Health Tech

Which Digital Health Tools Will Be the Greatest Victim to Turnover from Hospitals?

Hospitals’ digital health adoption exploded during the pandemic, leading to many vendor contracts spanning three to five years. As these contracts reach their expiration dates over this year and next, a new report predicts that telemedicine platforms and remote patient monitoring tools face the highest risk of being turned over by hospitals.

The pandemic compelled hospitals to quickly embrace digital health solutions as a means to keep providing safe care. The adoption of various medical technologies — such as hospital-at-home solutions and e-visit platforms — experienced an extraordinary surge. Telemedicine visits alone witnessed a staggering 766% increase in the initial three months of the pandemic.

The contracts between hospitals and digital health vendors usually span three to five years — with most on the shorter side of this range. This means that many of the digital health products that health systems integrated during the pandemic will be up for renewal this year and next, according to a report released Tuesday by Panda Health, a marketplace that connects customers to digital health vendors.

In March, Panda surveyed 100 hospital executives across the country. Their titles included CEO, CFO, CIO, COO, chief medical officer, chief nursing officer and chief strategy officer.

The survey was conducted so that Panda could calculate the “churn score” for various categories of digital health solutions. This score refers to the likelihood that hospitals will opt to stop using the product.

There were two categories that had high churn scores: telemedicine platforms and remote patient monitoring technology. Nearly half of respondents with these products said their hospitals were not satisfied or only moderately satisfied with them. About one-third of hospital contracts for these two technologies are set to expire by the end of 2024, according to the report.

Remote patient monitoring will still be an interesting space to watch, though. The report said that about 82% of hospitals with this technology deployed it since the pandemic, and 19% of them did so within the past 12 months. While turnover is expected over the next couple of years, many hospitals will also probably start adopting these solutions for the first time, the report pointed out.

There were a handful of categories that had moderate churn scores, such as digital care navigator tools, hospital-at-home technology and patient engagement solutions. The categories that the report deemed least likely to become victim to hospital turnover in the near future were digital care coordination technology, self-service patient scheduling solutions, data lakes and patient acquisition tools.

In the cases of digital care navigator technology and self-scheduling, the report anticipated that there will likely be more churn activity in a few years. The majority of hospitals that use these products began integrating them in the past two years, and satisfaction levels for these solutions are only moderately strong. 2025 could be a significant year for turnover — about half of hospitals that use these products said their contracts expire that year.

The report predicted that data lakes and patient acquisition technology will be safer from turnover because their users reported high satisfaction scores.

Photo: elenabs, Getty Images