Digital technologies and the massive volumes of all types of data fueled by the Internet of Things (IoT) are driving vertical integration within healthcare, according to a recent report from research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Boundaries between segments in the industry are blurring to expand market reach, drive efficiencies, and capture opportunities emerging from technological advances, the report said. Digital health technologies promise new models of care delivery, expanded access, improved outcomes and efficiency, and greater value to all stakeholders.

However, organizations vary greatly in their capacity to deliver such solutions, the firm noted.

“The imperative to add new IT capabilities and innovate is driving a wide array of stakeholders to converge and collaborate, creating a heated healthcare deal landscape for traditional mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and new types of less-formal partnerships,” said Nancy Fabozzi, transformational health principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

“Flexible deal structures like joint ventures and partnerships, in particular, offer a faster, less-risky path to growth and innovation for healthcare companies,” Fabozzi said.

Digital health strategic partnerships and joint ventures in 2016 have concentrated on consumer engagement, wellness and analytics, the report said. The goal for stakeholders is to foster clinically integrated and decentralized care systems that serve empowered, technology-savvy consumers, who strongly value convenience and personalization.

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