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April 3, 2017

US healthcare can save $60 billion with digital investments

Healthcare organizations in the US can save a collective $60 billion by making strategic investments in digital technologies. That concludes the Accenture report ‘Digital Affectability: Quantifying the Economic Impact of Digital Assets’.

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Life Sciences companies have not had an effective way to measure the affectability of digital assets on patient outcomes or disease cost burdens. Accenture Strategy used a new approach to analyze digital’s potential economic impact on six therapeutic areas (TAs): Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, congestive heart failure, diabetes, HIV and multiple myeloma. The diseases, taken together, affect about 50 million Americans.

Targeting rarer disease states

Across all six TAs, digital assets present a $108 billion value opportunity (or $60 billion, when adjusted for risk). The highest-impact digital opportunities often lie outside high-prevalence diseases. In fact, 50 percent of system costs can be avoided by targeting investments to rarer disease states, the report authors state.

Within prevalent disease states, too, the opportunity does not lie where many Life Sciences companies think. The greatest digital value actually lies in assets that can be applied to multiple TAs. For example, in the area of Congestive Heart Failure, $2 billion in annual costs can be avoided by applying digital assets originally intended for Diabetes, Atrial Fibrillation and Hypertension.

“We’ve found that the highest-impact digital opportunities often lie outside the chronic, high-prevalence diseases that receive the most investment attention,” the report authors wrote. “Our analyses showed that 50 percent of system costs can be prevented by targeting investments to rarer, specialized disease states with lower prevalence.”

Economic digital health assets

Life sciences companies can now apply a new approach to assessing the “affectability” (or dollar value) of the economic potential of digital health assets in specific therapeutic areas (TAs) across the patient journey: prevention/early diagnosis, intervention and monitoring.

By assessing digital opportunities and avoidable costs through a TA lens, they can identify hidden pockets of value they have likely overlooked. They can define a value-creation strategy, based on a differentiated portfolio of digital assets. And they can make more strategic investment decisions that help improve patient outcomes, business performance and competitive advantage.

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