Digital transformation in the healthcare industry has been insufficient. As we live in a digitized industrial age, we see industries of different shapes and sizes taking advantage of the ideas that larger data sets can provide.
Advances in IT have opened new potential by allowing employees to better prioritize their workload and focus on improving employees’ skills in the best possible way. While the retail and tourism sectors are mostly working online, bank account statements are presented electronically. However, the healthcare industry is outdated and clinicians are crushed by the weight of inadequate IT systems that create productivity pressure.
Deceptive Upgrades versus Correct Conversion
Although there have been some developments in the field of digital health, the necessary transformation has not been achieved. In many cases, it has been reduced to a simple conversion from analog to electronic media. Although eReferral, ePrescribing, and eHealth records seem to have brought about a radical change, in reality only analog forms and processes are transferred to electronic versions in the same way. Even then, according to the Electronic Medical Record Adoption model, there was only a 3% transition from paper to digital in Europe.
Many processes in the health field are ready to be interrupted. Legacy IT and non-uniform systems in these environments often run against their application purpose. An example of this is that there can be many different systems in a hospital that create interoperability issues for patient data and inconsistencies in user adaptation. With this in mind, it should not be surprising that according to McKinsey, culture, and mindset are major obstacles to digital transformation.
In addition, the biggest obstacle to the right digital transformation in healthcare is the major risks that require a careful approach to an ever-changing environment where downtime and security risks are not an option.
Realizing digital transformation
Healthcare organizations should review how they will implement new digital technologies that improve care, reduce risk and lower costs. If the healthcare industry wants to accelerate digital transformation, this is undoubtedly what they need to do about it: Effectively maximize the field of Health IT (HIT) by modernizing their technology, automating processes, and facilitating IT operations.
However, this is not something that can be achieved suddenly; CIOs and CTOs should prepare war plans for how they can achieve digitalization. The first step is to determine where you are now. You need to determine the soundness of your IT infrastructure and which of the missing areas the technology can best support. This means you need to upgrade your infrastructure from IT devise needs, including server, storage, and network, to personnel.
From this point on, you will be able to see how best to implement rapidly emerging digital technologies, ranging from predictive analytics and AI/machine learning to wearables and HIT vendors, experts, and partners.
In your battle plan, you should also include how you will bring the technology to life and how it will be hosted on the front line. The most forgotten but hardest part of the digital transformation in the healthcare field is the difficulty of people changing their current routines and telling people why they should go beyond the normal.
The future of the healthcare field is now
In the next 15 years, the World Health Organization predicts that there will be more need for clinicians due to the growth and increasing population. Despite this, 18 million clinicians do not meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. If we want to make sure that healthcare professionals are fully equipped to meet the demands of increasing levels of patient care, technology needs to provide solutions to these dilemmas, with no consolations.
For example, telemedicine can help solve this problem by providing around-the-clock access for people to seek medical advice while at home regarding non-emergency situations. We see an example of this in the UK [insert any local sample if possible], where the NHS 111 service currently offers free all-day medical advice. If a health problem arises in the middle of the night, we have telemedicine at hand to advise or refer the patient to the emergency room. It offers cost-effective and accessible personalized care.
There are many possibilities for telemedicine through wearable devices. We use them to track our sleep quality, view our heart rate, or correlate it with our current medical conditions. Although digital transformation is complex, it can be as simple as implementing the currently widely used technology. Most of us use our phones to count our steps, so we won’t have an adaptation problem when it comes to accessing apps on our phones for remote consultation.
57% of companies believe clinicians can save 25% time thanks to predictable data analysis
Artificial intelligence will enable low-time clinicians to tackle data that can be processed together to meet the stacked demand for personalized care. In addition, AI tools will enable doctors to detect diseases months before a patient shows symptoms and offer proactive care instead of mutual care, thanks to deep learning. Imagine a world where potential health problems can be identified before visiting the doctor, with genetic information and real-time data.
In this way, the future of the health field will mean maintaining the state of health rather than treating the diseases. This could mean going to the bathroom and looking at your smart mirror with high-precision sensors that measure your blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Artificial intelligence will know that you have a high body temperature due to hot weather, and machine learning will know that this is normal. Early diagnosis and preventive measures will take a greater place in health plans.
The development of these usage scenarios in the current global climate is extremely rapid. Enabling the data collected from these devices to be uploaded directly to physicians’ health records will save time for clinicians, as well as make healthcare more accessible in the long term and easier remote medical advice.
Healthcare is a multi-trillion dollar industry worldwide. Technology has the potential to change the way clinicians work and create new generation clinics. Removing the technological barriers and the additional time spent by clinicians with mandatory technology means more time to care for patients and save lives.