As technology advances, customer expectation rises. Traditional processes fail to meet the needs, and the infusion of innovation becomes inevitable. In healthcare, the arrival of digital health was the groundbreaker. Digital transformation in healthcare is an endeavour to make healthcare accessible for all. It aims to make healthcare a safe, precise, and personalized experience.
According to a health report by Accenture in 2020, 85% of healthcare providers say that technology has become an unavoidable part of their service and 70% of patients embrace digital health technologies and expect it to further enhance their lives through the years. Thus we can see that digitization of healthcare is a revolution that is improving the lives of both doctors and patients.
What is Digital Health?
Digital health can simply be defined as the use of digital tools and interventions in wellness and healthcare to facilitate better health. It is quite a broad field that combines medical industry trends, such as wearable devices, telemedicine, mhealth applications, and artificial intelligence. The healthcare structure is undergoing a radical change, and digital health is driving these changes through disruptive technologies.
Digital health changes the healthcare industry from being the arena of healthcare practitioners and providers to space where patients also have an equal role. Digital health creates an ecosystem where there is a collaboration between doctors and patients that benefits both parties similarly. It empowers the individuals to improve their quality of life and maintain a healthy lifestyle and at the same time improves the ability of medical practitioners to provide better diagnosis and treatment to patients.
Why Digital Transformation for Healthcare?
In all industries, digital transformation aims to develop a customer-centred strategy. Therefore, the major objective behind digital transformation in healthcare is to provide patient-centric services. When treatment becomes personalized, healthcare service becomes better and more accurate. For healthcare providers, digital transformation introduces cutting edge technologies and also paves a way for dealing with massive amounts of patient data which is often performed manually, resulting in error-prone and time consuming outcomes.
The radical shift in consumer behaviour fuelled by on-demand services has changed customers from being passive receivers to active participants. This shift is being reflected in the healthcare services as well. In a digitally transformed healthcare scenario, point of care shifts from hospitals to patients. The patient is at the centre of focus, and all efforts are aimed to enhance their treatment quality. It enables patients to become active partners in managing their health transformation.
Digital transformation in healthcare is not only a way to improve health services and empower patients, but also the most promising solution to deal with the rising cost of healthcare effectively.
What Are the Benefits of Digital Transformation in Healthcare
Around 81% of healthcare has switched to the digital healthcare revolution. Why? Because digital transformation comes with countless benefits that elevate the whole healthcare experience. It provides a better service for patients and creates a better environment for doctors by utilizing technology to perform superior analysis and organization of data and time.
- Overall, the digital healthcare environment improves the efficiency and quality of care by providing 74% reduction in hardware cost, 82% improved efficiency, and 95% privacy and security.
- A digitized healthcare IT plan can increase the storage capacity of the healthcare unit by 86%.
- A structured healthcare IT delivers 63% more improvement in bettering communications and reducing duplications. It helps to prevent errors, promote accuracy, and maintain procedural correctness at all points of the healthcare system.
- By implementing healthcare digital transformation methods, maintenance cost can be lowered by 86%
Digital transformation embodies the saying prevention is better than cure. With real-time data monitoring, doctors are empowered to take proactive steps in patient care, changing the face of traditional healthcare routine. Digitization of healthcare also improves the communication between doctors and patients and between different specialists, greatly enhancing the care that patients receive.
Top 10 Key Trends of Digital Transformation in Healthcare
Innovation is essential in every industry. It is what enhances the industry standards and makes way for improvement. Let’s see what the top 5 digital transformation trends are in the healthcare industry and how it is upgrading the healthcare services.
1. Wearable devices
A significant trend in which a lot of investments are happening is wearable technology devices. This includes external medical devices such as blood sugar level monitors, implants such as pacemakers, and stationary devices such as home monitoring devices. These wearable devices collect vital medical data that can help healthcare providers in their diagnosis and assessment of patient conditions. It also encourages proactive healthcare, empowering doctors and patients to take preventive treatment measures.
2. Data Analysis
Big data is the game-changer in all industries. It has several benefits such as lowering the occurrence of errors in medications or prescriptions, facilitating proactive care, reducing delay in diagnosis, and eliminating staffing concerns. Investment in big data can help organizations to predict their market, identify their areas of improvement, and better satisfy the customers. It improves operational efficiency and enhances equipment and resource maintenance.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is transforming every industry, and in healthcare, it is leading to astonishing developments. The power of AI is transforming areas like medical imaging, precision medicine, logistics, and customer support. AI provides exceptional insights into patient diagnostics, care, and treatment. It empowers medical devices with the power of technology, thereby providing better decision making and propelling a digital innovation in healthcare.
4. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is the latest trend that is profoundly impacting patient care. In some areas of healthcare, it is being used as an alternative to drugs and is proving to be more efficient. For example, in reducing chronic pain such as migraine, for improving patients’ engagement in physiotherapies, for relaxing women in labour, etc. It is also being used to improve the movements of children with disabilities, such as autism or cerebral palsy. It is opening up new dimensions in healthcare.
5. Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
IoMT is a combination of IoT and telemedicine. It is a concept that uses a network of devices such as wearables, health monitors, vital sign readers, etc. to leverage user data and make accurate and better-informed decisions. It has several advantages, such as faster diagnosis, lower expenses, better medicinal control, and better treatment results. IoMT is a booming trend and is expected to reach $150 billion by 2021, with over 50 billion connected devices.
Telemedicine is an invaluable contribution to digital transformation in healthcare. It enables healthcare to grow beyond boundaries, making it available in urban and rural areas alike. It is a convenient, cost-effective, and satisfactory method of providing healthcare that increases the access to care as well its quality. Telemedicine brings healthcare to homes where people can avail health services online. It also facilitates networked connections between various healthcare facilities.
Robotics in healthcare helps in enhancing the routine task of medical providers by supporting them in their operations. They help in making medical procedures safe and affordable, maintaining electronic health records, providing sensitive care, and disinfecting hospitals. A great advantage of robotics is in performing microsurgery, with micro incisions and minimal scarring that makes a recovery fast and reduces post-surgery discomfort to a large extent.
Implementation of cloud-based solutions will make the execution and management of infrastructure for medical record-keeping simple. It will make the access of patients and healthcare providers to records easy, thus simplifying the integration and sharing. The primary digital transformation benefits of cloud computing are the scalability and the accessibility that it offers economically. It requires HIPAA compliance, which makes it a little complicated but ensures data security and protection from breaches.
9. Augmented Reality
Digital transformation in healthcare implements AR to enable doctors to provide an accurate diagnosis by understanding how it will affect the patients. The interactive demonstration aids doctors to make precise decisions while also educating patients on their medical conditions. The use of AR is beneficial in surgeries where it can be used to guide instruments and implants with excellent precision.
10. Predictive Healthcare
Predictive healthcare is a recent trend which integrates data analysis to predict the occurrence of diseases in future. This information can be used to develop preventive measures by suggesting healthy lifestyle recommendations to people to combat future illnesses. Predictive healthcare also helps to create a model that enables the healthcare industry to prepare for future medical challenges by keeping resources ready.
What Are the Emerging Technologies in Healthcare?
For digital transformation in healthcare to stay relevant over the years, it is necessary to embrace emerging technological trends in healthcare. As long as the focus is on making the health ecosystem better, we should handle technology as an aid that will lead us to remarkable achievements.
The arrival of 5G will completely transform the healthcare system. The high speed 5G network will eliminate concerns of buffering enhancing streaming, uploading, and downloading. In telemedicine, this will be of enormous advantage. It will increase the speed of data transmission and increase the coverage of delivering services. Further, when 5G is integrated with AR, VR, wearable devices, and robotics, it will create a different level of healthcare experience.
Another prominent one among the new technologies in healthcare that will revolutionize the industry is blockchain. Blockchain is a computerized database of transactions. It can significantly improve the accuracy of EHRs. The Blockchain technology has been successfully experimented in countries like Australia and the UK to gain error-free and non-duplicate records. This technology will also improve the security of transactions making data breaches a thing of the past.
Nanotechnology is another trend that digital transformation consulting services are excitedly looking out for. From taking biopsy samples to developing remote-controlled capsules, nanotechnology will lead the way to non-invasive and patient-friendly care
A Revolution in the Healthcare Industry
We have seen the benefits of digital transformation. We saw how technological trends are accelerating the digital transformation in the healthcare industry. The revolution is happening through cutting edge digital tools, innovative processes, automated approaches, and integrated methods. It is enhancing patient care and delivering better outcomes at reduced costs. The future of healthcare is a connected digital experience. Contact a digital transformation company to improve your healthcare services and gear up to meet the future.