumbents have been relatively slow in their digital adoption compared to other sectors (e.g. financial services and retail).
The reasons for this slow adoption in the healthcare industry are complex. High upfront and maintenance costs for digital transformation, coupled with a difficulty in defining and measuring value from investments often have organisations questioning their ROI in digital health.
Adding on to the complexities of how to define and measure ROI, what “value” entails in healthcare has traditionally been challenging as cost-benefit perspectives differ between stakeholders, and are subject to individuals’ preferences and objectives. With that in mind, the ROI from healthcare investments, including digital health, and how it is measured cannot be constrained or biased to a specific value system. Its wider impact to the patients, the society and the entire ecosystem needs to be taken into consideration, which leads us to a key question: How can value or impact be holistically captured or quantified?
In order to realise positive returns, healthcare organisations must prioritise both monetary and non-monetary benefits that drive value to their business and customers. In addition, they need to establish the right metrics to measure these benefits. If implemented successfully, digital health solutions can generate sustainable value by:
In partnership with the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, this thought leadership piece also presents a case study on a community-based diabetes screening initiative.
The primary data from a community-based health screening initiative – studied by the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, and PwC – showed that patients with abnormal post-screening results were nearly six times more likely to follow up via virtual consults with a physician (using MyDoc, a Singapore-based digital health platform), than via in-person consults with a general practitioner. With that in mind, administering virtual consults can potentially translate to about five times greater savings for patients and their payers over long term as a result of averted future in-patient admissions for diabetes.
Dr Zubin J Daruwalla
Health Industries Leader, South East Asia Consulting, PwC Singapore
Tel: +65 9751 7023