The Quest for the Digital Health Whole Product

When it comes to communicating, it seems, technologists are from Venus and doctors and other end users are from Mars.

Doctors are unhappy about electronic medical records.

  • Nearly 70% of physicians say electronic health record (EHR) systems have not been worth it.
  • EHR usage is accounting for 48 minutes of lost free time per day.
  • 73% of the largest practices would not purchase their current EHR system.
  • 45% of respondents say patient care is worse since implementing an EHR.

When it comes to communicating, it seems, technologists are from Venus and doctors and other end users are from Mars. The present offerings are not meeting the needs of users, are too complicated and filled with features, not benefits, and they offer smoke-stacked parts of a solution. Instead, we need a whole product solution.

The Whole Product

According to the MaRS Discovery District, “the whole product bridges the gap between the marketing promise your company makes to customers and your product’s ability to deliver on that promise. It includes all the products and services that are necessary to augment or complete the product so that it becomes a complete solution and lives up to its value proposition.

The 4 Layers of the Whole Product

Generic product: the product that ships when a purchase is made

Expected product: the product the customer believes he buys when he orders the generic product

Augmented product: the idealized form of the product that provides the greatest chance that the customer will achieve his stated buying objective

Potential product: the apparent growth path of the benefits demonstrated by the product as it is improved, and as it is complemented and strengthened by other products and services”

So, what would a whole digital health product look like?

1. Interoperable with other whole products

2. Intuitive user interface with minimal workflow disruption

3. Designed to achieve the Triple Aim of improved quality, reduced per capita costs and an improved patient experience

4. Validated that it achieves #3

5. Incorporates modules that include not just EHR, revenue cycle management, and business process/practice management support, but eCare as well, including decision support, telemedicine, remote sensing and other parts of digital health

6. Accessible anywhere, anytime, using any mobile device.

7. AI support to avoid unnecessary data entry requirements by the user

8. Accessible to the community of care, not just closed loop providers, anywhere in the world

9. Ability to modify security and confidentiality requirements to suit the needs of the care team and patient team

10. Inexpensive

Dribbling out bits and pieces of a complete health information technology solution is causing more problems than it solves. Administrivia, reporting requirements and having to jump through burdensome and expensive hoops to get paid is causing unintended consequences and there is little evidence that it is meeting the Triple Aim goals.

We need to stop making things a la carte. We need the whole enchilada.