Healthcare’s digital transformation began within weeks of pandemic – report

Healthcare organisations that have been traditionally slow to adopt new technology produced a response to the pandemic that was almost in line with less regulated industries, according to a new report.

Findings of research from the cloud communications platform Twilio based on 2,500 enterprise decision makers, including 117 healthcare organisations, showed it took 36 days on average to accelerate a digital transformation strategy.

This was comparable to other sectors such as financial services (32 days), technology businesses (33), manufacturing and automotive (33) and retail (31).

Spend on digital transformation in healthcare organisations was up by 43.4% on average in 2020 vs 2019, according to the report.

This was in line with the increase seen in other industries – the spend on digital tech increased by 51.9% in financial services companies, 44.2% in manufacturing and automotive,  43.9% in construction, 37.6% in retail and 33.5% in logistics.

Twilio’s State of Customer Engagement Report 2021 also found that the investment in digital technology is likely to continue, in line with many other commentators on the effect of the pandemic.

More than eight in ten UK companies (82%) report digital customer engagement will be critically or very important to their success going forward, while 43% suggested that revenue would be lost should their customer engagement not be digitised.

Prior to COVID-19, UK respondents said that less than half (48.4%) of their organisation’s customer engagement was digital. Today, that has increased to an average of 61.6%.

Findings showed that 2020 has created a hybrid economy where nearly every in-person interaction will have a digital element.

89% of UK business leaders report that COVID-19 accelerated their move to the cloud. 93% of business leaders plan to increase or maintain their current communications channel offerings after the pandemic, and expect to add an average of 3.5 new channels in the coming year.

Over half (53%) of UK businesses surveyed suggested that their digital interactions with customers increased by more than 50% during COVID-19.

Twilio found in a separate report last year that COVID-19 had been a digital “accelerant” for healthcare firms.

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