Moving Beyond the “HealthTech Hype Cycle” to Improve Digital Health Strategies

Clearstep Media
Clearstep Team

At the 2022 AMGA Innovation, Quality & Leadership (IQL22) conference, Fred Bazzoli, Editor-in-Chief at Health Data Management magazine, delivered the opening keynote titled, Exploring Emerging Technology, Accelerating a Digital Strategy, in which he aptly points out that healthcare lives in a constant “Gartner Hype Cycle” when it comes to evaluating new technologies. Seemingly daily, some new technology or software emerges that promises to revolutionize healthcare and, despite the enthusiasm surrounding them, very seldom produces the results initially envisioned. So, with the knowledge that new technologies often underdeliver their expected benefit, how do healthcare organizations evaluate if it's worth the risk to pilot a new vendor? Fortunately, Bazzoli goes on to provide guidelines to healthcare leaders to help make those decisions.

Find Technology That Has Achieved a Demonstrable ROI: 

As staff shortages and inflation continue to drive healthcare costs up, it’s important for healthcare organizations to ensure that any new onboarded technology presents a clear path to achieving the ROI. While healthcare executives must complete the due diligence of evaluating the potential ROI of new technology, the burden of proof to show how a technology facilitates returns is on the vendor. “Gone are the days where digital health startups could sell based on stories and a promise,” states Seth Joseph of Summit Health, “digital health companies need to clearly demonstrate their value and prove a real financial ROI...not only the value to patients and healthcare systems but to the buyer’s bottom line in both the short and long term.”

Clearstep, as a digital experience company, is uniquely positioned to not only provide a sophisticated digital experience to our customers’ patients but to also immediately drive ROI on behalf of our customers. Using our virtual self-service triage solution, we’re able to guide patients through the care searching process to the care booking options best suited to their needs. The seamless experience allows us to capture the patient’s intent and ensure they remain within the healthcare organization’s ecosystem of care. Additionally, the self-service triage technology helps to alleviate volume from the call center, lessening the burden of staff shortages while still ensuring patients get to the correct care resources. 

Through new patients acquired using our online symptom checker/virtual triage, volume diverted from call centers, and precise rerouting of patients looking for unnecessary care, Clearstep customers see a minimum of 10x ROI on their investment when implementing our virtual triage solution.

Use Technologies that Aid the Physician-Patient Relationship:

With physicians being asked to see more and more patients every day, it can be difficult to build the relationships patients look for in a healthcare provider. To compound the problem, some technologies initially designed to streamline physician processes have had the negative side effect of forcing providers to spend more time documenting a patient’s visit than the amount of time they spent with their patient during the visit. Technology should remove barriers between patients and providers, not create them. 

Clearstep excels in building technology that allows providers to strengthen relationships with patients by facilitating a seamless hand-off, pre- and post-visit. At the end of each triage conversation, we can post summary notes into a customer’s EHR of the patient interaction. These summary notes include basic demographic information as well as highlights of the conversation for the provider to review, allowing them to move past basic information collection and spend more time listening to the patient. Our Clinical Journeys™ solution automates touchpoints between patients' post-discharge appointments and intelligently escalates care or removes them from follow-up as their symptoms improve, helping patients feel in touch with their providers while also alleviating the need for manual follow-up from care teams. Every interaction with our technology is designed to optimize the provider’s time with the patient while also improving the patient’s overall experience with their care team.

Partner With Companies that Address Current and Future Imperatives

The purpose of Clearstep’s clinical AI-enabled technology is to help patients find the correct level of care based on their symptoms. While our Virtual Triage, Patient Services, and Clinical Journeys solutions all help healthcare organizations achieve this goal, we understand that needs of an organization often change. Clearstep strives to be the preferred technology partner for aiding in any digital strategy needs for our customers and has a history of using our core technology to power creative solutions to new challenges. Over the past several years, our customers have used the basis of our clinical logic to power employee COVID screeners, triage decision support tools for non-clinical staff, and even customized referral management tools for specialist care routing. So, in choosing Clearstep, not only do we address current challenges faced by healthcare organizations through the use of our out-of-the-box solutions, but we also remain agile in the use of our technology to provide solutions for any new challenges that may arise.


Frank Bazzoli summarizes emerging trends in healthcare technology by reiterating that “Technology is only a tool” and that organizations must complete the due diligence necessary to ensure that new technologies align with an organization’s strategic vision. In the current landscape of constantly emerging technology, it can be difficult to decipher which companies truly meet these criteria.  Clearstep is poised to not only act as the technology vendor to solve healthcare organizations’ challenges but act as a catalyst for driving digital strategy in your organization.

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