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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 new realities of a post-COVID-19 world, and the healthcare industry has had to evolve to cope with its new challenges.

The current global healthcare crisis needs new technologies for providing digital solutions.

How can digital transformation improve the healthcare industry?

Digital healthcare solutions involve technologies which can speed up the processes of making appointments, and must be able to access the right information at the right time and deliver high-quality care at an affordable price.

And this is only one small part.

Digital transformation in healthcare is going to streamline operations, help healthcare professionals 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 the top 5 things to look out for!
healthcare innovations

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)

The impact of Artificial intelligence on the healthcare industry cannot be understated; AI improves the precision, speed, and efficiency of providing healthcare solutions. Early treatment can be achieved through AI-driven analytics that can help practitioners find the best approach for a given patient.

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

Let's take a look at some use cases of artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry:

1. 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.

2. Virtual assistants

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

3. 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. In addition, electronic health record systems, when combined with AI, can provide practitioners with the ability to manage their observations instead of inputting the data manually.

4. Prognostic healthcare

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

5. Notifying doctors when patients are in trouble

Many hospitals all over the world are using Google's DeepMind Health AI to help transition patients from diagnosis to treatment more 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)

The applications of the Internet of Things in the healthcare industry involve IoT-enabled devices which facilitate remote monitoring, unlocking the potential to keep patients healthy and allowing physicians to provide better care.

The Internet of Things has made interactions with doctors more efficient and much easier, vastly improving both patient satisfaction and engagement.

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

Let's take a look at some examples of applications of the Internet of Things in the healthcare industry:

1. Remote monitoring

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

2. 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.

3. IoT for hospitals and clinics

As well as tracking patients' health, IoT devices can be useful in many other areas of hospitals. IoT devices are used to monitor the real-time location of medical equipment, including wheelchairs, oxygen pumps, and other equipment.Hospitals also have to deal with the spread of infection, which is a primary concern for them. IoT-based hygiene monitoring devices assist in preventing patients from getting infected.

For example, smart IoT-enabled cameras can detect if patients are washing or sanitizing their hands before taking a meal or medication and make sure 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 interesting examples:

1. VR for surgery

With the help of haptic controllers, a surgeon can perform a virtual surgery in a virtual operating room. From start to finish, software guides the user through the necessary steps, helping them learn the right sequence of actions. The VR app can also be used for explaining the surgery process to patients.

2. VR for rehabilitation

The VR app guides a patient through their personal training program, which is 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.

3. Anatomy teaching at schools

Kids will be able to better understand their bodies by immersing themselves in the learning process.
VR in healthcare

BLOCKCHAIN

Blockchain is a trend that looks set to vastly improve the healthcare industry.

There are many applications of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry, like

digital ledgers, which can enable healthcare providers to distribute transaction records to patients securely, thereby greatly improving data security.

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

Let's take a look at some use cases of blockchain in healthcare:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Secure payments

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

TELEHEALTH

What does Telehealth mean?

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:

1. Reduced contact

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

2. 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.

3. 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

There are many benefits of digital transformation in healthcare, let's take a look at three of the most important:

Electronic Health Record

The EHR system is already an 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 records are also tied to your local healthcare provider, your medical insurance broker, and even pharmacy stores of your choosing.

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 make timely appointments and is also beneficial for doctors to organize their daily schedule.

CONCLUSION

Digital transformation in the healthcare industry is an ongoing process and new trends are emerging with each passing day. There are innovative new digital healthcare solutions and technologies bringing 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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