Press release

23 Oct 2019 London, GB

Health care organizations require interoperable IT infrastructure to unlock the power of digital technologies

LONDON, 23 OCTOBER 2019. The health care sector is becoming more consumer-centric, participatory, outcomes-based and cost-efficient, but lags in introducing automation and enablement technologies.

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Related topics Health Technology
  • US private equity deals in health care increased 3.9% between 2014 and 2018
  • Only 1 in 4 consumers view their health care ecosystem as innovative

The health care sector is becoming more consumer-centric, participatory, outcomes-based and cost-efficient, but lags in introducing automation and enablement technologies. This is according to New Horizons 2019: An EY NextWave Health Report, that explores the shift from reimagining the health ecosystem of tomorrow to executing on that vision.

The report highlights that investors and policymakers believe the future of health lies with technology. Responding to this, private equity investors are increasingly funding health technologies, physician practice management and outpatient specialty areas, including urgent care and home health care. Between 2014-18, health care expanded its share of total private equity deals in the US from 8.3% to 12.2%. In fact, one in seven private equity firms made at least one health care investment in 2018, with a focus in clinical efficiency and regulatory compliance.

Additionally, the report found that only one in four consumers view their health system as innovative compared with other digitally transformed industries such as retail or banking. In general, health care lags other industries in introducing digital technologies for both consumers and physicians, with only 25% of Netherlands consumers and 21% of physicians in England rating their health care systems as performing well.

David Roberts, EY Global Health Sector Leader, says:

“A change in attitude, maybe that is culture, across the health care ecosystem is vital. Health organizations need to become more agile and look to build, buy or partner on solutions that bring the organization up to speed. Health care organizations and health systems contemplating change will need to weigh three conditions that are necessary to achieve this — creating an overarching strategy of digital transformation, optimizing performance through agile business transformation and pursuing deep-seated cultural change.”

In the long-term the value for health companies will not necessarily be in owning data, but in the relationships and access to ever-larger data pools that allow algorithms and insights to be created. These in turn will shape health outcomes in ways that matter to consumers, payors and other health stakeholders. To build the connected health ecosystem of tomorrow, an open IT infrastructure is necessary, that connects all these stakeholders and supports the frictionless, permission-based flow of information. This infrastructure, together with open source data standards, that go beyond application programming interfaces and clinical data models, are essential precursors to our view of the emerging, participatory health, world in which we live.

Aloha McBride, EY Global Health Advisory Leader, says:

“Care requires frictionless, but permission-guided, data sharing among stakeholders – whether they are consumers, who are increasingly recognized as owners of the data, or businesses that provide the tools capturing the data. Data sharing necessitates a health IT platform that allows for the storage and linkage of structured and unstructured data; the data has to exist independently of the applications that generate it; and the data must be accessible by a variety of interfaces.”

To read New Horizons 2019: An EY NextWave Health Report, visit


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in the face of aging populations, increased prevalence of chronic diseases, growth in emerging markets and shifting reimbursement models. Health care organizations must address these challenges while mastering the digital innovation that offers both opportunities and threats. Technology empowers patients, real-time analytics improves care and enables a mind shift towards prevention – but also opens the door to new non-traditional competitors. EY works with clients to reposition and optimize their business models, people strategies and operational structures to address cost pressures while leveraging the potential of analytics and technologies to improve quality of care. In this way, we help health organizations stay competitive and deliver better patient outcomes both now and in the future.

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