DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN HEALTHCARE
While our work, entertainment and communication have completely gone digital in the pandemic, our healthcare is definitely not staying behind.
The Digital Healthcare industry is thriving by gathering $3.6B funding and investments including private equity and corporate VC (venture capital) only in Q1’2020 and it is just a start. Digital Health startups are leading the list of potential investees around the globe and the world is witnessing the 4th era of digital transformation.
WHAT IS DIGITAL HEALTH?
Digital Health is not a new concept. The term has been widely used for decades and recently, you can see it around in titles like mHealth, eHealth, telehealth, health informatics etc. Digital Healthcare grabbed huge attention in 2018 as well by raking in $8.1B investments and transforming the ways patients are diagnosed, treated and managed by the healthcare facilities.
Digital Health can simply be defined as “using technology to help improve people’s health”. However, with passing time and technological evolution, the concept has become broad and is a growing sector. FDA describes it as “The broad scope of Digital Health Includes categories such as Mobile Health (mHealth), health information technology (IT), wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, and personalized medicine. These technologies can empower consumers to make better-informed decisions about their own health and provide new options for facilitating prevention, early diagnosis of life-threatening diseases, and management of chronic conditions outside of traditional care settings”
BENEFITS OF DIGITAL HEALTHCARE
The purpose of digital health is to bring more cost-effective, efficient and functional solutions so that patients and health care professionals can make more informed decisions using the accurate data, advanced tools and treatment methods. There are key benefits of Digital Healthcare:.
- It makes the data collection, diagnosis and personalized treatments efficient and effective.
- Depending on technology reduces operational cost with more chances to scale within budget.
- Advanced cutting edge technology reduces the medicine cost
- It helps patients to be actively involved in their treatment leading to improved patient outcomes
- Less room for human error; misdiagnosis and mistreatment
- Safe and timely care to the patients
TYPES OF TECHNOLOGY WIDELY USED IN HEALTH CARE:
For an industry that has a history of lagging behind in digital transformation as compared to other industries, the healthcare industry is leading on cloud adoption. By quickly adapting, the healthcare industry has made the generation, consumption, storage and sharing of healthcare data easy, efficient and secure. It helps two-folds by being accessible to both healthcare professionals as well as patients resulting in lowered operational cost, patient ownership of data, powered up accurate analytics, reduced location barriers and opportunity to scale while keeping the cost in check.
No matter if it is accurately diagnosing the illness, finding new links in genetic codes or having a robot-assistant in surgery, AI is simplifying the lives of patients, doctors and hospital administrators by performing human tasks in less time at a fraction of cost leaving no room for error.
Many healthcare tasks have been digitally enhanced and automated for years and there is significant evidence for further potential. For example, by using the technology effectively, adverse drug events can be prevented by up to 95%, compliance with care recommendations can be improved and the number of duplicate diagnostics tests can be reduced to in turn minimize the cost by 7 to 11%. Therefore, we can state that technology itself is not the problem in Digital Transformation in Healthcare.
The president and CEO of Healthcare Information and Management System Society (HIMSS), Harold F. Wolf, states that culture is one of the biggest hurdles in the industry’s digital transformation. Pharmaceuticals also consider organizational structure, culture and mindset, and governance the main three barriers of the technological revolution in Healthcare.
2020 has practically shown how digital transformation in healthcare can revolutionize the future of health and wellbeing of the public. However, there is so much room to further testing but it seems like the executive side of the business finds the transition a little hard to adapt to.