Digital Transformation in Healthcare: The Changes Are Already Here

March 31, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic sudden outbreak has affected every industry, business, and organization. But the magnitude of the crisis has disturbed the healthcare industry the most. First and foremost, because this is a human tragedy, affecting their health and lives. It is also pushing front line healthcare workers to battle the virus not known before, draining all the possibilities and resources of this industry.

In brief:

  1. Considering the current situation with the global health crisis, digital technologies will drastically reshape the care delivery systems in the short and long term.
  2. Although nowadays, the digital transformation in the healthcare industry is on a rather slow path in comparison with tech, financial, manufacture, and other industries. But still, we have a chance to take advantage of some of the innovations.
  3. Digital healthcare solutions enable new trends in the industry. We might see the rise of the trends like mobile healthcare, IoT healthcare, VR healthcare, robotics, etc.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is moving quickly, and some changes we see even today. Many health systems are turning to virtual care capacities in order to somehow hold the spread of a deadly virus and survive. From now on, digital technologies will drastically reshape the care delivery systems in the short and long term.

Nowadays, the healthcare industry, like any other one, is influenced by digital transformation. It means that different technological tools and solutions are used to enhance the patient experience, service delivery, create new business models, and make communication more efficient. It’s not only about technology but how and for what purpose it can be implemented to help the healthcare field grow and elevate.

Digital Transformation in Healthcare The Changes are Coming

Digital transformation in healthcare is going to be an exciting step for society as it automation of the processes, better management, diagnosis, and treatment. Although, the process is slower than compared to digital transformation in banking, for instance. There is a chance to learn more from experience in other industries and even accelerate the process in healthcare based on the available results.

The core aim behind digital transformation is to create more customer-centered services, and it will be of great importance in healthcare as the treatment of every patient can become more personalized, thus making it better for the patients.

Digital Transformation In Healthcare Industry: New Era For The Society 

Healthcare digital transformation could be a great breakthrough for the medical industry. The implementation of the right solutions will bring a lot of advantages, and some diseases could be cured more effectively and much quicker.

Some companies have already started to use technologies for the benefit of the healthcare industry. Here are some of the examples.

What Is Digital Transformation In Healthcare?

Digital transformation in healthcare is not only about technologies but, to be more precise, it’s rather about the way to use available tools, software, technologies, etc. to get the most from it for the sake of people’s health. Like any other sphere that is influenced by digital transformation, the healthcare industry puts patients at the center. It means that all the efforts will be put into the enhancement of treatment quality, better analysis, and medicine selection to cure a particular disease.

The transformation has a lot of benefits for all the parties involved, as technologies allow us to work more effectively. Now medical centers and huge healthcare enterprises have to rethink their business strategies and build the way to more opportunities that come with transformation. So, what are the top benefits of digitalization in the healthcare field?

Digital Transformation Examples In Healthcare

Although nowadays, the digital transformation in the healthcare industry is on a rather slow path in comparison with tech, financial, manufacture, and other industries. But still, we have a chance to take advantage of some of the innovations. For instance, heart rate trackers that are installed on wearables (fitness trackers, smartwatches) provide important data and can prevent heart attacks, provide health recommendations to the users as they are synced with smartphone apps. One of the examples is the Apple smartwatch that sends alerts once someone experiences atrial fibrillation.

Digital Healthcare Solutions that Enhance Industry

Another bright example of the use of digital technologies in medicine is a company BostonGene. The company uses biomedical software to analyze patients’ disease history to help doctors prescribe the right treatment according to the patient’s genetics to fight cancer more effectively.

Devices and solutions like this are going to make a great impact on the healthcare field in every country, providing more efficient treatment, better process organization, and reducing costs.

