HEALTH TECH'S ROLE IN THE NEW OFFICE NORMAL: How digital health firms are helping US employers facilitate return-to-work programs amid the coronavirus pandemic

Health Tech's Role in the New Office Normal_large

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The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the US economy into a state of flux, forcing businesses into uncharted territory as they decide when and how to reopen. Before the pandemic, 39% of US office employees worked remotely—which nearly doubled to 77% during the pandemic, per a June PwC survey.  Now, company leaders across the US are strategizing how to resume operations and restore normalcy by bringing their employees back into the office. In order to reopen brick-and-mortar offices, warehouses, and stores, it’ll be of paramount importance for employers to navigate how to do so safely and instate routines that curb the spread of the coronavirus. Otherwise, employers risk creating sites of new outbreaks and being forced to shut their doors yet again.

workforce reentry teaser

The pandemic could hike up employer medical spending—creating an even greater sense of urgency for products that help ensure workers are in good health. The pandemic could increase self-insured employers’ medical spending by as much as 10% in 2021, per PwC’s estimates. For context, this estimate was calculated under the assumption the wave of coronavirus cases erupting in the spring of 2020 would lead patients to defer care to 2021. So, investing in programs that will maintain the health and safety of workplaces will be top-of-mind for businesses looking to preemptively rein in medical spending now, considering it could tick up over the course of the year. 

Tech companies and digital health startups are rolling out software to facilitate the return-to-work transition for employees. Return-to-work methods have made headlines, like Amazon’s use of temperature checkpoints in its warehouses. But another segment of software developers—digital health firms—are designing platforms that focus on monitoring employees’ symptoms and coronavirus status, and passing that information onto their employers.

In this report, Insider Intelligence outlines how tech giants and digital health companies are using their tech and clinical expertise to help US businesses with their reopening plans. We explore what the return-to-work health tech space looks like now—providing examples of the solutions on the market from both tech companies and fast-moving digital health companies, and unpacking the pros and cons of each. Finally, we shed light on some of the legal and privacy-related challenges that could hamper employers’ implementation of tech-enabled return-to-work programs.  

The companies mentioned in this report are: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Castlight Health, Collective Health, Color, Dole, emocha, Facebook, Fitbit, Google, Microsoft, One Medical, RxMx, Salesforce, Sonde Health, UnitedHealth Group, UrbanSitters, and Verily. 

Here are some key takeaways from this report: 

  • Employers are strategizing how to reinstate normalcy in their operations amid the coronavirus pandemic—and tech developers are rolling out retirn-to-work programs that prioritize ensuring the health of employees. 
  • Some of the largest tech companies are throwing their hats into the workforce reentry space, leaning on their data analytics prowess and existing relationships with healthcare entities in their pursuit of return-to-work tie-ups. 
  • Digital health companies are relying on their specific areas of expertise—employee benefits, telehealth, lab testing, voice—to craft return-to-work programs that attract businesses across industries.   
  • Privacy hangups surrounding employee surveillance are still inhibiting employers from investing in and implementing return-to-work tech, and the changing legal landscape may also make it difficult to to implement workforce reentry programs, especially those than lean heavily on contact tracing. 

 

In full, the report: 

  • Provides a snapshot of the tech-focused return-to-work market.
  • Outlines ways in which prominent tech companies and digital health startups are pivoting to roll out workforce reentry solutions. 
  • Highlights the pros and cons of implementing return-to-work solutions.
  • Identifies the legal and privacy-related barriers that exist—and will likely persist—to investing in tech-focused return-to-work solutions.

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Related Articles

AI IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION: How digital health firms and big tech are using AI to ease doctors' administrative burden

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Insider Intelligence publishes thousands of research reports, charts, and forecasts on the Digital Health industry. You can learn more about becoming a client here.

The following is a preview of one Digital Health report, the AI in Healthcare Administration report. You can purchase this report here.

Physician burnout has permeated the healthcare landscape over the last decade, costing the US healthcare system $4.6 billion annually. Over 40% of US physicians said they were burned out pre-pandemic — a figure that’s likely swelled amid the stress of treating coronavirus patients.

