We live in a world with a rapidly increasing reliance on technology, and that trend is only going to continue on exponential growth. From education to e-commerce, all sectors are undergoing a digital transformation, and the same can be said for healthcare. For context, digital transformation refers to the adoption of technology to ease processes and improve output. Certainly, the healthcare industry is enjoying its fair share of digitalization. Machine learning, robotics, and the Internet of Things are only a few tech upgrades to find their way into the medical field.
However, there is evidence to suggest the rate of digital transformation in healthcare is comparatively slow. One reason for this could be the undoubtedly higher stakes involved. With every mistake or misuse of tech comes the risk of losing precious human life. Cybersecurity concerns are also another driving factor for the industry’s hesitation. Healthcare records contain extremely sensitive data, and breaches in databases could cause serious breaches in privacy. There remain more reasons, but do any of them sufficiently justify the resistance to the adoption of digitalized health services? Should the limitations and disadvantages be allowed to outweigh the benefits? To determine this we must understand the pros and cons. In this post, however, we’ll focus on the advantages of digital transformation in healthcare.
What are the benefits of digital transformation in healthcare?
The potential effectiveness and efficiency of a healthcare system that embraces digital transformation can be exponentially greater. While there are a multitude of advantages, we’ve summarized them into five reasons why healthcare ought to increase its rate of digitalization.
Why spend hours at a healthcare facility when you can enjoy healthcare at a time and place of your choosing? With the advent of on-demand healthcare services, patients can receive real-time medical attention on their phones and laptops. This includes services such as virtual consultations, appointment booking, and requests for house calls. Medical wearable devices are another example of how digital transformation can bring convenience. It allows patients to accurately track vitals – pulse rate, blood pressure, temperature – without visiting healthcare facilities.
Building on the digital components of healthcare can help reduce human errors and improve the accuracy of diagnoses made by medical personnel. For example, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can perform advanced analytics that feed the medical team with valuable insights and accurate information. Additionally, the introduction of robotics can also embed much-needed automation into healthcare. As a result, procedures can be conducted faster and safer. Also, predictive analytics can seamlessly analyze the large amount of data generated during patient-doctor interactions and provide medical teams with clinical diagnostic and treatment pathways for even the most challenging of cases.
Although it requires a sizeable initial investment, digital transformation has the potential to reduce costs for healthcare organizations and patients in the long run. For example, telemedicine reduces the cost of transportation spent by patients. It also reduces the cost that would have otherwise been incurred due to delays in healthcare delivery. The Internet of Medical Things is another technology with far-reaching applications that can reduce costs. For example, the end-to-end connectivity IoMT offers can improve remote monitoring for patients and doctors. Therefore, there is a reduced need for face-to-face consultations and the expenses that come with them.
Better access to health information
The availability of accurate health information can go a long way in reassuring anxious patients. It also filters out the avoidable interactions between patients and medical personnel, allowing doctors and nurses to attend to emergent and critical cases. With innovations such as chatbots and on-demand healthcare, digital transformation can facilitate prompt access to accurate health information.
Effective communication between staff
Workplace communication is foundational in all team settings, perhaps more so in the healthcare industry than any other. The quality and efficiency of communication between medical staff are instrumental to healthcare delivery. With the adoption of digital transformation, communication can be streamlined at any and all points of time. Technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality can be used to improve the quality of doctors’ training and communicate real-time feedback. Additionally, medical personnel between facilities can exchange information seamlessly, improving referral and transitional processes.
In conclusion, the above represents a glimpse of what digital transformation can do for healthcare if supported by representative policies, mandates, and regulations in the right way. Organizations that adopt operational healthcare digitization can likewise adopt healthcare digital marketing to accelerate the pace by which their community learns about their workflow advancements. Consequently, it is up to healthcare facilities to strive to overcome the barriers impeding the processes of digital transformation so patients and personnel can be ushered into the new age of more effective and efficient healthcare delivery.