By far, health system executives at 59% believe that Amazon.com will be the company currently outside of healthcare that could make the biggest impact on the industry.

Healthcare providers have lots to say about which outside e-commerce and technology company they feel will shake up the industry status quo.

They also are saying more than doing about their plans for digital healthcare, says a new survey of 100 health system executives by Reaction Data, an outcomes-based research firm for the global healthcare provider, payer and life sciences industries.

By far, health system executives at 59% believe that Amazon.com Inc. will be the company currently outside of healthcare that could make the biggest impact on the industry. That’s far ahead of runner-up Apple Inc., at 14%, Google at 8% and Walmart Inc. at 3%, among others. “Amazon has a huge market they can use to distribute materials,” says one health system CEO taking the survey. “They are already a household name, and the users are not specific to Apple or Android.”

Health system executives ranked Amazon heavily as the biggest outside industry disrupter but were a little more subdued on which emerging digital technologies they believe would make the biggest impact. Less than one-third of survey respondents (29%) rated telehealth as having the biggest impact, followed by artificial intelligence at 20% and interoperability at 15%.

Only 11% and 3%, respectively, of survey participants rated mobile and blockchain as technologies that will make a big and lasting impact. “Almost three-quarters of providers indicate they are already using telemedicine,” the survey says. “This, coupled with the fact that the patient community is becoming more tech savvy with voice assistants provided by Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.”

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Other survey findings include:

  • 24% of respondents believe reaching patients in rural areas and after hours is how telehealth is utilized. 51% of hospital executives see telehealth as revenue neutral.
  • 65 of healthcare executives see artificial intelligence as important but only 7% of health systems are currently using AI and only 11% expect to within the next year.

“It’s interesting to compare what we’ve heard and read with what providers are telling us,” the survey concludes. “The data suggests that providers are more comfortable with what they know and may already be using it rather than the flavor of the week.”

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