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Top 10 Trends in Digital Health Engagement

As we roll into 2024, new technologies are creating optimism around healthcare delivery. Intelligent technologies create opportunities for workforce efficiency, while data is powering much more sophisticated consumer experiences. We have the potential to deliver better more equitable health outcomes, but it will require the right focus. Here’s my breakdown of Top 10 trends impacting digital health engagement.

  1. Generative AI: Health systems are piloting generative AI solutions across clinical touchpoints, with the documentation of clinical encounters and first draft messaging some of the initial use cases. As these programs evolve (and if they produce impactful outcomes) we will see similar use cases deployed in the payor space supporting care management and support staff interactions.
  2. Measuring consumer experience: With intense focus on CAHPS performance ratings, health plans will invest in programs to capture real-time insights across consumer digital touchpoints. The mix of engagement data, sentiment and conversational insights will provide actionable data for advanced consumer satisfaction strategies.
  3. Analytics driven engagement: Payors are building out broad data sets that leverage AI to identify individuals who need engagement programs and predicting their likelihood to engage and complete actions. As these capabilities evolve, we will see tighter integration between the analytics and the outreach, leading us towards more automated ‘next-best-action’ capabilities. 
  4. TCPA: We will see more healthcare organizations realizing that overly conservative interpretation of the Telephone Communication Protection Act (TCPA) is bad for health outcomes and healthcare costs overall.  This impacts hard to reach populations the most, where outreach and awareness programs are critical for ensuring individuals know about and can access the care that they need.
  5. Addressing health equity performance: As healthcare organizations advance their health equity strategies, one of their main areas of focus is improving access to care.Measuring performance across race and ethnicity stratifications and correlating this back to their digital solutions will help optimize their digital engagement strategies.
  6. Connecting to community health resources: Enabling individuals to access local social health resources is a critical way for organizations to address localized health needs, but has been hard to operationalize at scale. Organizations who are investing in data systems and building out tailored digital programs to connect people to these resources will see significant improvements in engagement and corresponding health outcomes.
  7. Integrating behavioral health and other clinical programs into enterprise digital engagement strategies: The prevalence of behavioral health challenges across populations coupled with the diversity of the issues that individuals face has meant is hard for healthcare organizations to address at scale. By creating self-service digital tools for individuals to engage with and identify the areas of support they need will enable innovative organizations to make meaningful inroads against this key national health challenge
  8. Understanding consumer health journeys: As organizations develop connected ecosystems of consumer-centric health products, they can capture data on how consumers navigate through these experiences. Analytics will provide insights on how to optimize these journeys, to increase engagement and build out the best touchpoints for different personas.
  9. Integrating self-service and proactive touchpoints: Healthcare organizations deliver a blend of proactive outreach experiences as well as capabilities for consumers to self-service through portals and other tools. Invariably, these are highly disconnected experiences for consumers. Healthcare organizations who invest in the data and capabilities to deliver more seamless journeys across these ecosystems will drive increased utilization and optimize their technology investments.
  10. Focusing on content: Simply having the communication channels in place to deliver digital engagement is not sufficient to improve outcomes. Healthcare organizations will increasingly realize the design of programs delivered through these channels is critical to achieving outcomes. People have diverse needs at different stages along their health journeys, and being able to deliver meaningful content and captivating experiences is key to successful engagement programs.