Digital Salutem
29 January 2016

5 Fundamental Rules of a Digital Health Strategy

By João Bocas

Formulating a cohesive digital health strategy was a priority in 2015, during a growth spurt in the industry when huge global strides were made from specialist care delivery to a mainstream healthcare disruptor. Companies that did create a strategy during this period will be best prepared for what is in store in 2016, however, it is not too late to enter into the market to change lives and gain global attention. Before the innovative becomes commonplace, make sure you have a strategy for development and progress in the years ahead. We discuss the five fundamental elements you need.

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Surround yourself with a right people

To fully embrace the true potential of a market undergoing dramatic growth, businesses in every area – from accelerators partnering with digital health innovators, to health care providers on the front line – require a multidisciplinary team who understand every stage of bringing a product to market and how that end product will make a tangible difference for patients and digital consumers. Cross-departmental solutions and resources need to be shaped by a core team who will both champion and take initiative of a project. Industry professionals will expect a strategy based on data that will easily integrate into an existing clinical system. Your team should know how to do this or have the industry connections to make this a reality.

Establish growth partnerships

Major movements in 2016 have already been identified. Businesses should make a connection with companies that are able to streamline advanced health innovations into the market. Focus on two attributes when forming a business partnership: effectiveness and efficiency. The process of integrating a fresh system into an established one in the healthcare sector should not only be competent and deserving of providing such a fundamental service, it should be sustainable and in line with human and financial resources. Under the scope of the digital health sector, this partnership is almost always a relationship with a technology partner that understands how to develop a strategy to the next level.

Consider your core challenges

A digital health strategy must always identify its objectives from the outset. Budget, product, forecast and integration should all suit the environment of your demographic audience, whether they are hospital patients or digital wearables enthusiasts. Ask: “Will our core communications and innovations solve business and patient challenges?” Needs in the healthcare industry are as unique as its people. A measurable and actionable strategy must consider which platforms and point of care channels will be targeted to tap into key demographics.

Cost analysis

Any financial stream – private or independent to public – will require a budget to provide full cost justification. The success of the digital health industry has been built upon its return on investment credentials: digital tools are not bound by geographical and logistic limitations or cost restrictions to a certain extent, and they can allow patient care to become more streamlined and efficient. These factors provide a strong case for the use of digital health technology, and health apps are predicted to rise by 49% globally by 2018 as a result, but any business must produce a sound case for value through its initial budget, forecasts and reforecasts throughout the year. Do expect changes to your revenue model in the first few years of business, but always inform financial backers and partners of your key metrics and line items so that growth expectations align on all sides.

 Get to work!

Rather than spend years picking apart your strategy then pulling it back together, begin the implementation process with an efficient timeline and internal pilots before your once innovative strategy becomes replicated and utilised by others. These early pilots and coinciding feedback from investors, stakeholders and users may uncover gaps in the strategy and better ways to become successful in the industry. Digital health brings together the best attributes of the digital age: helping others; sharing experiences and knowledge; and working collaboratively to better lives. Without strategic execution, businesses will delay all the opportunities and technologies that are currently afforded to them.


Salutem collaborate with innovative companies who have the potential to disrupt the established health markets. For a more in-depth consultation on how we can help your innovation succeed in the business world, please contact us on or +44 7731983936.

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