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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY

Marketing Manager
Anastasia Shevchuk

INTRODUCTION

Social distancing, virtual doctors' appointments, and data scientists predicting disease.
What do these three things have in common? They're all outcomes of 2020, the year when the world struggled with the COVID-19.

The current global healthcare crisis needs technologies for providing digital solutions.
How can digital transformation improve the healthcare industry?

Digital health technologies can speed up the processes of making appointments, accessing the right information at the right time and delivering high-quality care at an affordable price.
And this is only a small part.

Digital transformation in healthcare is going to streamline operations, help to understand patient complaints, build loyalty and trust and offer a better user experience.

In this article, we are going to discuss the role of emerging technologies in the digital transformation of healthcare, and here are 5 things to watch out for.
healthcare innovations

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)

Artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry opens up many possibilities. AI improves precision, speed, and efficiency of providing healthcare solutions. Early treatment can be achieved through AI-driven analytics that can help practitioners find the right approach for a given patient.

Besides, artificial intelligence plays a critical role in the fight against COVID-19, including areas like pandemic detection, vaccine development, thermal screening, facial recognition with masks, and analyzing CT scans.

Let's see some use cases:

Computerized Tomography (CT) scan analysis

Artificial intelligence can detect pneumonia caused by COVID-19 in chest CT scans via multinational training data for machine learning.

Virtual assistants

Virtual assistants collect basic information to prepare documentation, schedule appointments and diagnose symptoms to direct the patient to a healthcare professional, which shortens the consultation time and improves customer service.

Management of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Data (including patient information, new research findings, and diagnosis details), also called "Electronic Health Record (EHR)," is generated in large volumes every day in the healthcare industry.

The use of Artificial Intelligence in EHRs helps organizations gain insights to work with patients and make informed decisions. Besides, electronic health record systems, combined with AI, can provide practitioners with the ability to manage their observations instead of adding the data manually.

Prognostic healthcare

In oncology, Artificial intelligence is analyzing thousands of pathology images of various cancers to provide highly accurate diagnoses and predict the best possible anti-cancer drug combinations.

Notifying doctors when patients are in trouble

Many hospitals all over the world are using Google's DeepMind Health AI to help drive patients from diagnosis to treatment efficiently. The DeepMind Health Program alerts doctors when a patient's health gets worse and can even assist in the diagnosis of diseases by searching through the massive dataset for related symptoms.
LOOKING FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT FOR THE HEALTHCARE PROJECT?

INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT)

IoT-enabled devices facilitate remote monitoring in the healthcare industry, unlocking the potential to keep patients healthy and allowing physicians to provide better care.
Since the Internet of Things has made interactions with doctors efficient and easier, it has improved patient satisfaction and engagement.

Also, remote monitoring of patients' health helps in preventing readmissions and decreasing the duration of stay in the hospital. The Internet of Things in the healthcare industry can also reduce costs and improve treatment outcomes.

Let's see some examples of implementation of IoT in healthcare:

Remote monitoring

Whereas patients will use wearable devices, healthcare professionals will remotely monitor patients' conditions with real-time data insights, reducing the frequency of in-person appointments .

IoT for patients

Devices such as fitness bands and wirelessly connected heart rate monitoring cuffs provide patients access to personalized attention. The Internet of Things devices are used to remind doctor appointments, calorie count, number of steps taken in a day, blood pressure, heart rate, and much more. .

IoT for hospitals and clinics

Apart from tracking patients' health, IoT devices can be used in many other areas in hospitals. IoT devices are used for monitoring the real-time location of medical equipment, including wheelchairs, oxygen pumps, and other equipment.
Hospitals also have to deal with the spread of infection that is the primary concern for them. IoT-based hygiene monitoring devices assist in preventing patients from getting the infection.
For example, smart IoT-enabled cameras can detect if patients are washing or sanitizing their hands before taking a meal or medication or visitors are not sitting close to the patient.

VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)

Virtual reality (VR) was originally a part of the entertainment field. Now it is applied in the medical field as well. This technology is used to treat stress disorders, mental health issues, and more.

Let's consider several examples:

VR for surgery

With the help of haptic controllers, a surgeon performs a virtual surgery in a virtual operating room. From start to finish, software guides a user through the necessary steps, letting them remember the right sequence of actions.

The VR app can also be used for explaining the surgery process to patients.

VR for rehabilitation

The VR app guides a patient through their personal training program stored in the software database. A therapist can edit the program anytime as well as control the results – either via the app's analytics module or by virtually joining the VR session as an instructor.

Anatomy teaching at schools

The kids will better understand their bodies when they can immerse into the learning process.
VR in healthcare

BLOCKCHAIN

Blockchain is a trend that stands to vastly improve the healthcare industry.
Digital ledgers can enable healthcare providers to distribute transaction records to patients securely and will greatly improve data security.

Blockchain's peer-to-peer system allows large numbers of users to securely have access to a common ledger.

Some blockchain use cases:

Interoperability

Through public-private key methods, there is greater integrity in the use of healthcare information. An example of this would be that a specialist providing a consultation can be granted access to information quickly through a secure system that all parties are using. The flexibility of anonymity can be controlled so that patients can opt into providing data for research purposes.

Electronic health records (EHR)

Using blockchain for EHR systems can help healthcare organizations solve issues of data security, integrity, and management. Thanks to their decentralization and cryptographic functions, blockchain-driven applications allow patients and medical institutions to securely control health data, manage access to it, and ensure its privacy.

Secure payments

Payment-related issues often arise due to human mistakes, overdue payments, and fraud committed with stolen patient identities. The blockchain's security capabilities promise to improve transactions within the healthcare industry by minimizing denied claims, quickly reporting underpayments, reducing human errors, and better - securing patients' identities.

TELEHEALTH

Telehealth is the use of digital communication technologies such as computers, mobile phones, and tablets, to facilitate the delivery of healthcare services.
CASE STUDIES
Manage appointments, get online consultations, receive e-prescriptions and other. Read more about the features of medical assistant
Telehealth offers multiple benefits, including:

Reduced contact

There is less contact between healthcare workers and patients, and also less chance of illness spreading, with fewer patients in medical buildings.

Care for urgent non-COVID-19 conditions

Patients with chronic conditions who need frequent checkups may be able to schedule remote appointments if no in-person tests are required.

Continuity of care

With consistent communication, practitioners can nurture their relationships with patients and potentially avoid any negative consequences caused by delayed or missed in-person appointments.

BENEFITS OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN HEALTHCARE

The EHR system is an already established norm in the US and many other countries. Virtual healthcare and online medical assistance are based on universal access to your patient profile. Your electronic health record allows every medical service provider to access your condition 24/7 from anywhere.

EHR record is also tied to your local healthcare provider, your medical insurance broker, and even pharmacy stores of your choosing.

Electronic Health Record

Medical Apps

Medical apps serve the same purpose as all other on-demand service apps. Users can book appointments, chat with their doctor, request a prescription, deal with healthcare insurance, fill in their prescriptions, etc. This all done without visits and without papers, saving time and money.

Expanding the reach

Patients can easily book an online or virtual appointment at a convenient time. It encourages patients to take timely appointments while it is also beneficial for doctors to know how many appointments they have in a day.

CONCLUSION

Digital transformation is an ongoing process and new trends are emerging in the healthcare industry with each passing day. Digital technologies bring many positive changes to medicine.

The healthcare industry is taking innovation seriously, focusing on creating a better future and greater health equity for everyone.
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