Healthcare Digital Ecosystems Hinge on Modern Identity


Healthcare is no longer confined to the doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital. Today, networks of health technologies power connected digital ecosystems that have transformed care. These ecosystems have been growing and evolving for years, yet the pandemic has proved them to be an essential lifeline and distinct competitive differentiator. Now, with the greater public adopting and celebrating digital healthcare services, the importance of a well-strategized and implemented digital health ecosystem is business-critical. The result within healthcare’s competitive market is a race for digital enablement and innovation.

93% of healthcare executives report that their organization is innovating with an urgency and call to action this year [2021]. – Accenture

Frictionless, Personalized Experiences and Coordinated Care Drive the Digital Healthcare Revolution 

Frictionless, personalized experiences and coordinated care are at the forefront of the digital revolution in healthcare. In a word, convenience rules. 

For example, healthcare consumers (patients and members) want to make appointments, attend telehealth visits, pay their co-payments and bills, submit their claims, get care reminders and health tips, and see that their prescriptions are ready for pick up all from a single, user-friendly app. 

Many consumers also want to tie their digital identities to wearable devices and digital services that collect health data to help them understand their current habits and set goals to improve their health. And, they want to share this data with their doctors, family members, payers, and retailers with the aim of meeting health goals and leading healthier lives. 

Doctors and other medical workers are also demanding seamless, coordinated services. Overburdened with administrative tasks and manual processes, doctors and medical staff now seek out provider and payer organizations that offer user-friendly digital solutions that reduce friction, improve care outcomes, and make their lives easier. 

“94% of provider executives, 92% of life sciences executives and 91% of health plan executives said improving the clinician experience is a priority for their organizations as they enter 2021.” – PwC 

Digital enablement means not only meeting users’ demands like those above, but anticipating what they will want in the future and having the technical agility to innovate quickly. For healthcare organizations, this capability takes shape in the IT infrastructure that empowers digital health ecosystems. 

Investing the time and resources to build a strong foundation for digital health ecosystems results in digital services, experiences, and security that not only differentiate the business, but also help to reduce the cost of services when they are needed. 

The Ailments of Legacy IAM Hinder Digital Transformation 

The power of a digital health ecosystem is only as good as the services and capabilities it makes available based on a user’s identity and data. 

For a digital ecosystem to meet demands, it requires healthcare organizations to support seamless integrations between front- and back-office systems, cloud and legacy point solutions, internet of medical things (IoMT) and devices, independent healthcare software, third-party APIs, and more. They must also be able to support integrations beyond their perimeters with third-parties such as providers and payers, as well as life sciences, pharmaceutical, medical device, and retail organizations. Further, digital health ecosystems must comply with regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the 21st Century Cures Act. Lastly and importantly, they must do all of the above while maintaining security and without introducing risk.

“Ecosystems in the future of health would be more effective if they’re digital-first, customer experience–led, and highly interoperable to unlock the potential of uber-collaboration. An experience-led design puts consumer needs first, while radical interoperability will lead to a rich data supply chain, and a digital-first approach will deliver highly interconnected, extensible systems.” – Deloitte

Making the above happen is not easy. Healthcare CDOs and CISOs often ask:

  • How do I integrate my entire hybrid IT architecture?
  • How do I protect my organization, yet make it frictionless for users to interact with us?
  • How do I consolidate disparate user data into a single view for personalized, omnichannel experiences across all apps, services, and providers?
  • How do I secure IoMT devices and manage their relationships with users?
  • How do I ensure regulatory compliance and safely enable data interoperability? 

A main reason why healthcare organizations are blocked from digital transformation, let alone digital enablement, lies in the ailments of their homegrown and legacy identity and access management (IAM) and identity governance and administration (IGA) solutions. These solutions are unable to address the requirements listed above due to the simple fact that they weren’t purpose-built to do so. They’re legacy.

Modern IAM and IGA, on the other hand, are built for the task at hand. Today, advanced digital identity platforms serve as the technological backbone of digital health ecosystems. They’re what enables it all.

Healthcare Digital Enablement Requires Modernizing Digital Identity 

To enable digital healthcare with a differentiated digital healthcare ecosystem requires a modern identity platform that unites the organization and serves as a single point of truth. The result is streamlined care, reduced costs, and better experiences and outcomes. 


As the above infographic introduces, the ForgeRock Identity Platform enables healthcare organizations to:

  1. Integrate disparate hybrid IT environments and scales to manage and secure millions of patients, doctors, employees, IoMT devices, services, third-party APIs, and their data – all while enabling exceptional digital experiences, and maintaining security and regulatory compliance.
  2. Consolidate disparate patient data into a single view for up-to-date patient information across all apps, services, and providers. Personalize care and deliver frictionless experiences.
  3. Apply Zero Trust and CARTA security. Continuously collect and interpret multiple signals about a user and apply fine-grained access and authorization decisions for any high-stakes transaction. 
  4. Secure IoMT devices and data and map the relationships between users and their things. Safely use IoMT to guide treatments and encourage patients to be healthy.
  5. Use standards such as UMA, OAuth, and FHIR to enable patients to easily collaborate and share consistent information. Give patients the ability to manage their privacy and consent settings to revoke and grant access.

“It is essential that senior management understands the importance of a digital future [in healthcare] and drives support for its implementation at all organizational levels.” – Deloitte

Within healthcare’s competitive landscape, digital enablement is a pressing topic that deserves careful attention and expert-led strategy and implementation. As an identity leader invested in the healthcare industry, ForgeRock is here to help. 

Learn more by contacting us or reading 5 Ways Modern Identity is the Backbone of Digital Health Ecosystems: How Leaders from CDOs to CISOs Can Meet Digital Healthcare Requirements with Modern IAM.