The staggering proportion of US physicians experiencing burnout is further compounded by findings that indicate the US is facing a clinician shortage: A pre-pandemic analysis published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects the US will see a shortage of up to 139,000 physicians by 2033. And now, the coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating clinicians’ feelings of burnout.
Providers are seeking ways to combat burnout and cut back on the associated costs — opening an opportunity for tech players with AI-based healthcare administration tools. Provider organizations have expressed significant interest in reducing clinicians’ burnout, with hundreds offering their feedback to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of the federal agency’s efforts to develop an actionable burnout-reduction strategy for physicians.
This presents a sizable opportunity for digital health startups and big tech firms alike, who have increasingly rolled out AI-based tools including machine learning services and voice-enabled digital assistants to help ease clinicians’ stress and address the physician burnout crisis permeating the US.
In this report, Insider Intelligence explores the factors driving burnout among clinicians, and how digital health firms and big tech are developing AI solutions to address the US’ physician burnout crisis. We first unpack the key drivers of US physicians’ burnout, including the weight of their administrative burden and extensive working hours. Next, we explore four AI-powered solutions we’ve identified as having the ability to most effectively combat physicians’ administrative burden and feelings of burnout. We then detail some of the limitations of current AI-based healthcare administration tools and explore barriers that have prevented some physicians from adopting the tech. Finally, we provide an outlook on what the next iteration of AI-powered healthcare administration solutions could look like.
The companies mentioned in this report are: Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Amgen, Apple, Austin Regional Medical Clinic, Cerner, CommonSpirit Health, Google, Google Cloud, Microsoft, Nebraska Medicine, Notable Health, Nuance, Suki, and Wolters Kluwer.
Here are some key takeaways from this report: 

Physician burnout has remained at dangerously high levels over the past 10 years — and the coronavirus pandemic is driving it to a fever pitch.
Clinicians cite the administrative burden of tasks like charting and paperwork as the top driver of burnout — with long working hours also playing a major role.
Digital health startups and big tech companies are rolling out AI-powered healthcare administration solutions to automate tasks and free up clinicians to focus their time on providing patients care.
Despite AI’s ability to combat physicians’ burden, several barriers — like cost and return on investment considerations — are holding some providers back from adopting AI for administration.
Digital health startups and big tech companies are working to overcome existing limitations and improve the capabilities of their AI-powered solutions to more effectively combat clinicians’ administrative burden — and resultant burnout — on a wider, more accessible scale.

 
In full, the report: 

Explores the factors driving US physicians’ burnout, and how the coronavirus pandemic is compounding clinicians’ stress.
Provides an overview of the digital health startups and big tech firms who have developed AI-based healthcare administration solutions with the ability to most effectively combat US physicians’ feelings of burnout.
Outlines the constraints of existing AI-powered healthcare administration tools and identifies factors that have stood in the way of adoption.
Highlights what the future could hold for the AI-based healthcare administration space.

Interested in getting the full report? Here’s how you can gain access:

Join other Insider Intelligence clients who receive this report, along with thousands of other Digital Health forecasts, briefings, charts, and research reports to their inboxes. > > Become a Client

Purchase the individual report from our store. > > Buy The Report Here

Are you a current Insider Intelligence client? Log in and read the report here.Join the conversation about this story »

Digital Therapeutics Report: Latest DTx market trends and companies in growing digital health sector

Summary List PlacementAs pandemic anxiety and depression continue to harm people’s mental health, digital therapeutics (DTx) is more important  than ever before. This, combined with the $18.5 billion Teladoc-Livongo merger, has heated up competition in the virtual care space and catapulted the global DTx market to reach $56 billion over the next five years.

What is Digital Therapeutics?
DTx delivers evidence-based therapies via software, like mobile health apps, that replace or complement the existing treatment of a disease. They diverge from the broader digital health market in that they must be approved by regulatory bodies—and displaying proof-of-concept is at the core of their model. 
Digital Therapeutics Market
DTx vendors leverage their tech to treat chronic conditions, which gobble up the lion’s share of the US’ healthcare spending. The surging prevalence of chronic conditions combined with long term effects of the pandemic is fueling growth in the global DTx market.

