Boston Consulting Group: Unlocking the Future of Healthcare
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Joe Davis, Senior Partner & Managing Director
Healthcare professionals today feel the need for principles of humanism, which has not been a point of emphasis for advanced technology in their industry. Though humanism in healthcare is characterized by a respectable relationship between the clinical teams and their patients, the digital transformation serves as an enabler across the entire continuum of care. Sure, the ultimate goal is to create value for the patients, but in today’s competitive market, most healthcare firms utilize technology to prioritize their opportunities for more savings rather than ameliorating patient-clinician relationships. “That is what we intend to change,” states Joe Davis, senior partner and managing director of Boston Consulting Group (BCG). “We help healthcare firms establish forward thinking and develop new capabilities that drive seamless transformation of their business, and shape the future of patient care.”
A Lending Hand
Founded as a consulting company, BCG brings in unparalleled value to the healthcare space by transforming the clients’ mindsets and shaping their business agendas, inducing a meaningful and enduring impact in today’s highly volatile environment. As disruptive technologies play a vital role in business transformation, BCG assists the healthcare payers and providers construct an explicit strategy to assess the changes and develop the capabilities they need to make the cut. The company further eases the pressure on C-level executives to make these changes with a playbook that contains a comprehensive transformation framework, enabling them to achieve sustainable, quantum improvement. Besides paving the path for progress, BCG takes charge in bolstering yet another aspect crucial for business transformation—advanced data analytics.
Although data analytics has been slow to gain traction in the healthcare industry, BCG ensures the clients utilize data in a transformative manner to enhance their operational efficiencies and reduce administrative and marketing costs. The company leverages artificial intelligence (AI)-powered analytics tools to help clients optimize and automate their business tasks. From prioritizing leads and understanding customer requirements to triage claims, risk-scoring algorithms, and underwriting functions, BCG covers it all. “By adopting advanced analytics and AI to transform patient care management, our clients can seamlessly develop richer customer segmentation and targeting capabilities,” Davis adds. That being said, the combined power of data analytics and a highly-skilled workforce is what truly makes the success of BCG’s technology solution for healthcare payers and providers more episodic than extensive.
BGS takes a purposeful approach to help clients realize the true value of advanced data analysis, boost performance, and gain a significant competitive advantage in the market. “Most healthcare payers assess their analytics investments in a piecemeal fashion. Without a connection to change, these organization-wide strategies and operating models create little scalable value,” says Davis. “Enterprises should think big from the get-go, and define the end result they desire.”To help clients obtain a desirable outcome, BCG delivers AI-based services to open up powerful new opportunities for the clients ranging from remote healthcare and early diagnosis to discovering new life-saving medicines. These services coupled with robust advanced data analytics immensely rationalize product proliferation by eliminating underperforming plans to accurately identify and mitigate customer health risks.
That’s not all, BCG utilizes simple AI algorithms to pin the needle in the healthcare space, be it personalization and customization of services or continuous evaluation and improvement of patient care operations. The key takeaway of BCG’s services, however, is the integration of healthcare providers’ resulting insights with their processes to bring about a full business transformation. Taking capabilities a notch higher, the company efficiently identifies high-potential ROI patients for the clients’ care management teams, and accordingly adds the newly developed priority patients’ data in the enrollment process. With a steadfast team of data scientists and software engineers working collaboratively with business leaders and the clients’ technical staff, both internal and outsources, BCG ensures healthcare organizations turn necessary data assets into profits.
Into the AI era
By tapping into the adoption of AI-driven innovations kicking off in the healthcare market, BCG helps clients effectively manage a range of critical healthcare data such as genomics, electronic medical records, and information from monitoring devices. These advances will be the critical drivers for optimum patient outcomes at the lowest possible cost—or simply known as value-based health care (VBHC). With deep-level expertise in AI, BCG draws on the mix of top-notch AI tools and virtual agents to provide remote prevention and care outside the doctor’s office or local hospitals. The company additionally performs diagnostic support to meticulously identify breast cancer, brain injury, and heart diseases in patients using FDA-approved medical devices. But the application of AI does not stop there.
