I read two articles over the holidays (perfect time for catch-up reading) from Forbes and Health Tech. Both pieces claimed that the consumerization of care was going to define the healthcare industry in 2019—and alter the digital health experience. This is, of course, what we at Jellyfish Health are all about. So I was curious.

For as long as I can remember, our industry has been trying to decide exactly whom it serves. The advent of value-based care is changing the playing field. Placing the patient and family firmly in the center—and designing the online experience to help the system work for people—is reframing the discourse and driving the disruption of the status quo. Indeed, a recent CDW survey of healthcare providers found that patient engagement ranked as the most critical issue for provider organizations in the coming year.

It’s no secret that consumer expectations are shifting. “Distant care,” roadblocks, and having to struggle to do even the simplest tasks online aren’t cutting it anymore. Consumers are demanding a more seamless, digitally smooth, people-oriented experience of care. This makes sense. Taking care of one’s health is taxing enough; the system should ease anxiety, not add to it.

In the Forbes article, the future patient experience was framed around the idea of “systemness,” a seamless system-wide approach to online patient care defined by consistency. Basically, ensure that people have a simple, consistent experience no matter whom they interact with or which doctor they see. Consumers shouldn’t have to repeatedly contend with redundant questions about their health while fielding a difficult interface. At Jellyfish Health, we call systemness the omni-channel experience. Customers know what their experience is going to be like every time they get online. Systemness, or omni-channel, gets rid of the surprises by breaking down the silos and creating a customer experience that feels more like an in-person experience, a system organized with care.

The Jellyfish Health platform makes it easier for patients to find a doctor, schedule an appointment, pay a bill, and identify or locate information. We also know technology only does so much. A proactive approach is key to what we do; part of our strategy is to help customers design and actually create the patient experience they want. We start with a methodology focused on understanding a patient’s needs. We get the right information so we know what patients want and what matters most to them. The system feels hands-on to the patient because it is hands-on, created with them in mind.

We also assess how patients use digital tools outside of healthcare. Information on how customers interact with other brands and services online can be useful when developing the patient profile, allowing for a more precise user experience. This kind of personalization allows us to refine our understanding of customers and improve their healthcare experience. Assessment is ongoing and informative, allowing us to modify when necessary.

At Jellyfish Health, the interaction that we have with our clients is an ongoing, evolving relationship. The days of simply installing software and walking away are over.

The patient experience of the future is all about personalization and convenience. As healthcare becomes more consumerized, clinics will have to demonstrate that they understand and care about their customers. In a sense you can say that healthcare technology is warming up—and the human factor is more important than ever.