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Building and Maintaining a Successful Digital Health Program: Why the Right Partnership Matters

4 min read

Digital health programs have the potential to deliver an in-depth understanding of patients’ well-being. Through these programs, patients use in-home devices to share biometric data with their health program, providing insights that drive better management of chronic diseases. However, running a digital health program is a complex endeavor. There are myriad factors involved, from distributing devices to onboarding and supporting patients to keeping patients engaged. Having the right connected device partner is key to success.

Realizing the Promise of Digital Health Programs

According to the American Medical Association, over $100 billion of venture funding has been invested in digital health companies since 2010. These solutions are significantly improving health outcomes while addressing issues of quality, access, and equity.

But while the promise of digital health shines bright, an organization’s ability to impact patients’ health requires both mastering the user experience and lightening the workload for care teams. This is where having the right connected device partner comes in.

What to Look for in a Connected Device Partner

With multiple options to choose from, it can be challenging to know which partner is right for your digital health program. The best partner not only designs patient-centric devices that patients love but also reduces the complexity of delivering care. Here are the top attributes to look for when considering a connected device partner.

1. Comprehensive services

A recent IBM Institute of Business Value report found that “capturing the [medical device] market will require more than innovative, easy-to-use devices; success will be determined by the strength of the entire solution. By that, we mean the comprehensive, cohesive experience provided to the consumer…” Keeping consumers happy and engaged requires creating a frictionless experience. Any hiccup in onboarding or setup, for example, results in patients abandoning the process. To deliver best-in-class experiences, look for a partner keenly interested in understanding what your program is looking to accomplish, with dedicated teams who can assist you and your patients every step of the way. This encompasses:

  • Handling shipping and logistical needs
  • Offering appealing unboxing experiences
  • Educating patients about device use
  • Streamlining technical integration
  • Offering day-to-day support
  • Initiating proactive check-ins to help meet your program goals

2. Raising standards in medical technology

The realm of connected devices is destined for rapid-fire change. Having a partner who’s on the cutting edge of the industry will future-proof your digital health program, ensuring you and your patients can capitalize on the latest med tech advances. The best partner knows how to anticipate market demands and has the R&D acumen to invent the next med tech game changer.

3. Exceptional patient experience

Delivering devices that people actually enjoy using leads to better healthcare. In a survey of 1,300 device users, IBM found that consumer adoption relies heavily on making the monitoring process easy. Patients crave simple, intuitive, yet feature-rich devices.

Choose a partner well-versed in creating products that drive high adoption rates. Inquire about the partner’s philosophy of supporting healthy behaviors and how this philosophy is embodied in their products. For a start, they should have a history of designing devices that are exceptionally easy to use and incorporate easily into patients’ daily routines.

From there, it’s ideal for devices to offer cellular capabilities since this will eliminate any setup hassles – and will enable patients to participate in the program, regardless of whether they have Internet access or even have a cell phone. Offering these features helps cultivate a strong digital health program.

But don’t just look at the bells and whistles of the product. Consider the results the devices have demonstrated. For example, potential partners should be able to demonstrate strong customer retention as well as low volumes of support tickets.

4. Simple APIs that reduce operational burden

A National Academy of Medicine report noted that “seamless connectivity and communication among healthcare-related devices are essential prerequisites for promoting optimal health.” Even the most capable devices can cause problems if they don’t easily integrate into your program and existing technology.

To avoid frustration and wasted time, verify that the devices assimilate effortlessly into your program’s workflow and that data management is easy and secure. Look for a partner that offers simple APIs that make integration easy. Seamless integration results in reliable, accurate health member data being transferred in real time or near-real time to enable prompt care decisions.

5. Health-centric and based on clinical experience

Building and improving digital health programs requires a long-term commitment. To that end, it’s prudent to choose a partner with a deep understanding of what motivates people to care for their health. Savvy partners collaborate closely with medical professionals as well as behavior scientists to continually enhance the patient and provider experience. At its heart, this innate understanding is what improves health outcomes.

Partnering With Withings Health Solutions

Withings created the first smart scale in 2009 and has been a pioneer in connected health ever since, with millions of users across more than 30 countries. Withings Health Solutions offers a comprehensive remote patient monitoring solution and a portfolio of beautifully designed and easy-to-use devices including blood pressure monitors, connected scales, an advanced sleep system, a smart temporal thermometer, and hybrid smartwatches.

Why choose Withings Health Solutions? Our dedicated CSM Team made up of device experts and solution engineers, ensures that our partners have the support they need when they need it. Used by clinicians and researchers, including Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic, and Stanford Medicine, our devices were designed with input from medical professionals and behavioral scientists. They deliver precisely accurate measurements and an exceptionally high user retention rate. We are committed to our partners’ success, with an NPS score of 73%.

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