RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • The global pandemic has spurred a massive innovation effort from companies, governments, universities and individuals.
  • COVID-19 has not slowed digital technology innovation; it’s amplifying it to historic levels.
  • As people strive to find normalcy and stability as the world reopens, they are turning to health more than ever for answers about their day to day.
  • Those healthcare organizations that design future services to provide transparency, choice and more control will differentiate themselves.


The global pandemic has spurred a massive innovation effort from companies, governments, universities and individuals. But in this rush to accelerate innovation, it is also critical that organizations think long-term.

In our 2020 Digital Health Technology Vision, we explore how people’s values are shifting, and digital age technology models are increasingly out of sync with them. Despite broadly benefitting from technology, people are expressing concerns about how it is used and what it is used for. And they are advocating for change.

Organizations—especially those in technology leadership roles—must elevate the technology agenda within their organizations to help people to feel safer about using technology tools. Healthcare payers and providers can take action during this time of change to win back the trust and consumer confidence that has eroded. Those organizations that design future services to provide transparency, choice and more control will differentiate themselves and begin to earn back consumer confidence—one interaction at a time.

85%

of health executives acknowledge that technology has become an inextricable part of the human experience.

70%

of consumers globally expect that their relationship with technology will be more prominent or significantly more prominent in their lives over the next 3 years.

This year’s Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision highlights five trends that emerged before the global crisis and that the pandemic accelerated. These trends are shaping the near future for healthcare organizations: The I in Experience , AI and Me, The Dilemma of Smart Things, Robots in the Wild, and Innovation DNA.

The I in experience

People want benefits of customization, but they are skeptical of the non-transparent methods to deliver it, wanting ownership of the experience itself.

AI and me

The full potential of AI has moved beyond automation of simple tasks to being a powerful collaboration tool between human and machines.

The dilemma of smart things

The very notion of product ownership is radically changing. Healthcare organizations must recognize a new “co-ownership” paradigm.

Robots in the wild 

COVID-19 has accelerated that robots move out of warehouses and factories and into the spotlight.

Innovation DNA

Healthcare organizations can transform how they innovate by focusing on key building blocks of their innovation DNA.

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Throughout these trends, you will see that to unleash innovation in the new future of healthcare, emerging business and care models must be rooted in collaboration. As technology’s level of impact grows ever higher throughout society, successful organizations will be those that use new models to invite people—patients, employees, partners or the public—to co-create their new course for the future.

Completing the picture

Accenture’s Digital Health Technology Vision report comprises a three-year set of technology trends. It’s important to recognize that each year’s trends are part of a bigger picture. Tracking how they evolve over time offers a glimpse into how they may continue to grow in the future.

Accenture compares the trends covered in Digital Health Tech Vision from 2018 through 2020.

About the research

For 20 years, Accenture has taken a systematic look across the enterprise landscape to identify emerging technology trends that hold the greatest potential to disrupt businesses and industries. For the 2020 report, the research process included gathering input from the Technology Vision External Advisory Board, a group comprising more than two dozen experienced individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, venture capital firms and entrepreneurial companies. In addition, the Technology Vision team conducted interviews with technology luminaries and industry experts, as well as with nearly 100 Accenture business leaders. In parallel, Accenture Research conducted a global online survey of 6,074 business and IT executives to capture insights into the adoption of emerging technologies. The survey helped identify the key issues and priorities for technology adoption and investment. Respondents were C-level executives and directors at companies across 25 countries and 21 industries, with the majority having annual revenues greater than US$5 billion. This year the research also included an Accenture consumer survey of 2,000 people in China, India, United Kingdom and United States.

Kaveh Safavi

Senior Managing Director – Consulting, Global Health


Brian Kalis

Managing Director – Strategy, Health

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