Guide to Digital Transformation in Healthcare

As we enter 2024, technology has become irreversibly entwined with nearly every aspect of our lives. From entertainment to education, our days are spent interacting with devices and benefiting from technology. There is a digital transformation in healthcare industry taking place as well.

The Dawn of Healthcare’s Digital Transformation

The healthcare sector was once the sole domain of highly qualified experts. Advances in technology have enabled a digital transformation in healthcare, as professionals and patients alike enjoy better results with the use of digital healthcare solutions. These solutions are on track to improve the patient experience, as 88% of healthcare technology experts and leaders surveyed by Deloitte reported that it is the main focus of their investments.

Also, the research by Deloitte demonstrated that around 92% of healthcare units expect to achieve better performance from the patient-centric business development model.

Graph of the healthcare industry market development prognosis in US (2021-2030)

By 2025, the world’s digital healthcare market is expected to be worth $504.4 billion, according to a research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. It’s a clear sign that the healthcare industry is recognizing the revolutionary potential of digital transformation solutions for healthcare. It is also a sign that the industry is seeking technological solutions that can help drive digital transformation in the healthcare industry.

For every healthcare professional, whether a doctor, nurse, hospital administration staff, or any other caregiver, it’s vital to keep up with the ongoing digital transformation. This article examines the importance of digital transformation, its benefits for all stakeholders, and the future technologies and trends that are leading digital transformation in healthcare.

What is Digital Transformation in the Healthcare Industry?

Before we begin to understand the scope and potential of digital transformation in improving healthcare services, we need to define it first. Put simply, digital transformation in healthcare is the practice of using technology to actively add value to patients and healthcare organizations in a way that maximizes benefits for both.

The key point to note is that digital healthcare is meant to maximize benefits. It is a thoughtful, structured application of technology to healthcare problems. For example, Googling your symptoms to misdiagnose yourself before a doctor’s visit doesn’t count as a digital healthcare transformation!

Solutions like WebMD turning people into unqualified doctors are a prime example of technology working at odds with the directives of digital healthcare. It just makes the treatment process more inefficient. Instead, better examples of digital transformation in healthcare would be health wearables and patient portals that provide useful information for both the patient and the doctor.

Like every other sector, healthcare can benefit greatly from a digital transformation. The recent COVID-19 pandemic showed the urgent need to develop infrastructure to support telehealth and other remote, virtual healthcare solutions. Also, as the internet and electronics become a more significant part of everyday life across the world, digital healthcare solutions can now be delivered to more people than ever before.

The examples given above, of patient portals, health wearables, and telehealth services, are just some of the ways that digital transformation is going to change the healthcare industry for the better. An increase in automation, on-demand medical services, and advanced disease history analysis can also be expected as new technology continues to influence the healthcare industry.

Key Drivers of Digital Transformation in Healthcare

Change never takes place in a vacuum, and a range of factors has also influenced healthcare’s digital transformation. To learn why there is this industry-wide shift toward digital healthcare solutions, we must examine the causes of its rising popularity. These are the key drivers of digital transformation in healthcare:

New and Emerging Technology

The last year has been an exciting one for technological breakthroughs. A world seamlessly interconnected over the internet has never seemed more within reach. Healthcare digital transformation services like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data hold great promise to bring positive change. Here are just a few examples of the ways technology is going to accelerate digital transformation in healthcare in the near future:


The most obvious use of AI in digital healthcare services is for automating record-keeping tasks while eliminating human error. But AI can also be used in predictive diagnostics and creating personalized patient treatment plans. Another way AI will transform digital healthcare is through the widespread use of AI healthcare chatbots.


The use of IoT devices has many possible applications in the medical context. Firstly, health wearables that collect important biometric data will provide the basis for real-time, accurate patient profiles in the future. Also, hospital environments will soon be filled with IoT-connected devices, making operations much more efficient with a steady stream of real-time data and insights.


The development of medical robots that can perform complex yet precise actions will revolutionize surgery. Surgeons will be able to perform advanced procedures, even remotely, by using specialized robots.

3D Printing

3D printing has made the possibilities for creating prosthetics and custom implants almost limitless. It’s an exciting design technology that has found a fresh purpose in digital healthcare transformation.

The technologies listed above are only a few examples. Others include big data (helps in creating patient profiles and providing treatment options), cloud computing (remote healthcare services), and blockchain (verified electronic health records). As innovation continues, new and exciting possibilities for digital healthcare transformation continue to emerge. 

Evolving Patient Expectations and Demographics

The point of healthcare is to deliver medical services to patients at their location. And since most patients are also online, it’s time for healthcare to go digital. There are over 5.3 billion internet users worldwide, and it’s safe to bet that they will all need to access medical services at some point. 

Many healthcare consumers already use the internet to research medical facilities and doctors or book medical appointments. The demand for telehealth services began to spike during the pandemic but has continued to rise steadily even after it abated. 

