Health care organizations that adopt new technologies see high ROI

The adoption of advanced technologies is not often viewed by health care organizations as beneficial. However, a recent study conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and sponsored by Verizon shows that companies investing in new technology do see significant advantages with high returns on their investment.

According to the study, the major factors responsible for health care market alterations include consumer behavior and expectations. This was the case for 61 percent of respondents in the study, which is referred to as "The Digital Dividend: First Mover Advantage."

Consumers expect changes 
Consumers in today's market expect that their provider is using electronic health records. An Accenture study showed that a year ago, 41 percent of patients said that online access to their medical records was so important to them, that they would switch to a different doctor if it meant they would use EHRs. These are effective because the majority of modern patients rely heavily on the Internet, smartphones and mobile applications. They also want a better grasp on different aspects of their health, such as insight into side effects. 

However, the Verizon/HBR study showed that a mere 27 percent of health care organizations are actively striving to get first-mover advantage, while 36 percent only purchase new technology after others have tested it out and have proven there are benefits. Finally, 35 percent hold off on the investment until a technology has become well-established. The study's survey of 672 industry executives also found that technology has "significantly changed" the core strategy at 27 percent of health care organizations. 

According to InformationWeek, Chris Davis, senior solutions architect at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said that things are rapidly changing to the point that health care organizations that are not utilizing new technology will soon be left behind by competitors. He added that consumers are the ones driving the change, expecting something new from their health care providers every couple of years. 

Major health care providers lead the way 
Some of the major health care organizations, such as Kaiser Permanente, Johns Hopkins and Mount Sinai, are known for both their medical care and their dynamic approach to technology. For example, a while before other health care providers used mobile technology, at the beginning of 2012, Kaiser Permanente started its new mobile-optimized CIO Philip Fasano told that at the time, less than half the provider's 9 million members were registered for the company's computer accessible website. However, within the first month that the organization's mobile site launched, got over 1.9 million hits from smartphones.

"These various technologies are coming together to create tremendous value that hasn't been seen before," said Davis, quoted by InformationWeek. "We're at that tipping point where health care providers can drastically change the way they conduct their business."

The study covered technologies such as cloud, social, analytics, mobility and machine-to-machine. Although first-movers were most likely to have invested in some of these technologies, the study found that health care organizations would less likely utilize social media, cloud and M2M in comparison to mobility and analytics.