How Sitecore's Roadmap Aligns with Consumer Healthcare

SVP Valtech Health
Valtech North America

October 26, 2022

Sitecore has long been a leader in reliable digital tools and strategies. In recent years, the world-renowned platform has invested in changes and innovations to better cater to the healthcare industry and its consumers. Let’s take a tour through these recent developments and their implications.

 

What matters today in digital consumer healthcare? 

Platforms are the foundation of any digital consumer strategy in the health industry. They encompass the 5 factors that create a positive consumer experience: 

        1. Consistency 
        2. Connection 
        3. Privacy 
        4. Flexibility 
        5. Experience

Here's how Sitecore's roadmap and developments play into and support each of these factors. 

The Sitecore Experience Management Roadmap 

Yesterday: Sitecore XP was and is the classic Sitecore.  

Today: The Sitecore team has moved to a SaaS / Composable product set which includes Content Hub, Sitecore CDP and Personalize, Sitecore XM Cloud, Sitecore Search, OrderCloud and Discover, and Experience Edge.  

1. Consistency and the Benefits of Master Data Management 

Consumer health ecosystems need consistent and accurate data to function. This is a challenge for many organizations. Doctors, locations, conditions treated, insurance accepted, and many other ever-changing details are a challenge to keep organized and up to date.  

The need for well-arranged and verified data has led to a rich field of “Master Data Management” applications — Kyruus, Yext, Echo and more – each with specific features. Sitecore Content Hub, as an omni-channel, no-code content repository, is a strong application, because it can meet these data needs and expand into other areas like post-operative instructions, patient logistics, and original health information content. 

2. Connection: Customer Data and Integrations 

Sitecore has a uniquely open architecture for integrations and the ability to collect and integrate customer behavioral data in complex ways. This has made Sitecore one of the most flexible platforms to develop content-centric, personalized experiences 

Sitecore’s Customer Data Platform (CDP) and Personalize are a dramatic improvement in the performance and quality of customer data integrations over the Sitecore Experience Database (xDB). The Sitecore Experience Manager Cloud (XM Cloud) is a modern SaaS CMS that provides marketers with an intuitive and agile authoring tool, and developers with a flexible development experience, to make personalization as simple as possible. XM Cloud uses Sitecore’s headless CMS to help marketers and developers create a best-in-class customer experience. When it becomes mainstream within the healthcare industry, it will change the architecture for other integrations, which would now require exterior microservices. Microservices increase flexibility by targeting and solving individual problems without affecting any other areas of the code. 

3. Privacy: HIPAA & PHIA  

Though it was always best practice to exclude any possibility of HIPAA-protected PHI from entering xDB, the multi-tenant SaaS nature of Sitecore CDP raises a higher bar for health systems (as Salesforce Healthcloud might do, for example).  

Health systems wrestle with the idea of cloud-hosted data. When enriching customer profiles for personalization, it is crucial to consider encrypting unique identifiers within the delivery system to ensure they never surface in systems that are on the public internet. There needs to be a strict analysis of the systems and fields that are HIPAA protected, to avoid integrating them into CDP profiles. 

4. The Need for Flexibility and Speed 

Good experience design requires front-end neutrality.  

Front-end technology is where most of the production value of digital lives: performance, SEO, accessibility, schema.org, browser support, responsivity. One of Sitecore’s major strengths has always been that it is “unopinionated” and supports any front-end code. Sitecore’s headless services, continues to support that neutrality and opens the possibility of much faster page delivery, via edge hosting—a crucial experience upgrade. Edge hosting reduces connection latency while allowing users to interact with servers. 

5. Experience: Personalization and Search 

The change from Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) and xDB to Sitecore CDP and Personalize is a shift in data location, from a cloud-controlled by the client (or its vendor) to a multi-tenant SaaS solution 

Sitecore CDP and Personalize create a greater opportunity for an integrated view of the customer, and more powerful multi-channel personalization and journey orchestration. But it should not be used for medical triage or recommending care.  

What’s new? In 2021, Sitecore acquired Reflektion, an AI-based search platform, and is developing a new direction in which to take their search offerings. It has the potential to drive both recommendations and search results. 

What are the key changes & impacts? 

The greatest potential impact for healthcare is that Sitecore has the ability to unify aspects of master data management AND content logistics through Content Hub. This can be transformative for digital operations in consumer healthcare.

Here’s how: 

  • Experience Edge provides great performance, SEO and security benefits.  
  • XM Cloud removes the obstacle of time-consuming upgrades. 
  • Customer data integration and personalization have become much more powerful—but with great power comes great responsibility, especially when it concerns PHI and HIPAA. 

 

Valtech

Valtech’s healthcare practice team consistently launches, scales, and optimizes digital transformations for global leaders in consumer health, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, and health insurance.   

We understand that digital transformation impacts people, processes, and technology, and change across those fronts is challenging. That is why we support our clients in evolving their digital platforms, to achieve their business goals and meet consumer needs and expectations.  

Our healthcare practice, staffed by a global team of experts, is broad and includes consulting, technology platforms and integrations, strategy, user experience, analytics, operations, managed services, custom applications, and more. Moreover, our access to data and insights across industries, such as retail and hospitality, inspires the solutions we can implement with our healthcare clients.  

We are trusted by leading brands such as Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb, Alcon, Philips, CAE, Saintas, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Penn Medicine, CHRISTUS Health, and Shriners Hospitals for Children. 

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