Last year, Insider Intelligence expected the DTx space to hit nearly $9 billion by 2025, but its new forecasts expect DTx to be a $56 billion global opportunity by 2025.
Over the next five years, there will likely be an uptick in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity and closures among DTx companies. Pharmaceutical companies will likely also become active acquirers of DTx providers, and large M&As are a key sign of market maturity and future growth. 
Those that choose not to get on the DTx bandwagon might miss out on a massive opportunity—and drug companies and medical device makers that don’t jump at the chance of linking up with DTx providers  risk losing market share to emerging competitors. 
Digital Therapeutic Regulations
There has been an increase in regulatory acceptance and venture capital (VC) funding for the DTx market, as investors place their bets on consumers’ heightened interest in DTx platforms.
The FDA has been paving the way for swift DTx development—empowering DTx vendors to launch their platforms quicker than ever before. In April, the FDA loosened regulations surrounding approval of digital mental health tools to hasten their time to market.
Digital Therapeutics Trends
The Teladoc-Livongo megamerger put a spotlight on the power of digital therapies and the virtual care market. As a result, other telehealth players are eyeing DTx platforms to enhance the value of their services.

Pharma companies have been strategically pouring cash into DTx firms to capture a slice of the growing DTx market. And with the FDA greenlighting multiple DTx treatments, pharma companies can invest in DTx solutions with more confidence that they’ll see a return on investment (ROI).
Telehealth vendors have been charting unprecedented growth amid the pandemic, and are now more financially stable and able to expand their portfolios. As the DTx market swells alongside the digital health boom, more cash-rich telehealth vendors may purchase DTx startups, or develop their own DTx solutions in-house
Top Digital Therapeutics Companies
In the Digital Therapeutics Report, Insider Intelligence details the top DTx providers making waves in the digital health space, diving into what each company offers, recent funding, investors, FDA clearance, and significant partnerships. The companies mentioned in the report include: 

Omada
Virta Health
Biofourmis
Akili Interactive
Pear Therapeutics
One Drop
Lark Health
Propeller health
Cognoa
Kaia Health
Happify Health

Future of DTx and Digital Health
The emergence of digital medicine threatens to reshape the entire healthcare value chain—and because drugs interact with nearly every healthcare stakeholder, DTx solutions are leading a variety of players to carve out room for digital solutions.
The US mental health crisis is only getting worse amid the pandemic, so DTx players that want to remain most attractive to their payer and employer partners should branch out into behavioral healthcare. 
And while we expect to see heightened activity in the space over the next several years, a few hurdles to growth remain:

Government-based insurers like Medicare have been slower to cover DTx, likely due to outdated regulatory framework.
DTx vendors need to ensure their platforms are integrated within the electronic health record (EHR) or software that physicians’ already work in.

 
Want to learn more?
In the Digital Therapeutics Report, Insider Intelligence unpacks the state of the digital therapeutics (DTx) market. The report explores how the Teladoc-Livongo megamerger and the pandemic have catapulted the global DTx market into the spotlight. It outlines the top DTx startups that are ripe for tie-ups, and provides examples of how payers, pharma, and telehealth vendors should benefit from partnering with or acquiring a DTx firm. 
Interested in getting the full report? Here’s how you can gain access:

Join other Insider Intelligence clients who receive this report, along with thousands of other Digital Health forecasts, briefings, charts, and research reports to their inboxes. > > Become a Client

Purchase the individual report from our store. > > Buy The Report Here

Are you a current Insider Intelligence client? Log in and read the report here.Join the conversation about this story »

Amazon's Leap Into Healthcare

Summary List PlacementHealthcare organizations are contending with a population that’s growing sicker, heightened spending, and shifting consumer demands for fast and convenient services.
Big tech companies have stepped in to alleviate or solve some of these issues, bridging technological gaps that give health organization partners the opportunity to realize cost savings and bolster their top lines.
One of these companies is Amazon, which has been casting a wide net across the healthcare ecosystem over the last two years — having started initiatives to disrupt or transform pharmacy, the medical supply chain, health insurance, and care delivery.
In the Amazon’s Leap Into Healthcare report, Business Insider Intelligence details how the tech giant is making waves in the healthcare sector.
This exclusive report can be yours for FREE today.Join the conversation about this story »

BIG TECH IN HEALTHCARE: Here's who wins and loses as Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft hone in on niche sectors of healthcare

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This is a preview of The Big Tech in Healthcare research report from Business Insider Intelligence.
Purchase this report.
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The Big Four tech companies — Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft — are accelerating their pursuit of the healthcare market, and they’re starting to hone their strategies in on specific corners of the ecosystem.

