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 organization is accelerating.
  • Most (93%) report that their organization is innovating with an urgency and call to action this year.
  • Five emerging trends reveal what healthcare organizations will need to address to accelerate and master change in all parts of their organization.


Healthcare is hungry for a new kind of leadership

Amid the challenges of 2020, two truths became evident: More healthcare organizations have come to terms with the notion that every business is a digital business. This year also accelerated exponential transformation as technology continuously reshapes industries and the human experience. Now, as we begin reimagining our post-pandemic reality, the healthcare industry must learn to master change and recognize 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 organization 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 organizations 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 organizations 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 organization 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 prioritize 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 organization. They will architect the future and recognize that business 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 master change in all parts of their organization:

1. Stack strategically

A new era of industry competition is dawning—one where healthcare organizations compete 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 business and intelligence: the mirrored world. Read more.

3. I, technologist

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

4. Anywhere, everywhere

It’s time for organizations 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


Andrew Thompson

Managing Director – Health, Payer Technology Strategy & Advisory Lead, North America


Brian Kalis

Managing Director – Strategy, Health


Jenica McHugh

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

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