Hospitals have started providing patients with digital healthcare services. Digital platforms such as mobile applications, telehealth and other wireless solutions are being provided across nursing homes and hospitals. Healthcare platforms are also being used to monitor chronic diseases and to access medical health records. Technologies such as telemedicine, wearables, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are significantly transforming the healthcare industry.
According to the report by Future Market Insights (FMI), factors such as ehealth initiatives by government, increasing healthcare spending, growth in ageing population, increasing mobile and wearable devices and increasing use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) are driving the growth of digital transformation in healthcare industry globally. Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market in the digital transformation in healthcare.
Emerging technologies to encourage rapid digital transformation in healthcare
Healthcare providers are focusing on providing quality services to patients by introducing digital processes and technology. However, in order to adopt new technology, healthcare providers must have a clear strategy and must streamline and re-engineer processes to implement automated digital workflow.
Telemedicine is changing the way of delivering healthcare services. Telemedicine connects patients through email, phone and webcam providing convenience to both patients and doctors. Telemedicine is making its way into Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to keep an eye on dosage, a sudden change in blood pressure, etc. this technology is called as Tele-ICU. Tele-ICU provides patient data including lab results, vital signs and also help doctors to monitor patients’ progress and suggest drug option or new treatment.
The technology that helps patient find right doctor and services is also being developed. Technology that can provide quantitative and qualitative information about healthcare provider is being developed. This can enable patients to make a better decision about their health.
Digital transformation in the healthcare industry is also taking place in the form of technology providing financial transparency. This technology can help patients to get information about the healthcare expenses. The services, procedure and treatment in terms of cost vary from state to state and even from hospital to hospital. Hence digital transformation can create transparency in costs related to the treatment and procedure
Wearables and IoT are being used to develop smart devices that can serve as a thermometer, perform ECGs, check weight, oxygen levels and pulse and the results are transferred to the related mobile application. Moreover, these results can be transferred to doctors in real-time. These results can also help doctors to predict any risk of heart disease or other illness.
Data security emerges as the biggest concern in digital transformation in healthcare
There are various challenges facing digital transformation in healthcare. While securing information and personal data is the biggest challenge in healthcare. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used in the healthcare industry to enhance technology to identify malicious activities and protect system and data. Data encryption is being used in the healthcare industry to secure data using existing system features, making it difficult to access sensitive data.
Blockchain technology is quickly becoming popular in healthcare. With blockchain technology, data entered into EHR/EMR can have each entry and transaction validated. With blockchain, no single party is in charge of holding the data and no changes in records can be done without the approval of participants. Moreover, an unauthorized person cannot access the health record without permission from all the participants.