Digital transformation is a buzzword among healthcare organizations around the globe. Integrating digital technologies into hospitals/clinics will assist healthcare providers in streamlining operations, and providing a better patient experience. In this digital era, it has become critical for healthcare organizations to leverage digital technologies in order to stay up with the competition and build loyalty. In this blog we will discuss how various technologies can accelerate digital transformation in the healthcare sector.
Digital Transformation In Healthcare: An Overview
Digital Transformation in the healthcare sector refers to how healthcare organizations leverage digital technology to add value to patients, healthcare professionals and the organizations themselves. By embracing digital technologies, healthcare organizations can optimize processes, enhance patient experience, and make better decisions. Some of the benefits of integrating digital technologies into healthcare ecosystem include:
- Optimized workflow – Integration of digital technology into healthcare will enable hospitals to eliminate paperwork, and gain access to patient health data without any hassles.
- Better patient interaction – The advancements in technology has enabled doctors to interact with patients virtually and provide fast and accurate diagnosis.
- Track health metrics – Healthcare wearables enable patients to track their health metrics in real time.
Applications Of Digital Technologies In Healthcare
Digital technologies have transformed the way in which healthcare providers diagnose, monitor, and manage patient health. In this digital era, it has become critical for healthcare organizations to adopt digital technologies that can be easily integrated into their existing operational models to enhance patient care. The most significant applications of digital technologies in the healthcare sector are as follows:
Telemedicine is one of the major trends in the healthcare landscape. It enables doctors to interact with patients virtually. One of the biggest perks of virtual appointments is that it enables patients living in rural areas to access medical care. The telemedicine app enables doctors to monitor high risk patients in real time and track their health parameters using IoT sensors and wearable devices.
- Genome Sequencing
Genome sequencing is the latest innovation in medical science that enables medical specialists to sequence the human genome. The sequence provides them with information about the type of genetic evolution carried out by a certain stretch of DNA. The availability of genomic information aids in the rapid extraction of potent indicators and their storage for future identification. This genetic information is utilized to discover the reasons and origins of diseases, as well as ways to improve health.
- Wearable Devices
Wearable medical devices are quickly gaining traction in the healthcare sector. These electronic devices can be implanted in the user’s body, or worn as accessories. Wearable gadgets have motion sensors that record the user’s daily activities, enabling doctors to monitor patients in real time, irrespective of whether they are in hospital or at home. Wearables can monitor a patient’s heart rate, glucose levels, blood pressure, weight, and stress levels. Moreover, these wearable devices will alert medical authorities in the event of a medical emergency.
- Electronic Health Records
Gone are the days of paper-based medical records, now hospitals and clinics are embracing Electronic Health Records (EHR) software for creating digital versions of patients’ medical charts. They contain information about a patient’s medical history, prescriptions, diagnostic procedures, and laboratory results. EHR enables doctors to store and retrieve information at any time without any hassles. Maintaining patient documents electronically avoids the possibility of sensitive data being stolen, misplaced, damaged, or altered. Mistakes and inaccuracies caused by manual writing and legibility concerns can also be avoided with digital records. Doctors may update patient information in real time, providing other healthcare providers with an accurate and up-to-date patient file.
- Electronic Prescribing
Prescribers can now electronically communicate prescription information to pharmacy computers using e-prescribing. This procedure has resulted in fewer call-backs from pharmacists to physicians for clarification and streamlines the clinical practice workflow. Furthermore, linking physician and pharmacy systems has decreased paperwork and the errors that might arise when handwritten notes are used. Certain e-prescription systems can be integrated with electronic health records (EHRs), which compile data on a patient’s current and previous medical history, including allergies. These technologies can then notify clinicians if a prescription interacts with another treatment or restrict them from providing a drug to which a patient is allergic.
- Remote Patient Monitoring
IoT-enabled technologies make it easier for doctors to keep track of patients in real time from afar. Doctors can create better treatment plans for patients with real-time data, significantly lowering the need for hospital readmission and emergency care. It also allows health care workers to communicate with patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Medical Robots
Medical robots are dominating the healthcare industry nowadays. They enable a surgeon to perform complex surgical operations with greater control, precision and flexibility. During the operation, surgeons will utilize AI-powered robots to control and position surgical tools. Robotic surgery is less painful and leaves no scars compared to normal surgery. Apart from this, medical robots ease the everyday stress on healthcare professionals by setting up patient rooms, tracking supplies and filing purchase orders, restocking medical supply cabinets, and transporting bed linens to and from washing facilities, thus freeing up health staff to focus on urgent patient needs.
Chatbots seem to be a game changer in the medical industry. Many healthcare providers are integrating chatbots into their mobile apps to assist patients round the clock. Healthcare chatbots will communicate with patients, respond to their queries in real time and provide them with accurate information, thereby improving patient experience. By connecting patients with the appropriate healthcare professionals and assisting individuals in understanding their problems and treatments even without visiting a doctor, chatbots are steadily reducing hospital wait times, consultation hours, unwanted treatments, and hospital readmissions. Furthermore, medical chatbots are used by hospitals and private clinics to screen and monitor patients even before they enter the consultation room. These bots ask pertinent questions regarding the patients’ symptoms and provide automated responses in order to provide the doctor with a good history.
Healthcare is a rapidly evolving sector and digital technologies such as AI services, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Mobile App Development Services, etc are revamping the way in which hospitals operate across the globe. Day by day the demand for leveraging digital technologies into healthcare operations is increasing. Some of the top applications of digital technologies in healthcare for enhancing the patient experience are mentioned above, however, it is not limited. It can be rightly said, digital technology is laying the foundation for a patient-centric approach in the healthcare sector. The world is going to witness tremendous applications of technology in healthcare in the near future.