Tech-driven Healthcare Is Here – Why Everyone loves It!!

Summary

80% of healthcare companies are planning to invest more in digital healthcare over the next 5 years. Here are 5 reasons why healthcare organizations have started favoring technology over all else:

1. Improved patient care by providing real-time patient data to doctors by using personalized devices like smart wearables and ECG monitors

2. Health-related information is easily accessible to patients anytime, anywhere

3. Hospitals that make use of healthcare technology such as a CDS system that provides patient critical information to specialists’ result in fewer errors

4. Remote monitoring technologies and telemedicine services are providing patients with medical care in their homes, without the need to visit the nearest doctor

5. The shift from paper-based records to electronic medical records has reduced patient care costs by 3% while giving hospitals the ability to provide better medical care

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The COVID-19 pandemic exposed some inherent limitations in our healthcare system. Be it the shortage of healthcare professionals or affordable care or care quality, we saw it all! And the healthcare industry is turning to technology to overcome these challenges.

A Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) report says, 80% of healthcare companies are planning to invest more in digital healthcare over the next 5 years. Along with tech-driven innovations like Telemedicine, we are seeing the rise of digital therapeutics, smart wearables, and digital prescriptions. The buzz in healthcare is around technologies like AI, Telemedicine, Big Data, and Virtual Reality. Healthcare dominated TIME magazine’s innovations of the year 2021, with 25 being health-related technologies.

Here is why we love to see the rise of technology in the healthcare domain.

5 Reasons why we love tech-driven healthcare

Technology has played its part in improving the quality of healthcare around the globe. Here’s how:

  1. Improved patient care

Personalized devices like smart wearables and ECG monitors are improving patient care by providing real-time patient data to doctors. Even for chronic conditions, specialists can now track their patient’s health more closely and check for adherence to the prescribed treatment.

The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the healthcare domain is automating routine tasks performed by healthcare professionals, thus enabling them to focus on patient care. AI-based automation is enabling image-guided therapy, where surgeons can perform minimally invasive operations on heart patients.

  1. Patient Education

Healthcare platforms and mobile apps have made health-related information easily accessible to patients anywhere. In the digital age, patient education is more immersive, engaging, and accessible.

A survey of American physicians found that 75% of them believe that technology-driven patient education can improve the patient experience. For instance, the online Patient Electronic Portal application provides patients with access to their health records and facilitates communication with a healthcare professional using a laptop or smartphone.

Recent studies have found that healthcare applications have encouraged patients to comply with preventive procedures along with increased awareness of their medical conditions.

  1. Fewer Errors
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Going by the latest U.S. statistics, medical errors by physicians or surgeons is the third-highest cause of death in the U.S, accounting for more than 250,000 people deaths every year. Errors by healthcare professionals remain a key weakness of the healthcare system with extreme consequences and deep financial impact.

Technology is playing a part in reducing medical errors and saving lives. For instance, the Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system provides critical patient information to specialists, thus enhancing their decision-making and preventing them from making mistakes.

Similarly, the use of AI and predictive analytics is now providing deeper insights into patients’ health records based on real-time and historical data. Data-driven practices are entering the care flow, thus reducing manual or human errors.

  1. Remote patient monitoring

Remote monitoring technologies or telemedicine services are providing patients with medical care in their homes, without the need to visit the nearest doctor. This is reducing costs and increasing convenience. For heart patients, digital pacemakers are collecting and transmitting heart data digitally to specialists.

For patients in remote locations, tech-enabled telemedicine and telehealth services are enabling them to “virtually” seek a doctor’s consultation using their smartphones or laptops. On its part, telehealth technology allows remote diagnosis of the patient’s condition and e-prescriptions of the treatment.

  1. Cost Reduction

Healthcare companies are facing increased competition to provide better medical care at lower costs. The shift from paper-based records to electronic medical records (EMR) has reduced patient care costs significantly. Additionally cloud-based EMR platforms in healthcare provide healthcare companies with easier access to patient records. Besides that, SaaS-based systems require a lower initial investment and provide healthcare companies the flexibility of “pay-per-use” thus reducing their recurring costs.

Transitioning from legacy systems

Thanks to the rapid pace of technology innovations, legacy systems can mean any solution that fails to meet the changing demands of the healthcare industry. This could mean legacy solutions that are still dependent on manual processes or can process only a single form of data.

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To leverage the benefits of digital technologies, healthcare companies face the challenge of transitioning from their existing legacy applications and systems to a modern solutions. Among the major challenges, healthcare companies need to deal with major integration issues, data security problems, and growing expenses.

Organizational culture plays a crucial role in determining how we transition from legacy symptoms toward a modern enterprise system. Some of the questions that we need to address include:

  1. Is the existing enterprise solution entering the state of legacy?
  2. Is there resistance to change within the organization?
  3. Is there a culture of “hero worship” in the organization?

    To manage the changing customer experience, healthcare organizations may require rewriting their legacy systems from a state of concern to confidence. This can include strategies like continuous development (or improvement), health monitoring, and microservices for new product features. Further, for a complete rewriting of a legacy system, healthcare executives must ponder over its impact on customers and product releases and how to handle its post-production phase.

    Besides a legacy system rewrite, re-architecting an enterprise system in any healthcare company involves a great deal of:
    1. Customer Research
    2. Changing UI/UX elements
    3. Identifying non-functional design requirements
    4. Devising an enterprise data strategy

Conclusion

It is safe to say that the healthcare industry is at the cusp of a major technology-driven revolution. Healthcare services in the form of mobile apps and wearables are taking patient care to the next level. Over the next decade or two, technology will continue to accelerate the digital transformation of healthcare companies.

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