Digital Transformation in Healthcare is in a time of redefinition, and the changes are likely to accelerate in the coming years. Medical care pursues better health care and better patient care. This can be achieved through the digital transformation that technological development is driving.
Innovations in Internet technology and computer generations help transform modern industries rapidly. Health service providers in hospitals and health systems are applying these tools to advance health services advances for individuals and populations, reduce costs, and improve experiences.
With the increased need for more agile healthcare solutions, healthcare providers serving the patients have to look for more advanced solutions to satisfy their expansive needs.
Besides, the emergence of COVID-19 has rapidly accelerated the adoption of a digital transformation in healthcare industry, a key necessity for all the sector players.
Therefore, healthcare managers have to let go of the old business processes believing that the disruption of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, mobile technology, analytics, and the cloud, is changing the ways people, organizations, and governments interact will produce better results.
In this article, we look at some of the main aspects of digital transformation in healthcare industry.
Digital Transformation In Healthcare Industry
Digital Transformation is the adoption of technologies that promote efficiency in processes, the productivity of services and improve patients’ experience. Below given are the 8 technologies that are making it possible to improve the levels of Digital Transformation in Healthcare Industry:
1. Big Data Analysis
Big data analytics, which can evaluate data from every imaginable device and data source, can improve communication between service providers and those who pay. And diagnostic and treatment processes, which previously relied on classic IT and analogue solutions, can now be significantly optimized.
By doing data analytics in any digital computer, risk factors can be identified immediately so that the doctor prescribes preventive treatment if necessary for certain symptoms.
Data are not only useful for one patient because, when studied in a group, but they can also provide information on trends in entire communities, thus identifying more effective ways to solve and/or prevent public health problems.
47% of big data healthcare organizations currently use predictive analytics on patient data. In addition, 57% of healthcare organizations believe that forecast data analysis can save 25% each year.
Patient management and quality of care are areas where digitization will have the most visible impact. Unfortunately, digitization and implementation of the IoT may take a bit longer to diagnose due to the long-term nature of expensive investments in devices like MRI and CT machines. Still, sooner or later, the effects will be profound.
Digitization will reach various areas of medical technology, including monitoring of medical device metrics. Digitization will be noticed even more quickly with small mobile devices, for example, devices for measuring patient medical data at the bedside or in the laboratory.
mHealth (the individual as manager of their own health) is already a trend and a recognized means of self-diagnosis, driven by certain clothing brands and fitness trackers.
2. CRM Software
Adaptation of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms has been presented as one of the most valuable tools for generating value in the health sector.
A CRM can be understood as a centralized information system to manage the information flows from each contact point with customers, both potential and actual.
Some of the benefits this transformation brings to healthcare include:
- Reducing errors in medication through data of patient record analysis. Healthcare CRM systems, for instance, can be used to automate healthcare data collection, research, and presentation.
- This benefit makes CRM healthcare a key integration in the digital transformation process. It can therefore be used to flag inconsistencies between health and drug prescriptions of a patient and even alert patients or health professionals of potential risks of medication error.
- Facilitating preventive care, especially among returning patients. Big data can easily identify the patients and create preventative plans to keep them from returning.
- Accurate staffing. CRM software for healthcare will help the facilities by estimating future admission rates. This information will help hospitals and clinics deal with staffing issues as staff can be easily matched with patients. Money is therefore saved, and emergency room wait times are reduced.
Having these benefits in mind, healthcare systems should focus on organizing big data with a good CRM system.
With consolidated communications, high-quality image transmission via the Internet that can be used in videoconferencing, residents far from large cities and first-rate hospitals can have health services in this way.
Telemedicine eliminates geographical limitations to access medical care since patients in remote areas have the possibility of receiving care from the best specialists with the only condition of having an internet connection through a smartphone.
Mobile technologies reduced the burden on the healthcare system, including eliminating the need for patients and doctors to meet in person. Less travel time has the potential to increase productivity. However, the greatest benefit from telemedicine will be received by residents of remote areas.
The doctors consider it to be an efficient alternative compared to regular office visits. This way is also useful for patients who previously would have travelled to the nearest city searching for a consultation.
4. Cloud Services & Mobility
Mobile devices and different types of computer can fulfil the role of hospital receptionist because multiple medical institutions allow appointments to be made through applications.
As the patient and/or the doctor can receive the results of analyzes and clinical studies via email, response times and scheduling for the next actions can be shortened and even save the life of a patient who is at risk.
It is expected that, in the near future, 65% of patient interactions with medical institutions will be through mobile devices.
In some cases, it is already possible to schedule medical consultations through applications, and the experts foresee that, later, it will be possible to consult the entire medical history and test results simply by accessing the cloud applications.
5. Mobile & Wearable Medical Devices (IoT)
There were large machines to measure pressure in the past, but today we have devices as small as a mobile phone to perform this task. In addition, electrocardiograms, blood or temperature tests are medical studies that can already be performed daily without leaving home and at low costs.
With the help of the Internet of Things (IoT), patients can upload the signs or any other information of their health to a portal and share them with their doctor in real-time, who, receiving these insights periodically, can reduce the risk of complications and thus improve the quality of life of patients.
