Envisioning the Future of Digital Health: Five Critical Success Factors For Any Digital Health Solution

Jun 30, 2016

This is an excerpt from a blog post that originally appeared on the Health Advances Blog on June 6, 2016.


Health Advances convened a group of 32 thought leaders and executives from across healthcare sectors at MassBio’s offices in May 2016. At this event, participants highlighted critical success factors they believed were applicable to any digital health solution. Key takeaways included the following:

  1. Frictionless integration — both system to system and system to person. Adoption of solutions critically require interoperability and the ability to exchange data with other proprietary systems in an ever-fragmenting workplace. Solutions also need to integrate well with current workflow and practices of their human users.
  2. Meaningful clinical and economic measures — any solution’s value must align with improved outcomes, economic benefits or improvements to active care management.
  3. Preserve existing clinical relationships and encourage new relationship development — solutions need to preserve and improve both patient-clinician relationships and the patient’s relationship with their data. In addition, clinicians and their training programs, will need to understand both how to use different types of data in clinical assessments and how to create better partnerships with community resources.
  4. Leverage existing infrastructure to support adoption — encouraging uptake is key, and to be successful solutions need to take advantage of what is already in place to get themselves in the hands of as many patients as possible.
  5. Optimize data management to support ease of use — huge data sets and analytical power are only useful when they can be translated into actionable guidance. Using solutions to better inform and guide patients and physicians with data will be key to demonstrating value and generating uptake.


Apart from these five key critical success factors, there are also a number of trends that would affect the development of digital health solutions. These include the reimbursement landscape, regulatory approval of digital solutions as non-traditional healthcare devices and the future role of big data and predictive biomarkers in diagnosing illness earlier and more accurately.

As we look to digital health solutions to increasingly play a role in treating and preventing disease, it is important that healthcare players consider how digital health innovations may complement their current offerings. With the digital health market still in its nascent stage, forward-thinking organizations that integrate a clear digital health strategy into their overall priorities now are sure to benefit in the long run as this market continues to rapidly mature.


MassBio is hosting a new Digital Health Forum series that will feature industry leaders, patients, providers and investors as they share their insights on the challenges and opportunities of digital healthcare.

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