This is the era of the dynamic digital world and there is a great scope for advancement in almost all industries. In the healthcare industry, digital transformation with the support of a data conversion service has helped healthcare professionals and hospitals to improve healthcare documentation, which is vital to provide timely and appropriate patient care. Accurate digitization of healthcare data ensures quality of care and payment accuracy. It also helps to determine the future health condition of a patient, and how a person will interact with the health resources.
Digital transformation in simple terms is the use of various forms of digital technologies so as to help the patients lead a better life. Healthcare organizations face the problem of huge inflow of patient data everyday that may be largely unstructured and unmanaged. However, several organizations have come forward and attempted to manoeuvre and innovate by using the latest technologies and methodologies to sift through this data. The objective is to save time, streamline processes and reduce printing jobs. Now, digital innovation is bringing about a huge change in the healthcare industry, facilitating value-based care. It has allowed patients to be active and responsible participants in their healthcare.
Although digital transformation is transforming the healthcare industry, compared to other industries the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries have lagged behind when it comes to implementing digital strategies. According to a recent survey, 7 percent of healthcare and pharmaceutical companies said they had gone digital, compared to 15 percent of companies in other industries. The US healthcare market is expected to invest $5.7 trillion by 2026.
So, the following are the digital transformation trends you can expect in 2020.
- On demand healthcare: Digital transformation enables the healthcare industry to provide on-demand healthcare assistance for the convenience of the patients. People have become highly dependent on mobile phones in the past decade and recent statistics show that more than 50% of all web browsing in the world occurs on mobile devices as of 2018. It is important to know where your targeted consumers gather and try to reach them on those platforms. Studies show that 47% consumers go online to research doctors, 38% to research hospitals and medical facilities, and 77% to book medical appointments. Companies like Nomad Health, an online marketplace that links doctors with medical facilities for short-term work make it easier for physicians to provide on-demand healthcare to clients in specific circumstances that match their talents, expertise, and schedule.
- Increasing significance of big data: Big data consists of information about a business from social media, ecommerce, online transactions, financial transaction and other trends for the future. Big data offers various advantages like:
- Minimal level of medication errors: In patient record analysis, software can highlight any inconsistencies between drug prescription and patient records, and alert healthcare providers about potential risks.
- Accurate staffing: Predictive analysis with big data helps hospitals and clinics to estimate future admission rates which further helps to allocate the proper staff to deal with the patients. This saves time as well as minimizes emergency room wait times.
- Ensure preventive care: A large number of people visit emergency rooms frequently with about 28 percent of visits. Big data analysis could identify these people and create preventive plans to keep them from returning.
- Virtual reality for better treatment: Virtual Reality (VR) is the most remarkable feature of digital transformation in healthcare. It is an application that changes the way patients are being treated. For instance, many people suffer from chronic pain and doctors prescribe opioids, which has led to opioid abuse and the worst drug crisis. But VR is a much safer and effective method that can treat chronic pain. According to the CDC, 50 million of U.S. adults had chronic pain in 2016. For them, VR is a safer, more efficient alternative to drugs. VR technology is being used not only to treat pain, but everything from anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder, and stroke. The global virtual and augmented reality in healthcare market is expected to reach $5.1 billion by 2025.
- Rising wearables in the healthcare industry: Healthcare companies are collecting health data from medical devices and wearable technology for up-to-date monitoring of patients and also determining the likelihood of a major health event. Earlier, patients were satisfied with undergoing a physical once a year, and only checking in with their doctors when something was not right. But today, patients and healthcare providers are focusing on prevention and maintenance and demanding information about healthcare more frequently. According to a recent report, the wearable medical device market is expected to reach more than $27 million by 2023, a spectacular jump from almost $8 million in 2017. Some examples of wearable devices are heart rate sensors, exercise trackers, sweat meters and so on. Wearable devices also offer a personalized healthcare experience, which make them attractive to invest in.
- Predictive healthcare: With digital transformation, the healthcare industry can predict what illnesses and diseases can be a problem in the future. Information gathered from big data and other resources can be used to develop a predictive model that helps healthcare companies and other related organizations to prepare for any such concerns.
- Influence of Artificial Intelligence: AI represents the epitome of medical innovation and industry players are eager to invest millions in it. The healthcare AI-powered tools market is expected to exceed $34 billion by 2025, which means this technology will shape almost all facets of the industry. Many consider AI in healthcare as robot nurse. But that’s not all, chatbots, virtual health assistants are all part of AI-based technology. The global healthcare chatbots market is projected to reach $314.3 million by 2023 from $122 million in 2018. The real power of AI can be seen in precision medicine, medical imaging, drug discovery, and genomics. AI-powered computer programs provide good quality accurate diagnoses and predict the best possible drug combinations. AI is predicted to bring $150 billion dollars in annual savings for the US healthcare economy by 2026. Start-ups are already exploiting this opportunity; the number of active AI start-ups has increased 14-fold since 2000.
- Blockchain and EHR: Blockchain is a computerized database or digital ledger that allows customers to safely exchange financial information with suppliers, without the need of a third party such as a bank. According to a recent report, blockchain in healthcare market is expected to reach $890.5 million by 2023. Blockchain could be an effective tool to improve the accuracy of medical records and minimize costs. EHR (Electronic Health Record) is a digital version of medical records that include the patient’s medical history and diagnoses, treatment plans, immunization dates, test results and so on. Medical data is recorded in unstructured format in the EHR system. This can lead to duplicate medical records, misdiagnoses, delayed treatment and so on. Countries like the UK and Australia have already incorporated blockchain technology to manage medical records and transactions among patients, healthcare providers, and insurance companies. However, in the US, regulation makes it difficult for medical organizations to create blockchain-based EHR.
With its many advantages, big data can be used to analyze areas of weakness in any business and understand the market better. Having a good idea about the market allows healthcare marketers to find their ideal customers and reach them easily.
Better Healthcare with 5G Technology
This was introduced by Qualcomm, the world’s largest mobile chipset supplier, 5G enhanced Mobile BroadBand (eMBB) is considered as the driver of the new mobile industry revolution. It can run up to 100 times faster than the current cellular connection, which made industry experts confident that it will completely change the healthcare landscape and lead to savings of up to $650 billion by 2025.
In the healthcare industry 5G helps in various ways:
- It allows quick buffering, streaming, downloading, and uploading which helps patients to have better video conferencing and doctors will have accurate and real-time imaging of organs, soft tissue, and bones for proper diagnoses.
- 5G helps doctors to send and receive files in just a few minutes.
- Soon clinicians can start using ultra-reliable connections to teleport to virtual environments and perform robotic surgeries.
- 5G-enabled drones could deliver life-saving medicine or devices to patients in hard-to-reach rural areas.
To truly become a part of digital healthcare, it is important to widen our collective minds and understand how we define healthcare. Healthcare leaders should associate with reliable data conversion company for successful digital transformation. It ensures valuable data that is free from any defects, removes any form of duplication, makes necessary corrections and converts data to structured format so that data analysis become easier and accurate. Having clean data also helps to minimize chances of data breach. It is vital to ensure data security and have better architecture that effectively brings together the healthcare environment, users and services.