For years, automation has been a key driver of transformation across industries, changing the way companies and entire sectors operate. Yet health care, a $4.1 trillion industry, has lagged behind.
For an industry that constantly innovates, evolves and adapts, the reluctance to embrace automation is frustrating, but ultimately not surprising. Health care remains in a constant tug-of-war between patients, payers, providers and the pharmaceutical industry. This back-and-forth creates unnecessary costs, affects clinical quality, and leads to patient and provider dissatisfaction.
We cannot blame regulations alone. In other highly regulated industries, such as financial services, automation has redefined high-friction processes. For example, automation has transformed mortgage underwriting by providing consumers, brokers, and banks with relevant information, rules, and transactions in real time. As incumbent banks embraced the startups, investors turned to novel ways to reduce friction and improve accuracy, increasing annual mortgage origination by nearly 40% compared to the last decade.
There is immense opportunity for similar gains in healthcare, but long-term success requires healthcare incumbents to truly commit to automation.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has exposed significant cracks in our health care system. As health care systems and payer executives grapple with rising labor costs linked to The Great Resignation and reduced patient engagement due to the explosion of digital-native startups, they will need automation to remain competitive.
The friction created by long implementation cycles, lack of proper physician engagement, and difficult-to-measure ROI has left us with a healthcare system that is skeptical of the technology.
Automation is the key to a more resilient and efficient healthcare system, but increasing meaningful adoption remains a challenge. Entrepreneurs trying to navigate these waters should consider the following marketing tactics to increase their odds of success:
Focus narrowly on a specific “initiator” problem
Even if your platform can do multiple things, you should focus on helping potential customers “onboard” with one thing it does very well that has short ramp-up times, minimal customer resource requirements, and clear success metrics.
Clearly define success through measurable metrics
ROI is often both qualitative and quantitative in nature, so it’s important to define the framework for your offering and weight KPIs differently based on nuanced prospects rather than creating custom ROI frameworks that are impossible. to follow
Deliver 1x-2x ROI within a year of launch
Having clearly defined success metrics should allow automation platforms to demonstrate value within six to twelve months of launch. Ideally, companies should aim for a 1x-2x ROI for the initial implementation to avoid low prices. Showing ROI within one budget cycle will position companies well for future expansion.