Virtual healthcare has become a core component of consumer-clinician engagement. According to the Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics® US Omnibus Q4 Survey, 2020, 41% of US online adults had a virtual visit for primary care — and the rate of adoption continues to grow. Forrester estimates that the virtual care market will reach $43 billion in 2021, with up to 440 million virtual ambulatory encounters. On the supply side, more than 50% of practicing physicians plan to make virtual care a permanent part of their care models for patients. To guarantee a top-notch patient and clinician virtual care experience, healthcare organizations (HCOs) need to choose the right platform.
The recently published report, “The Forrester Wave™: Virtual Care Platforms For Digital Health, Q1 2021,” identified the 13 most significant ones — Amwell, Bright.md, doxy.me, eVisit, Microsoft, Philips, Qure4u, Teladoc Health, Vidyo, VSee, Zipnosis, Zoom, and Zyter — and researched, analyzed, and scored them. This report shows how each platform measures up and helps healthcare professionals select the right one for their needs. Based on our comprehensive analysis, Forrester identified eVisit as a Leader in the space today. Forrester’s clients can read the report here.
Forrester found three key differentiators for virtual care platforms supporting the healthcare industry. As a result of the massive shift in virtual care delivery in the market, HCOs should look for platforms that:
- Demonstrate customer obsession. While virtual care utilization increased exponentially in 2020, many deployments are still in their infancy. For some vendors, this is the first time their platforms have been used extensively by healthcare systems and clinics. With increased adoption comes the opportunity to collect more feedback and improve the patient experience. Look for platforms that follow an iterative design process, conduct patient and clinician journey mapping, embed feedback-collection mechanisms, and measure product success with metrics that are tied to customer retention and acquisition.
- Focus on inclusive design. HCOs should look for vendors that take an inclusive approach to design: addressing a wide array of personas, meeting accessibility guidelines, and enabling connections over multiple modalities, including phone, video, and secure message or chat. This will ensure that virtual care experiences are equitable and support the broadest number of patients.
- Flex to fit existing workflows and move quickly. Clinicians felt the pressure of the need for speed amid the pandemic and turned to virtual care to keep the lights on and maintain continuity of care for patients. In some cases, this meant choosing speed over security; in others, it meant choosing a lightweight platform as a temporary fix. Virtual care is here to stay, and customers of virtual care platforms must invest in products that will help play the long game — flexing to fit into clinician workflows, not creating more administrative burden.
Use the Forrester Wave report on virtual care platforms to help you evaluate vendors based on your strategy and business needs. If you’re a Forrester client, you can read the Forrester Wave report here and the preceding Now Tech report here.
If you are interested in learning more about our findings, schedule an inquiry here.
Forrester clients and nonclients can check out our virtual care blog series here.
Prefer to listen? Check out the What It Means podcast episode: Healthcare’s Gone Virtual, And There’s No Going Back.