US healthcare players are being forced to move on their digital transformation efforts, and Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft are lending their data prowess and tech-savviness to become attractive partners for the job.
Healthcare organizations have to contend with a population that’s growing sicker, heightened costs, and shifting consumer demands for fast and convenient services. Further, the electronic health record (EHR) boom over the last decade has ushered in the need for organizations to revamp infrastructure and IT strategies.
The Big Four have stepped in to alleviate these issues, bridging technological gaps that give health organization partners the opportunity to realize cost savings and bolster their top lines.
These players are ramping up their efforts to reshape healthcare by developing and collaborating on new tools that could be a boon to consumers, medical professionals, and insurers.
And they’re zeroing in on specific areas within healthcare: For instance, Microsoft dropped its consumer-facing wearables and health record system to narrow its focus on its cloud offerings for health systems, Apple is knuckling down on clinical research initiatives via its wearables, Alphabet is focusing on its AI expertise to drive precision medicine, and Amazon is reaching across the board — from pharmacy to medical supply delivery to telehealth. And while their health plays have presented myriad opportunities for healthcare stakeholders, some of the tech giants’ initiatives are encroaching on legacy players’ businesses and upsetting incumbents.
In this report, Business Insider Intelligence explores the key strengths and offerings the Big Four tech giants bring to healthcare — and how each is homing their healthcare strategy in on different corners of the market. We outline how their healthcare plays are causing a tidal change throughout the healthcare industry, examining how each player benefits and threatens healthcare incumbents. Finally, we lay out the barriers holding the Big Four back from reaching their full potential in healthcare.
The companies mentioned in this report are: AbbVie, Adidas, Aetna, Allscripts, Alphabet, Amazon, Ancestry, Apple, Ascension, Berkshire Hathaway, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bright Health, Calico, Cerner, Cleveland Clinic, Clover Health, Color, CVS, CVS Caremark, Deepmind, Devoted Health, Dexcom, Duke University Health, Eli Lilly, Emory Healthcare, Epic, Fitbit, Giant Eagle Pharmacy, Gilead Sciences, Google, GSK, Haven, Health Navigator, iRhythm, JPMorgan Chase, Mayo Clinic, Meditech, Microsoft, Moorfields Eye Hospital, New York-Presbyterian, Nike, Noom, Northwestern Medicine, Novartis, Nuance, Oasis Medical Group, Onduo, Optum, Orbita, Otsuka, Pfizer, PillPack, Premera, Providence St. Joseph Health, Quest Diagnostics, ResMed, Rite Aid, Sanofi, Seattle Children’s Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Stanford University, Suki, Summit Pacific Medical Center, Surescripts, UnitedHealthcare, UnitedHealth Group, University of California, University of Chicago, Verily Life Sciences, and Walgreens.
Here are some key takeaways from the report: 

Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft are gunning to carve out spaces within the healthcare market, and each is targetting its own set of sectors to transform or disrupt. 
Microsoft is focused on its race with Amazon and Google to lay claim to the healthcare cloud market, Apple is knuckling down on clinical research initiatives via its wearables, Alphabet is focusing on its AI expertise to drive precision medicine, and Amazon is shaping up to disrupt the pharmacy, virtual care, and telehealth realms.
Their moves into healthcare are providing health systems with tech needed to patch up interoperability and data sharing gaps, giving healthcare payers a chance to collect a more comprehensive set of health data for members, and granting pharma companies the ability to streamline drug development and manufacturing. 
But tech giants’ forward march into healthcare is, in some cases, troubling incumbents. Amazon’s prescription delivery play has traditional pharmacies looking for ways to retain their customer bases, for instance, and Alphabet is building an ecosystem that we think could put it at odds with top dogs in the EHR industry.
And their inroads into the healthcare space may be stymied by consumers’ meager trust in tech companies handling their health information as well as a rampant cybersecurity crisis that could have healthcare firms holding off on tech investments. 

In full, the report: 

Provides an overview of Alphabet’s, Amazon’s, Apple’s, and Microsoft’s most prominent healthcare projects and plans. 
Highlights the persistent gaps in the US healthcare system that provide these companies and their cutting-edge technologies with entryways into the industry. 
Identifies the incumbent healthcare players that will benefit from and be threatened by big tech companies’ foray into healthcare. 
Outlines the barriers that are still in place that are stifling tech giants’ dive into the health space. 

Want to learn more about the fast-moving world of digital health? Here’s how to get access:

Purchase & download the full report from our research store. > >  Purchase & Download Now
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Current subscribers can read the report here.
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