Joe Schauenberg: The COVID-19 pandemic has made very clear that the ongoing digitization of healthcare in America is only accelerating. It’s a path that we’ve been on now for many years, but it’s quiet clear from our conversations with investors in this category over the past month that there’s much more focus today on more initiative solutions like in the provider market telehealth capabilities, or remote patient monitoring, or home health solutions, home health technology, or connectivity solutions that link the different silos of care across the ecosystem. Or in the payer market, more digitization of distribution of insurance plans. What was historically a labor-based distribution model, or human-to-human interactions, is becoming much more digital. Or in life sciences, life sciences companies that here before were more reliant on the provider to engage with patients, we’re seeing that move to direct connectivity, direct patient engagement between the life sciences company and the patient for a number of things including, trial selection, patient recruitment and retention for clinical trials.
It’s hard to be real clairvoyant on how the crisis will impact healthcare IT in the very near term, but it’s evident that it’s created somewhat of a call to action to drive more innovation and more technology spend in the healthcare delivery process.
In the provider segment, certain realities have been very challenging for IT vendors over the past month. But we’ve also heard some positive things from vendors in the marketplace over the past month, and not just from telehealth or remote patient monitoring. But things like interoperability solutions, software that ties together different siloed systems within a hospital and also externally with other systems in the healthcare ecosystem. Certain of those vendors have done relatively well in the face of the crisis.
Workforce management has been a very talked about theme over the past month. Certain vendors that are managing the influx on clinical staff that are themselves managing patient flow within existing hospitals or in certain cases new hospitals, field hospitals that have been erected to manage the COIVD crisis. All of that clinical staff needs to be directed, needs to be tracked, the time and attendance needs to be tracked. And vendors that are helping the provider manage all of that have fared relatively well. Risk management has been a theme that has gotten a lot of traction over the past month. Vendors that manage the individuals coming into facilities to ensure those individuals are safe and not on any sort of watch list, they’re not posing an undo risk to existing patients in those facilities, certain of those vendors have done well. So, it’s been a balance, I’d say overall vendors have faced a lot of challenges over the past month and will likely for the next couple of quarters. But in certain cases, the more innovative, more forward thinking, more contemporary solutions have actually fared pretty well.