Defining digital health ROI: 5 elements that might actually make sense

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In our line of work we see countless value propositions that digital health companies strive to (or claim to) deliver.

Maybe we’ve had one too many summertime margaritas, but lately this value proposition barrage has got us thinking: It seems that there is something missing in the digital health value chain.

Clinically and commercially validated digital health interventions are supposed to be paving the way towards success and bringing return on investment to the health stakeholder. This is what we’re all trying to do, right? The question is though: what exactly is the ROI that digital health promises to bring?
There are a lot of grey areas when it comes to digital health ROI quantification. Is it qualitative and health outcome improvements that matter? How do you take something this multi-dimensional, quantify it in a metric and then somehow attribute fiscal value to that? Is it an objective improvement in medication adherence? For whom? The least adherent? The highest “value” patients?

In our day-to-day life we define value as:

1) an immediate improvement in revenues for healthcare stakeholder and/or

2) demonstrable, repeatable, significant, short and long-term cost savings.

By the way, it is way easier to sell #1 than #2, which is why true systemic digital health care innovation is a challenge to commercialize. The short-term gains are not always apparent in the cost-savings equation and not everyone has the patience (or fortitude) to view longitudinal outcomes as valuable. Read More.

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