Digital health is often defined as the union of digital technologies in all areas of the healthcare industry to deliver good healthcare to patients. It is also used to fundamentally change the way the healthcare system operates. The outbreak of Covid-19 has sped up the process of Digital Transformation. What the healthcare industry would have gradually achieved in the next 10 years, Covid-19 has forced them to undergo the same in one year. Most people think of digital transformation as all the new technologies available to us however its way more than that. No doubt technology plays an extremely important role in the change, however, it is not the only factor to consider. Primary and secondary data and information available all across the internet describes how digital technology may affect healthcare and how these institutions engage and create standards with their customers, as well as how institutions must think about competition and business practices.
In healthcare, digital transformation is reformulating how patients, devices, and professionals seamlessly interact with each other. It is helping to promote better patient care and lessens the overall healthcare cost at the same time. The patient gets a much better healing experience and they have better outcomes. And needless to say that this process increases the efficiency of the entire industry.
Though this process is known to improve quality and reduces healthcare costs, there are five different areas of this process that require effective testing solutions to truly work in an efficient manner.
Previously healthcare data was expensive to obtain, heavy to store, and utilised in an administrative storage tower in a long-established corporation. Managing this data necessitates the purchase and maintenance of massive IT systems. Cloud-based data storage systems are becoming increasingly affordable, open, and simple to use. The healthcare and patient information gathered and stored is primarily used for assessing and predicting workflow and pathway support decision making.
In today’s digital environment, the majority of data available to all healthcare organisations is generated in unprecedented volumes from every communication, appointment, treatment, or operation conducted be it within the institution or from the comfort of the patient’s home. With digital media, mobile devices, and radars on every item in a hospital’s chain, every one now has access to a stream of data that is generated and stored. These enable healthcare organisations to create new types of expectations, uncover unexpected outlines in their pursuits, and uncover new sources of enhancing patient care.
Wearable Medical Gadgets
This digital transformation trend has caused multiple companies to obtain their health data from medical devices which include wearable technology. Most companies in the healthcare industry are investing heavily in medical devices which can provide enough data to measure and monitor the condition of high-risk patients.
People are well informed in the digital age. They care about prevention and maintenance more and as a result, the doctors have to become proactive in providing the patient with adequate information regarding their health. Providing such information requires modern technology and gadgets and hence more and more healthcare companies are investing in medical devices. In the coming years, there is a good chance that most medical treatments will be administered digitally. This could significantly reduce the cost of treatment and help healthcare companies save money.
Using virtual reality to treat patients is also a real possibility these days thanks to the rapid investments and growth in the field of medical technology and healthcare. Since it can treat almost anything ranging from physical pain to post-traumatic stress disorder, VR is slowly replacing conventional treatment. This is only a fraction of what VR is capable of in the medical field. There are plenty of other uses of VR which include planning complicated surgeries and helping autistic patients navigate.
This is more than just a key domain in the healthcare industry. Artificial Intelligence is probably the epitome of medical innovation and as a result, all the major players in the healthcare industry are keen on investing in artificial intelligence. It is safe to say that in the next five years, artificial intelligence will reshape the whole industry.
When talking about artificial intelligence, people often think about robots and they would be right as a lot of hospitals are using robots to help doctors and nurses with routine tasks. They are mostly designed to fetch supplies and or restock them. But these robots do not carry out complicated tasks such as performing surgeries as it’s too expensive.
Patients are also becoming familiar with chatbots and virtual health assistance which are also AI-based technologies. Chatbots are used to perform multiple roles such as a customer service representative and a therapist. Due to its versatility, the healthcare industry is investing heavily in it.
Artificial Intelligence can also be used in medical imaging, genomics, and drug discovery. It is also extensively used in oncology as the AI-powered computer programs provide accurate diagnoses of various cancers, and analyse pathological images of the aforementioned cancers, and come up with the optimal anti-cancer drug combinations.
Top pharmaceutical companies are incorporating the use of machine learning to shorten the development cycle of drugs. Recent studies show that by using AI, the time required for drug discoveries can be reduced significantly when compared to the industry standards.
Blockchain Technology and Electronic Health Records
Blockchain has been getting a bad reputation due to cryptocurrency. Now, most people consider blockchain to be this vague thing that has no impact on their life whatsoever. But this couldn’t be any further from the truth. Blockchain technology will play a major role in keeping their medical records safe and precise.
This technology allows the customers to exchange information regarding their finances with their suppliers. There is no requirement of a third party such as a bank as blockchain is a digital ledger linked across by cryptography that is shared across a network of computers.
Blockchain is slowly proving to be an effective tool for preventing data breaches and cutting costs. This is probably why the healthcare industry seems to be quite interested in this technology and they seem to be vouching for it by investing millions in the blockchain market.
Health officials have been trying to come up with a solution to the problem of disorganised and fragmented medical records. This is where an EHR comes into the picture. An Electronic Health Record or EHR is a digital sheet that includes everything from the medical history of a patient to his treatment plans. It also contains other information such as their address and financial information such as card numbers. However, since this is a relatively new technology many countries are apprehensive about implementing this into their healthcare system.
But despite their usefulness, EHRs can be hacked and sold on the black market by hackers. This is risky as EHRs often have sensitive data about patients. If this information falls into the wrong hands the patients life and financial records may be in jeopardy.
If the healthcare industry continues to invest in newer technologies massive improvements are bound to happen in the medical field. Though the pandemic has made life, in general, a bit taxing, it is the perfect time for this particular industry to make some adjustments and improvements in the existing healthcare system. Hopefully, these investments will help further the growth of medical technology and if this happens then the probability of extending healthy life expectancy will increase greatly. It should also help with providing more accurate results as machines are more adept in assessing the details which often isn’t the case where a human is involved.
To enhance healthcare services in the fast-changing digital environment, healthcare organisations should be willing to change early and rethink how they can provide value to their customers. To deliver more real and intangible value, digital transformation is essential. As new technologies restructure opportunities and desires, healthcare institutions should consider focusing on their current model and how they can best provide value and enhance care for their patients in the digital age. As a result, it’s critical for all healthcare organisations to recognise the opportunities and problems that come with value generation in digital contexts.