Capitalizing on the gains of digital health
While 2020 will be marked by the global tragedy of the Covid-19 pandemic, it will also likely be known as the year that digital healthcare finally took its long-awaited position at the top of the healthcare delivery chain. No longer a “nice to have,” digital health tools like telehealth and connected devices have become a “must have” for healthcare organizations.
The consumer tech concept of “there’s an app for that” is finally coming to healthcare. Reports show that investors poured a staggering $5.4 billion into the digital health industry by June of this year. Healthcare consumers now have apps for talking to mental health professionals, wearables to monitor their heart rate and physical activity, and one click-videoconferencing for doctors and specialists.
While this innovation is important and essential to managing individuals’ health, especially during the pandemic, none of these services talk to one another, leaving doctors, care managers and caregivers without a complete picture of their patients’ health. Healthcare suffers from “silo sickness.”
Just as people have come together to tackle Covid-19 head on, healthcare industry leaders must now collaborate to determine how we will make all of this data interoperable, collaborative, automated, and meaningful across apps, wearables and platforms for every patient – regardless of their finances, health conditions or zip code.
Here are three opportunities to capitalize on this innovation and bring the industry together:
- Build on proactive movement: As consumers now have several devices and apps at their fingertips to monitor their health, the industry has an opportunity to empower patients to get ahead of major health issues and to fundamentally shift the healthcare experience to be strategic and seamless. For example, what if, using a cohesive technology approach, a provider was alerted that a patient did not refill their prescription, followed by a medication delivery service automatically sending the prescription straight to the patient’s doorstep? This kind of integrated and thoughtful collaboration would streamline the experience across a connected, automated ecosystem of care and help make healthcare services more proactive with little need for behavioral change.
- Lead with empathy: We all entered this field to serve people and to improve lives. To do this, we need to bring innovation to our most vulnerable populations. High-tech healthcare solutions should not be reserved for individuals on commercial plans but made equally available to Medicare and Medicaid enrollees. Better technology and automated processes can create a mesh network of care around the patient, incentivizing investments into underserved, underprivileged, and elderly communities. Ultimately, this leads to better care, at lower costs, with lower rates of hospitalizations, with better outcomes.
- Rethink “healthcare” services: For years, the industry has discussed the importance of non-clinical factors – finances, nutrition, social wellbeing (Social Determinants of Health)– as part of people’s health, but now is the time to integrate these many influencers together into the healthcare delivery system. We need to go beyond healthcare delivered by and in hospitals and doctors’ offices, and invite community support, transportation and food delivery services to enter the ecosystem. By providing care directly to the consumer’s home or community, we free up doctors’ offices for management of chronic conditions and thereby free up hospitals for unavoidable emergencies.
The technology to create an infrastructure that integrates clinical, mental health, and socioeconomic solutions and data to deliver whole-person care affordably and proactively exists. The challenge is to bring together bleeding edge technology with cutting edge medical operations to create a transformative healthcare journey that expands delivery of services from within the walls of the hospitals and doctors’ offices into the community and ultimately into the home.
2020 may be the year of the pandemic, but it can also become the long-awaited year of a unified and collaborative digital health revolution.
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”