Six ways you can profit from the digitalization of healthcare

Health-records-digitization(Editor’s note: contributed blogs like this are part of’s annual sponsorship program. Find out more here. This article was authored by Michael Stephens, SolutionsPath consultant at Avnet Technology Solutions.)

The Mobile Health Market is expected to reach $26 billion by 2017. Got your attention? Now get ready for this, the growth in the mobile health market is only a small fraction of the growth that the healthcare market will experience in the upcoming years – mostly due to increased digitalization.

If the numbers above aren’t enough, here are some additional reasons why you and your customers should be paying close attention to Digital Health, which many define as empowering people to better track, manage, and improve their own and their family’s health, live better, more productive lives, and improve society.

According to the experts at Rock Health (a venture fund dedicated to digital health), 2015 was another banner year for VC funding in the Digital Health market space, with nearly $4.3 billion flowing into this dynamic area. This continued strength of funding over the last several years demonstrates the emphasis on using technology in healthcare to:

  1. Improve the value of care provided to consumers
  2. Increase the patient’s role in their own health
  3. Help to bring the caregiver closer to the patient

A few ways healthcare has been working toward improving the goals listed above include the introduction of, and increase in, all things mobile and digital. For example, more than 51% of the 2015 investments went to categories including consumer engagement, wearables and biosensing, personal health tools, telemedicine and care coordination. This list also includes payer administration for the first time, with nearly a quarter of a billion dollars flowing into new opportunities.

Each of these categories requires access to 3rd platform technologies in order to support a safe and secure digital healthcare experience. This is where you come in. Here’s where this quickly emerging world of digital healthcare can open doors and new opportunities:

Healthcare Consumer Engagement – 2015 Investment: $613 million

What it is: A market for the tools with which consumers purchase healthcare-related products (B2B and B2C).

Opportunities: This could likely be an excellent place for a secure cloud-based offering.

Wearables and Biosensing – 2015 Investment: $489 million

What it is: The healthcare market today is full of devices that capture biometric data – but where does all this data go?

Opportunities: The use of IoT infrastructure, the capturing and storage of information and its analysis allow caregivers to better understand their patients and the communities they serve

Personal Health Tools – 2015 Investment: $407 million

What is it: The applications that will allow caregivers to “customize” the delivery of medicine to specific individuals based upon their genetic profiles.

Opportunities: This area requires large amounts of data, being securely managed, and the analytics to understand patients’ needs.

Telemedicine – 2015 Investment: $234 million

What it is: With care-delivery methods continuing to evolve, the demand and technology are merging. The patient and the doctor don’t always have to be in the same room, and the mobility of an aging population will have an impact on this category.

Opportunities: Secure network communications, safety of patient information, effective data management will all be critical infrastructure requirements.

Care coordination – 2015 Investment: $208 million

What is it: The new model for care delivery also encourages the collaboration of care delivery across multiple disciplines. As this model evolves it is expected to bring more effective care delivery to patients as they have access to experts in critical areas.

Opportunities: Again, secure network communications, patient information safety and effective data management are key infrastructure.

Payer Administration – 2015 Investment: $252 million

What is it: As this new care-delivery model evolves it also is creating new opportunities for payers, and more effective payer administration.

Opportunities: Portal development, secure cloud offerings, and effective storage management all represent excellent opportunities.

At the end of the day, it’s important to know the broader markets you serve and not just the technologies you’re selling today. It’s important to also be cognizant of where the market is headed tomorrow – and how you can be in front of these technology changes. For example, ask yourself: What are the key technologies your customers are using today? And what will they need tomorrow? The healthcare market is evolving; care delivery, patient engagement, payer models – where do new technologies fit in? Staying relevant as a trusted advisor is vital for your long-term success.

In order to find success in all the above opportunities, conversation is key. Every technology vendor can sell the next greatest widget – but the ones who take a little deeper dive to truly understand their customers’ needs will be the ones that succeed. A better understanding of what is impacting the healthcare market and what technologies are being considered to address future challenges will provide you a more informed vision of the future, and put you in a better position to solve your customers’ business challenges.

Attending HIMSS16? Stop by to Meet Us!

February 29 through March 4, 2016, one of the biggest conference tradeshows in the industry is taking place in Las Vegas, Nev., and Avnet will be there.

Stop by booth 727, where you’ll find a portfolio of healthcare IT solutions built to help control costs and better meet patient needs. At the booth, we’ll be featuring solutions including: cloud, converged infrastructure, data analytics, Internet of Things, mobility and security. Take a look into the full conference here. We look forward to seeing you there!

Want to learn more about healthcare training opportunities? Check out the HealthPath University, a full-day workshop designed for Avnet partners.