5 Key Trends of Digital Transformation in Healthcare

Novel processes and tech solutions for health systems

15 Jun 2021
5 Key Trends of Digital Transformation in Healthcare

5 Key Trends of Digital Transformation in Healthcare

Keeping up with digital transformation can be challenging for any business. It is, even more, overwhelming for the healthcare industry. Due to the crucial role it plays in communities for public health, deciding which technologies are worth taking on board can be difficult. Yet adapting to the digital era requires a certain flexible mindset that will encourage change. It can certainly be complicated to let go of tried-and-true practices in medicine to the advantage of new approaches.

Eventually, evolution occurs whether we oppose it or ride with it. In this case, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has fast-forwarded the application of many shelved innovative technologies. And these have not let the community down, rather proven their effectiveness and purpose in times of crisis.

In this article, we try to understand the novel processes and tech solutions that health systems around the globe are starting to adopt. While there are many inventions and projects worth keeping an eye on, we shortlisted the 5 most popular ones.

The importance of big data in healthcare

Big data collects information about a business or individual through their activity on social media, eCommerce transactions, and financial transactions in order to identify patterns. In the healthcare industry, the data provided through this process can offer many advantages, such as:

  • Fewer errors in prescribing medication and quickly picking up any discrepancies between a patient’s health and the drug prescribed.
  • Aiding preventive medicine through the identification of recurring emergency room patients and create plans to improve their health.
  • Predictive analysis helps hospitals estimate admission rates and therefore allocate the right staff to each department.

These benefits are enough to prompt healthcare professionals, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies to invest in big data and recruit analytics experts to make sense of the information.

Treating patients with virtual reality

Nowadays virtual reality (VR) and specialized video game applications are considered key advances in healthcare. This digital transformation is deeply changing the way patients are treated. From chronic pain management to managing phobias, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and strokes, all of these conditions now heavily rely on the use of technology for treatment. However, this truly is but a fraction of the power of VR applied in the medical field. Other uses include doctors using VR simulations to improve their surgical skills or plan for complex cases. Indeed, currently, everyone is betting on VR and the global healthcare market for this tech is expected to reach $5 billion by 2025.

The growth of wearable medical devices

Another beneficial trend is the use of wearable tech devices that help in diagnosis and active preventive medicine. The concept aims to move away from the traditional doctor-call only when something goes wrong. Instead, patients should focus on prevention and maintenance while being more aware of their general health status.

As such, healthcare companies are resorting to wearable tech that provides up-to-date monitoring for high-risk patients in order to avoid and estimate the likelihood of a major event. This approach also allows for further personalization of the healthcare experience, as well as encourages people to create health goals for themselves. Some of the most popular devices include heart rate sensors, exercise trackers, sweat meters, and oximeters. There is certainly more to expect from state-of-the-art hardware applications in medicine.

The power of artificial intelligence

Beyond healthcare, artificial intelligence (AI) is making strides in transforming business processes and operations in many fields. Also, AI is leading the way in medical innovation and stakeholders are eager to invest in it. Thus AI-powered tools are expected to become more widely used in all facets of medicine. For example, Moxi is an American AI hospital droid designed to aid nurses with routine tasks. While chatbots and virtual health assistants are yet another AI-based technology that people are becoming more familiar with. Such tools can assist in diagnosis, customer service, and in some cases play the role of a therapist. Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of AI is the versatility of its implementation to respond to various needs and cover different types of gaps.

Nonetheless, the true power of AI remains its use in precision medicine, medical imaging, drug discovery, and genomics. For example, cancer patients receiving cookie-cutter treatments have higher failure rates than those who have access to personalized therapies. AI brings the ability to analyze and predict the best possible anti-cancer drug combination for each patient.

5 Key Trends of Digital Transformation in Healthcare

Blockchain and electronic health records

Blockchain technology may be only known by the wider public for its role in cryptocurrency. However few realize that blockchain will soon be instrumental in keeping updated electronic health records secure and accurate. This computerized database of transactions is shared across a network of computers to allow customers to safely exchange information without the need for a middleman. The healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are already gearing up for blockchain implementation and investing millions in this tech. Indeed, this technology prevents data breaches, improves the accuracy of medical records. Thus plays a key role in cutting costs and improving healthcare.

AN electronic health record (HER) is a digital version of the paper charts and the file that includes everything about your medical history.

In Conclusion

Telemedicine, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other new advanced technologies aimed at bettering medicine for humanity are on the rise. The examples we shared in this article are but a few out of the many projects experts are working on to continuously find real life and impactful applications of technological discoveries. Absolutely, digital transformation is reshaping the way we interact not only with businesses but also with health professionals. And the ongoing evolution is changing how we perceive on health and how we lead our lives. The future certainly looks full of promising innovations that will take humanity on to the next level of wellbeing.