Wearable technology is the way the healthcare industry is transforming data collection and service delivery. For example, in the past, patients could only perform physical checks once in their doctors’ company, especially when there was a health issue. Due to this, today patients focus more on prevention and maintenance.
Mobile and wearable technology devices make it easier to monitor high-risk patients to establish whether their health is at risk or not. Some of the most common wearable health devices include:
- Exercise trackers,
- Heart rate sensors,
- Oximeters are used to monitor oxygen levels in the blood. Usually used by patients with respiratory illnesses such as asthma,
- Sweat meters are used to monitor blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
These devices collect huge amounts of data that can be used in medical research. In addition, several companies have already introduced wearable devices for employees to increase productivity.
This aspect of digital transformation helps healthcare providers to:
- Personalize healthcare experiences by giving patients a sense of ownership,
- Rate illness risks for patients for proper targeting and pricing before offering insurance services,
- Determine insurance incentives for patients who take preventive measures,
- In the case of patients who require constant monitoring, it can be done through an IoT device, which makes this data available in real-time to the doctor and that he can recommend actions that improve the quality of life of his patients.
In the long term, an increase in the use of 3D printing technologies to create skin and organs is expected.
6. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI represents the greatest innovation in healthcare. It has to contribute a vital role to digital transformation in the healthcare sector.
It includes a variety of digital healthcare applications, from diagnostic medical devices to virtual customer service help. Artificial intelligence with micro computers is also very useful for research and finding medical advances.
84% of the leaders in the artificial intelligence healthcare industry believe that artificial intelligence will transform healthcare soon. As a result, the market for power tools for healthcare artificial intelligence could exceed $ 37 billion by 2025.
The Japanese nurse robotics and the American Moxi, for example, helps human nurses with recurrent tasks such as fetching and restocking supplies.
The other game-changers in the health industry are virtual health assistants and chatbots. Chatbots can assume the roles of several roles, such as therapists, and it greatly helps to reduce waiting time while reducing staff costs.
In addition to more precise operations, which accelerate patient recovery, robotic equipment in surgery will help specialists treat patients remotely. This avoids the need for a personal presence. Over time, robots will be able to perform operations completely independently.
If we combine artificial intelligence with big data analysis, it will be very powerful since, well used, they can immediately identify risk factors and provide preventive treatments for certain symptoms.
However, the greatest transformations with AI in the medical industry are medical imaging, genomics, precision medicine and drug recovery.
Blockchain is a trend in digital transformation healthcare that medical institutions need to pay close attention to. Blockchain has important digital health implications, especially for medical data such as electronic medical records.
Medical best practices have been revolutionized by electronic medical records. Electronic medical records provide medical institutions with real-time medical records, significantly improving patient outcomes and patient experiences. But, unfortunately, hackers are well aware of the valuable patient data in electronic medical records.
Medical institutions that include blockchain in their digital transformation can ensure that their medical records are secure.
Blockchain is nothing but a digital ledger, a computerized database. The information is shared across a network of computers backed by servers, allowing a safe exchange of information between parties. It is envisioned to top the innovation towards improving medical records, preventing data breaches, and cutting costs.
As a key aspect of the digital transformation in healthcare, block chain will solve fragmented medical records by transforming the medical chart into an electronic health record.
Therefore, the shifts triggered by digital transformation are key to improving service delivery in the industry, especially by improving the acquisition, storage, and utilization of health-related information.
8. E – Prescription
One of the key digital transformation in healthcare is the e-Prescription. It is a centralized, paperless system for writing and managing prescriptions.
When a doctor prescribes a medicine through the system, he does so electronically, with the assistance of an online form. At the drug store, all a patient needs to do is available an ID card. The drug specialist, at that point, retrieves the patient information from the system and issues the medication.
Because the e-prescribing system is based on public health care coverage reserve information, the state medical subsidies to which the patient is entitled also appear, and the drug is discounted accordingly.
Another great advantage of the system is that doctor visits are no longer needed to repeat prescriptions. Instead, a patient can contact the doctor by email, Skype, or phone, and the doctors can issue reruns with only a couple clicks, and the patient can pick up the medicine at their nearest medical store.
The e-Prescription frees up time for patients and physicians and reduces administrative stress on hospitals.
9. Digital Feedback
Healthcare providers and regulators have increasingly turned to social media to collect patient feedback or conduct online surveys to identify potential problems and improve health care delivery.
The instant availability of social media and the ability to spread positive and negative messages force healthcare providers to respond even faster to customer feedback. As a result, social media can be a feedback mechanism that will lead to the continuous optimization of healthcare services.
Advantages of Digitalization of Healthcare
- Financial – cost savings by reducing patients’ contacts with doctors and modernizing the organizational system for providing services.
- Social – an increase in the availability of quality medical care.
- Professional – improving the quality of services by reducing the number of medical errors, developing predictive medicine, increasing the efficiency of clinical trials.
The above points are part of an important Digital Transformation In Healthcare Industry. While health care is still associated with high costs and long waits, in the future, we will have the possibility of more effectively accessing a quality service with better-informed patients and better-trained doctors.
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