RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • The Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision surveyed 399 healthcare executives across six countries to learn from their perspectives.
  • Healthcare executives (81%) say the pace of digital transformation for their organisation is accelerating.
  • Most (93%) report that their organisation is innovating with an urgency and call to action this year.
  • Five emerging trends reveal what healthcare organisations will need to address to accelerate and become skillful at change in all parts of their organisation.


Healthcare is hungry for a new kind of leadership

Amid the challenges of 2020, two truths became evident: More healthcare organisations have come to terms with the notion that every organisation is a digital organisation. This year also accelerated exponential transformation as technology continuously reshapes industries and the human experience. Now, as we begin reimagining our post-pandemic reality, healthcare providers must learn to become skillful at change and recognise that there is no leadership without technology leadership. For instance, 66% of healthcare executives say they will be in the cloud within the next year, 96% within three years.

Healthcare has been digitally transforming, but now it’s happening at speed and at scale. Among healthcare executives we surveyed, 81% say the pace of digital transformation for their organisation is accelerating. In just a few weeks at the beginning of the pandemic, the UK’s National Health Service rolled Microsoft Teams out to 1.2 million employees to communicate with each other and with patients at a distance.1 Overnight, health organisations no longer had walls and care at a distance became the norm. Companies like Amwell scaled up virtual care offerings—and infrastructure—at unimaginable speed to get help to people where and how they needed it.

Digital achievement lags came to the fore as healthcare organisations began to compress their decade-long transformation agendas into two- to three-year plans. With tech transformation happening so quickly, there was no longer time to wait and see or scale incrementally. Healthcare executives (93%) report that their organisation is innovating with an urgency and call to action this year.

The gap between healthcare’s digital leaders and laggards grows by the day and waiting it out will only put some further behind. Today’s leaders will prioritise technology innovation in response to a radically changing world marked by virtual care needs, rapidly changing healthcare consumer expectations and a rise in new ecosystem partnerships. To be successful, the healthcare C-suite must adopt a digital-first, people-centric approach across all areas of the organisation. They will architect the future and recognise that operational and technology strategies are increasingly indistinguishable. This is a unique moment to rebuild the world better than it was before the pandemic.

Will you watch the world change around you? Or be the one leading it?

This year’s Accenture Digital Health Tech Vision identifies five emerging trends that healthcare companies will need to address over the next three to five years to accelerate and become skillful at change in all parts of their organisation:

1. Stack strategically

A new era is dawning – one where success for healthcare providers will depend on their technology architecture. Read more.

2. Mirrored world

Growing investments in digital twin technologies (e.g. IoT, data streaming and 5G) are giving rise to a new generation of intelligence: the mirrored world. Read more.

3. I, technologist

Natural language processing, low-code platforms, robotic process automation and more are democratising technology, putting powerful capabilities into the hands of people across the organisation. Read more.

4. Anywhere, everywhere

It’s time for organisations to transform remote work from an accommodation to an advantage. Read more.

5. From me to we

Global disruption ignited a scramble to reimagine partnerships—and multiparty systems gained newfound attention. Read more.

View All

Kaveh Safavi

Senior Managing Director – Consulting, Global Health


Andy Thompson

Managing Director – Technology, Health, Cloud First Lead


Brian Kalis

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy Lead, Health


Jenica McHugh

Managing Director – Health & Public Service, Technology Strategy & Advisory

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Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision 2020
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