The digital mission for healthcare: value-based care

Posted on: October 11, 2017 by Ruud van der Loo

Healthcare costs continue to rise, far outpacing the growth of both national economies and household incomes, representing 18% GDP in advanced countries such as the US & with a growth trend toward more than 22% in 2020. It is one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime.

In many countries worldwide, health provision is one of the most dominant and polarising political conversations. How to pay, who will pay and how to future-proof care is front and center of discussion and politics across the world.

Although at times controversial, a value-based health care (VBHC) approach is essential—one that organises healthcare systems around a more encompassing metric. The goal of VBHC is not to minimize costs but to maximize “value”, defined as patient outcomes divided by costs (Porter 2006). In the struggle to manage health care costs, clinicians and policy makers are increasingly focused on value-based care. Leading health systems worldwide are documenting variations in health outcomes and in clinical practice, which allows clinicians to identify best practices and steer resources toward the clinical interventions that achieve the best results.

Value-based health care delivers higher-quality patient outcomes at the same or lower total cost for a given condition. Important steps in the process include a detailed analysis of existing outcomes data; identification of best practices; and the widespread dissemination of those practices to reduce variations in clinical practice and improve overall health outcomes.

In the process difficult decisions often need to be made about types of care and pharmaceuticals that can be offered, which is why a detailed, scientific, evidence-based approach is essential.

This is where the digital health industry can make a vital contribution. In its pursuit of quality over quantity, value-based health care relies heavily on data and data analytics, and while healthcare providers can generate an enormous amount of raw data, they are ill-equipped to marshal that data in all of the ways that a value-based health care system demands.

Companies in the digital health space, by contrast, are so equipped; they are able to fill this gap by gathering volumes of information from disparate sources, aggregating it, and meaningfully analysing it in order to generate the clinical, quality and payment insights required to foster the growth of value-based health care.

In a series of upcoming blogs “The Role of Digital Health in the Shift to Value-Based Health Care,” will be discussed by some of the leading healthcare experts in Atos. They will raise the main healthcare key Value Based Healthcare enablers, like Analytics & Artificial Intelligence solutions, Blockchain, Patient engagement enhancement, new genomics capabilities, opportunities of digital technologies as cloud or digital workplace for healthcare.

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About Ruud van der Loo
Vice-President Global Head Healthcare Market at Atos
Ruud is Vice-President Global Healthcare Market at Atos and has worked for the company since 2008. Ruud has a clear vision on the benefits of digital transformation in healthcare and life sciences. He has worked with senior Executives in healthcare around the world on how to use technology to enable them to withstand challenges they face in the fast moving world and adopt speed, agility and flexibility. The Atos Healthcare program is set up to power the shift to precision medicine by leveraging the digital shockwaves like optimizing real-time clinical delivery and the orchestration of collaboration and tele-health. Ruud has a long track record in Healthcare IT Services, with more than 20 years in senior executive management positions. In those roles he has gained vast experience in developing national and international strategies and sharing best-practices. Ruud is a strong believer in the fact that IT plays an important, maybe even the most important, role in the transformation to Value Based Healthcare.