According to data from Insider Intelligence, 21 million U.S. adults used telehealth services in 2019, before the pandemic. In 2023, the number of U.S. adults using telehealth services had climbed to 64 million! When you consider the total number of internet users in the U.S. (318 million), that’s almost one in every five people who used telehealth in 2023. 

Younger demographics like Millennials and Gen-Z are more likely to adopt digital healthcare solutions, and as these groups continue to age, the demand for digital transformation in the healthcare industry will continue to rise.  

Updated Regulations and Incentives

As more patients turn to digital healthcare and more providers offer digital healthcare solutions, it is becoming more standard for authorities to regulate its adoption. Many governments worldwide, from the U.S. to Europe and Asia, are offering incentives to their healthcare providers to accelerate the digital healthcare transformation.

Benefits of Digital Transformation in Healthcare

Government grants and other incentives are not the only reasons why embracing digital healthcare transformation is a good idea. Using digital healthcare services is a win-win situation for patients and providers alike.

Digital healthcare solutions benefit doctors, hospitals, medical institutions, and every other type of healthcare provider in the following ways:

  • It optimizes workflows by eliminating paperwork, making data more accessible, and reducing the time needed for patient examination
  • It allows for more effective remote communication between doctors and patients
  • It enables efficient communication and data exchange between medical staff
  • It creates a secure database for electronic medical records

Patients benefit from digital healthcare for the following reasons:

  • They can gain access to personalized healthcare services
  • They can track important health metrics in real-time
  • They get easier access to their personal health records
  • Digital healthcare solutions make scheduling appointments convenient

Healthcare Digital Transformation: Challenges and Barriers

Despite the clear benefits of digital transformation, the healthcare industry still lags behind many others when it comes to adopting digital technologies and services. 

Let’s examine the most prominent hurdles to digital transformation in healthcare.

1. Data Privacy and Security Concerns

Patient healthcare data is one of the most sensitive forms of data available. Therefore, concerns about data privacy and cybersecurity regarding digital healthcare are expected. 

While many of the administrative enterprise resource planning (ERP) software available in the market today can be applied to healthcare scenarios, most fail to meet the strict security requirements. Choosing the right digital healthcare solutions that comply with regulations and protect patient data is a critical decision.

2. Healthcare Organizations’ Resistance to Change

Doctors work in one of the oldest professions in human history, and many healthcare organizations have a legacy that spans decades, if not longer. Such institutions are naturally resistant to change, especially the kind of transformative, organizational change that digital transformation in healthcare promises to bring about.

3. Interoperability Issues

As a byproduct of healthcare organizations’ resistance to change, digital healthcare solutions also face the challenge of interoperability issues. Legacy systems and newer digital applications are not always compatible. 

Also, the current landscape of digital healthcare is full of many different platforms, and exchanging information is not always a streamlined process.

4. Staff Shortages

Traditionally, IT and healthcare were two different areas of specialization with minimal overlap. Digital healthcare transformation has completely changed that paradigm. Doctors and other healthcare providers need to update their skills to include proficiency with digital healthcare solutions, and barring a few outliers, that change is only taking place gradually.

How to Overcome Challenges to Digital Healthcare Transformation?

The challenges mentioned above are not the only barriers to accelerating digital healthcare transformation. Other challenges include data silos within platforms, outdated payer models, and difficulties in coordinating a distributed workforce. Overcoming these challenges requires commitment and effort.

One of the most effective ways to ensure digital transformation takes root in a healthcare organization is to appoint a chief technology officer. This individual can champion the adoption of new technologies while also working to find digital healthcare solutions that align with the organization’s vision and mission. 

Giving staff the required training, creating infrastructure for patients to use digital healthcare solutions, and tracking new advancements in health tech are also essential to promote digital transformation in the healthcare industry.

Key Technologies in Healthcare Digital Transformation

The healthcare industry needs to take advantage of innovative technological advancements in order to evolve. As mentioned earlier, emerging technologies like robotics and 3D printing promise new methods of delivering traditional healthcare services. 

But along with changing the way things used to be done, digital healthcare solutions also offer entirely new approaches to healthcare that traditional methods lack. Let’s take a look at the most important ones.

Telehealth and Telemedicine Solutions

The scope of telehealth and telemedicine is vast and has a broad range of applications. Most excitingly, it is on course to completely reshape doctor-patient interactions in the future. It also will allow patients in remote areas virtual access to services they may not have been able to reach otherwise.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Health Information Exchange (HIE)

Patient information is crucial for diagnosing and treating illnesses. Digital record-keeping platforms like EHRs and HIEs have made it easier for healthcare providers to find the data they need to devise efficient and optimal treatments. Patients can also look up relevant information whenever needed, thanks to this development.

