Behind the pandemic-spurred 'digital tools arms race': Q&A with David Sylvan

David Sylvan is the president of University Hospital Ventures. He appeared on the "Becker's Healthcare Podcast" to talk about what he's most excited about for the future. 

Below is an excerpt from the podcast. Listen to the full episode here.

Editor's note: This excerpt was edited lightly for brevity and clarity. 

Question: What are you particularly excited about this year? 

David Sylvan: One of the pandemic's consequences, God-intended or otherwise, was initiating this digital tools arms race for many systems. The genie is not going back into the bottle when it comes to things like telehealth or remote patient monitoring.

But as a result, we're seeing substantial deployments of resources, both people and capital, towards digital point-of-care solutions. It's this notion of digital tethering that I've talked about before — monitoring, but taking these a step further. So not just tools to enable the conveyance of data and information, but also the engine — the artificial intelligence and the like to guide decisions and interventions. 

In my mind, the systems that can't or won't or don't look to aggressively lean into the integration of this tool set into their care delivery models are going to be forced to continue to rely on in-person encounters and their physical plan strategies just to stay viable and profitable. 

This'll just be exacerbated as we continue down that volume-to-value path, and you're going to see net margins continue to erode. I'm not implying that we will transition to a predominantly digital mode for patient interaction. But what excites me is that this tool set, if it's used and deployed appropriately, would have meaningful access and experience impact. And of course, not just for the patients and families, but the providers as well.

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