BCG goes the extra mile in simplifying the analysis of retinal images and diagnosis of retinopathy with improved patient outcomes with advanced AI tools and algorithms. Robustness of patient care aside, healthcare professionals can use these AI tools to construct individualized VBHC-supported treatment plans to cut down operational costs, and risk of medical errors.
We help our clients establish forward thinking and develop new capabilities that drive seamless transformation of their business, and shape the future of patient care
BCG also leverages AI to bolster a significant stream in the biopharma space—drug discovery and development—by screening relevant clinical data and results to help companies analyze, develop, and launch promising drugs in the market. “Although AI is paramount to accelerating trial design and recruitment of a drug, it will certainly not be a silver bullet against the declining R&D activities across industry,” says Davis. The healthcare organizations need to manage their data infrastructures and capitalize their industry partnerships to make considerable headway in the drug discovery and development space.
Organize for Impact
As healthcare companies tend to get caught up in predicaments of organizing their infrastructures and capabilities to maximize profits and deliver value to their customers, BCG offers the perfect solution. With a blend of natural language processes (NLP) and advanced data analytics implemented as a robust management model, BCG assists clients to efficiently organize their data infrastructures, and automate writing and reviewing of healthcare records. This model induces major implications for healthcare providers and payers while effectively streamlining their operations and global supply chains. The model involves a central management group housing the clients’ team members located in various business units and functions, making it easy to share the best practices and establish an insulated culture for analytics talent. BCG’s model accommodates the diversity of business unit tasks via adept scaling and specialization of analytic capabilities.
These capabilities are meticulously organized under the control of a C-level executive, typically the CFO or CIO, with dedicated resources, ensuring priority treatment of analytics and integrated insights to achieve desirable results. According to Davis, “Our management model has immensely benefitted numerous healthcare payers with distributed analytic capabilities across their organizations.” BCG management model ring-fences a centralized advanced-analytics team to drive scalability, efficiency, and reliability throughout a patient care process. In today’s modern work environments characterized by complex tasks and sometimes conflicting performance requirements, BCG embeds the principle of ‘smart simplicity’ in an effort to maximize performance and encourage autonomy. This empowers the clients with clear-cut goals, optimal controls, and the freedom to exercise their judgment during an operation while eradicating unnecessary tasks.
Going Beyond Autonomy
However, no individual or group will possess all the answers in a complex work environment, and autonomy alone does not suffice. Set against that backdrop, BCG binds different business units together within a healthcare organization and deploys as a service of coordination and cooperation with each other. “Cooperation and coordination may sound like it delivers self-evident value to an enterprise, but in reality, it is a complex social process that is hard to create and easy to destroy,” Davis states. The company effectively delivers a solution to this predicament in the form of designing an organizational objective and a rational operational strategy for the workforce. BCG’s principle of smart simplicity seamlessly blends autonomy, cooperation, and coordination to adequately manage complex tasks and eliminate complicatedness between different business units.
The company draws in benefits of AI combined with the advancing knowledge of patient health, emerging diseases, and new tools to diagnose and treat patients proactively. In order to mitigate the paradox of specialization, BCG ensures healthcare payers and providers, drug makers, and even medical device firms witness a proliferation of new performance requirements to maximize capacity utilization and patient satisfaction and minimize wait time. This allows hospital administrators to tame the phenomenon of outcome variation by utilizing next-generation AI-powered medical technologies, and provide unparalleled treatments to their patients.
The Road Ahead
BCG’s journey to integrate AI into the strategies and operations of healthcare organizations has been a sustained one, but the company is still taking low-risk moves to improve the positive value shifts without negative impacts. Clinicians still hold responsibility for making life-and-death decisions, and BCG pushes them forward to go “beyond developing the pill”, and into collecting real-time data, which demonstrates the essence of their treatments to healthcare payers, providers, and regulators. Looking ahead, the company—not resting on its laurels—aims to extract the true potential of AI to yield powerful medical insights, and bring forth a massive transformation to the healthcare sector. “With climbing rates of innovation and effective cooperation between the business units driving higher performance, organizations can deliver improved patient care value at reduced costs,” Davis concludes.
- Selena James June 21, 2019