AI and Machine Learning (ML) Applications

Non-human healthcare providers may not be far off in the future! The power of AI and ML technologies has made predictive medicine, diagnostics, and even surgery much more convenient. From helping doctors with AI-assisted treatment plans to providing patients with information via chatbots and patient portals, AI and ML technology has added a new dimension to healthcare data.

Healthcare IoT

Using machines to provide healthcare services is not new, but devices capable of internet connectivity have entirely changed the game. Doctors now have access to an unprecedented amount of granular data thanks to specialized healthcare wearables and medical devices with digital twins that help optimize hospital operations.

The shift toward digital healthcare solutions will continue in the coming years. The benefits and increased efficiency they provide are simply too obvious to ignore. As the healthcare sector becomes more accepting of digital solutions and services, the following trends are sure to gather momentum.

Continued Growth of Telehealth

The shift toward digital transformation in healthcare will continue in the coming years. Many more patients will start using telehealth solutions as more healthcare organizations set up the appropriate infrastructure. Investing in telehealth is a good way to bring any healthcare organization into the future. 

Personalized Medicine and Genomics

Automatic, AI-enhanced analytics and detailed EHRs will play a significant role in devising patient treatments in the future. AI is also powering breakthroughs in gene sequencing, which can be used to recommend personalized medicine to patients based on their genetic profile.

Blockchain in Healthcare

While most often thought of in relation to cryptocurrency, private blockchains can actually serve an important purpose in digital healthcare. The viability of blockchain technology as a way to safely store encrypted data on a private network makes it a perfect fit for the healthcare sector’s need for secure digital archives.

Patient-centric Care Models

Digital healthcare democratizes access to medical services. As digital transformation in healthcare continues to change the industry, more patients than ever before will benefit from a range of services that were earlier out of their reach. Smart patient portals will also let patients access their records and information more easily, giving them a sense of control over their own treatment.

As new trends in digital healthcare continue to emerge, the industry must be ready to respond. The ability to adapt to changes and adopt emerging technology will become one of the hallmarks of successful digital healthcare providers in the coming years.

Steps to Implement Digital Transformation

Any healthcare organization considering a digital transformation should not attempt to do so without a clear strategy. Digital healthcare solutions can drive major changes, but only when paired with an effective plan. 

If you are considering embracing digital healthcare transformation, use a step-by-step approach as outlined below.

1. Assess Current Systems and Needs

Before adopting any new healthcare technology, reviewing your organization’s existing tech stack is essential. Ask yourself and other stakeholders questions about how they use the current solutions and applications, why they use them, and which areas the solutions are failing.

2. Develop a Digital Strategy and Roadmap

Once you have an idea of your current situation, it’s time to plot your next steps. Your digital strategy and roadmap should have an overarching vision, as well as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can be tracked using easily available metrics. By breaking up your healthcare digital transformation into stages, you can gradually bring about large-scale change in your organization.

3. Select the Right Technology Partners and Solutions

Most healthcare organizations might not have an experienced IT officer to help formulate a digital transformation strategy. It is imperative to find the right transformation partner who can help curate a selection of digital healthcare solutions that maximize benefits for your organization and its patients.

4. Pilot and Implement Digital Initiatives

Test out any digital solutions in pilot programs before implementing them widely. Identify the correct use cases and experiment with different solutions and platforms before making a final decision.

5. Monitor and Evaluate Progress

Digital healthcare transformation is an ongoing process. The best way to ensure results is to closely monitor new digital healthcare applications in action and periodically evaluate their effectiveness in achieving the desired results. 

Every transformation strategy should remain agile and be able to pivot to new solutions if earlier ones fail.

Summing Up

To successfully become a digital healthcare provider, most organizations will need a guide. The digital transformation consultancy Intellectsoft has the experience to help medical providers accelerate the adoption of digital healthcare services and technologies. With extensive experience in the healthcare industry, including designing medical data systems, hospital task and management systems, and dental clinic software, Intellectsoft seeks to reimagine how providers and patients approach healthcare.


How can healthcare digital transformation companies help healthcare providers?

In cases where organizations lack the technical experience to develop their own strategy, healthcare digital transformation consulting services play an invaluable role. They identify the areas of interest where digital healthcare can be most effective and deliver a tailor-made solution for every organization.

What are the most exciting trends in digital healthcare transformation?

Digital healthcare opens up exciting new possibilities across the entire healthcare sector. Some trends that have the potential to revolutionize the industry are:

  • Virtual reality treatments
  • AI-assisted surgery and diagnostics
  • IoT-enabled hospitals and treatment centers

Whose role is it to drive digital transformation in healthcare?

While most healthcare organizations do not have a Chief Technical Officer (CTO), it is worthwhile to appoint an experienced person to champion the adoption of digital healthcare solutions.

Who benefits from digital transformation in healthcare?

Increased adoption of digital healthcare solutions leads to benefits for all involved. Doctors and other providers are able to perform tasks more efficiently, patients have better access to their information and can set up appointments easily, and insurance companies benefit from improved fraud detection.

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