Top Benefits Of Digital Transformation In Healthcare

  1. Better Services for Patients
    Healthcare, like any other industry that steps on the path to digital transformation, is patient(customer)-centred. The implementation of numerous technologies will give a chance to make treatment more personalized (as we can see from the examples mentioned above). The individual approach is always better than following common recommendations that might not work in some cases.
  2. Better Analysis
    The use of such technologies as AI or ML gives opportunities to analyze data effectively and much quicker than people can do. Also, these technologies minimize mistakes, thus improving staff productivity.
  3. Better Organization
    Thanks to Cloud computing and other digital tools, all the data could be digitalized. It allows quick access to medical records that give doctors a chance to make decisions effectively and provide more profound treatment. In addition to this, wearable devices could alert both patients and doctors in case of emergency in call the ambulance automatically.
  4. Better Time Management
    The implementation of different digital solutions into the healthcare field saves a lot of valuable time. This is how numerous lives could be saved when we have, for instance, a 24/7 connection with medical staff.
  5. Better Environment for Doctors
    The technologies enable access to a large amount of data; they provide better communication and could provide important information for the research. More profound research that doctors could make results in better treatment and leads us to the first benefit in our list, better services for the patients.

Digital Healthcare: Trends, Solutions, And Technologies Used 

Although digital transformation concentrates more on advantages for the patients and medical staff, still technologies and solutions are the tools that enable this process. What are they?

Digital Healthcare Solutions That Enhance Industry

Digital healthcare is a rather new field, but thanks to the experience of some developed countries, now we can take advantage of the following solutions:

  • make online doctor appointments;
  • create electronic medical records;
  • create unified platforms for data exchange;
  • use chatbots to provide necessary information online (while a patient is checking the website);
  • use electronic medical cards that contain all patients’ medical records and prescribed medications, etc.

There are numerous ways where software solutions can be used in healthcare in order to enhance the national medical industry. The question is when these advantages are going to be used to the full potential?

The Latest Digital Healthcare Trends

Digital healthcare solutions enable new trends in the industry. This year we might see the rise of the following trends:

  • Mobile Healthcare
    Use mobile apps that help you keep in touch with a doctor, make appointments, or contact medical centers much quicker, etc.;
  • IoT Healthcare
    Use wearable devices to record data about your health in real-time thus helping doctors to understand the full image of your condition, etc.;

VR Healthcare

  • VR Healthcare
    Virtual Reality appointments with a doctor are useful when a patient cannot get to the facility. Also, the use of VR consultations could save a lot of time as patients could immediately contact doctors and describe their symptoms, and by the time they get to the hospital, the doctor would come up with the treatment or prepare everything that is required to take care of the patient effectively and quickly. Apart from this, VR could be used for training medical staff and enhance their skills.
  • Robotics
    The use of robots in healthcare can bring a lot of advantages. For instance, they could assist physicians in examining patients, ship medical supplies, assist with rehabilitation, provide help with medical supplies packing. Also, it could be used for the automation of some processes.

These are the most common and popular trends nowadays, but we might see new ones as technologies are constantly changing. So, what are the technologies that enable all these trends and solutions in the modern world?

Digital Healthcare Technology 

So, today digital healthcare technology promotes numerous changes in society and in the healthcare field in particular. These are the most popular technologies that are used to enhance the medical facilities and the industry in general:

  • Artificial Intelligence (has a great potential for data analysis thus providing better diagnosis);
  • Augmented Reality (helps with the enhancement of efficiency and cost optimization of surgeries);
  • Cloud Computing (enables storage and sharing of data across platforms);
  • Blockchain technology (provides a chance for other doctors to see a patient’s medical history and continue the treatment);
  • IoT (wearable devices and supporting apps collect real-time data that could help doctors to have the full image of the patient’s state; these data could also be analyzed and provide useful insights for numerous researches).

Healthcare Industry: What’s Next? 

The eHealthcare field is only taking the first steps into the direction of digital transformation. Some countries outrace others, but still, we cannot call this phenomenon a global one. But thanks to the available digital healthcare technology that is constantly enhancing and upgrading, we might see a new image of healthcare in the upcoming years, more efficient and almost flawless.

Companies and medical facilities should think of the right strategy to use available software solutions to make this world a better place. Talk to our experts and find out more about the topic and how your business or project can start benefiting from it today!