Digital transformation has become trendy in 2021, and healthcare is one of the industries where transformation is not just a buzzword. The COVID-19 pandemic has enforced healthcare providers to rethink their business models to keep up with the evolving changes. In addition to achieving business value from transformation, there’s a human-centric approach aimed at improving health care. Let’s find out what stands behind the digital transformation in the healthcare sector, and what innovations are the biggest contributors to digital transformation in the healthcare market.
Using Digital to Transform Health Care Delivery
Over the last decade, the interest in funding digital healthcare projects has significantly increased. The reports show that in 2020, over 21 billion U.S. dollars was invested in the industry, which is almost twenty times more than it was in 2010.
The transformation in the healthcare sector wouldn’t be possible without technological innovations. Though the need for digital tools in healthcare has arisen even before the COVID-19 pandemic, it has accelerated the adoption of industry digitalization. The 2020 Consumer Adoption Survey reports that the adoption rate of digital health tracking tools has risen from 42% in 2019 to 54% in 2020. Therefore, implementing new technologies in healthcare organizations requires more effort, time, and funds. According to Deloitte’s survey, 60% of healthcare organizations surveyed rated themselves as midway through their journeys. So, why is it reasonable for healthcare providers to proceed with enabling the digital transformation of health and care?
The pandemic has forced the consumers of healthcare services to change their habits and prioritize convenience and access to health care. Thus, digital transformation is driven by a necessity to become more consumer-friendly by changing their business models and operations. The top reason why healthcare providers move to digital transformation is achieving a better patient experience (92%). Consumers no longer use only traditional care delivery services opting — the share of Americans using virtual visits reached a 97% growth according to PWC.
Healthcare Technology Trends and Challenges
As has been mentioned above, there’s a growing interest in fundraising digital transformation of healthcare organizations. Below are the main healthcare digital transformation trends powered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though online healthcare services were long before COVID-19, the global pandemic boosted its adoption and increased patients’ trust. The statistics below state that in the USA, people of all ages used telehealth services during the 2020 pandemic. Studies on telemedicine have found out that it helped prevent physical contact, deliver continuous health care, and reduce morbidity, and mortality in the COVID-19 outbreak. In the post-pandemic period, healthcare providers can extend the areas of applying telemedicine technology, including telemonitoring, telesurgery, distance education, etc.
AI is used in healthcare for the early detection of diseases. One of the latest innovations introduced by Stanford Medicine is smartwatches that track the early signs of dehydration, anemia, and illnesses, including the flu or a cold.
The biggest challenge of adopting AI in the healthcare sector is adding more trust to the technology application, both from patients and medical researchers. Thus, the success of AI implementation in medical diagnosis relies on the quality solutions developed and applied in the industry.
In recent years, the delivery and usage of healthcare IoT have been growing rapidly. There are numerous use cases of how healthcare organizations and patients can benefit from IoT innovations, but most of them are built around the core process — patient state tracking. These solutions can serve as the base for creating an intelligent hospital with complex automation and human-centered services. Besides, the data generated by tracking solutions may bring more opportunities for getting valuable industrial insights.
Connected Healthcare Ecosystems
The core technology of digital health transformation is aimed at creating a centralized IT infrastructure that enhances patient care delivery and data management. Modern healthcare devices become more interconnected, so the need for reliable EMR and EHR solutions has increased. The interconnectivity goes beyond the traditional boundaries: 43% of healthcare professionals say that boundaries between healthcare and other industries are blurring.
What challenges still lie ahead for healthcare digital transformation? Despite the acceleration of digital transformation in the healthcare industry, the biggest challenge is still finding funds and high implementation costs. Another serious challenge is related to the long journey of a transformation process. Deloitte reports that the surveyed interviewees acknowledged that “the transformation journey is longer than they had initially expected as the opportunities and definition of digital transformation expand.’’
Finally, healthcare organizations need solid technology assistance to turn digital transformation ideas into practice. In cooperation with the technology experts having the relevant industry knowledge, it’ll be much easier to meet the healthcare transformation challenges. Contact us if your organization is experiencing transformational changes.