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Digital Transformation Trends in Healthcare Beyond COVID-19

Digital Transformation Trends in Healthcare Beyond COVID-19 626 417 kupplinadmin

In the wake of COVID-19, the initial scramble to lock down hospitals and clinics and switch to a predominantly remote care model is now giving way to a more measured assessment of healthcare needs of the population, evaluation of the care delivery models using telehealth technologies as enablers, and a long-term survival strategy for hospitals and health system

1. Virtualization of care will penetrate deeper into healthcare services with limits.

Real-time, face-to-face encounters between doctors and patients through video visits have increasingly become the norm among those with smartphones and video-enabled devices.

“Low-contact” and “contactless” experiences throughout the care journey have become the mantra for in-person care in the COVID-19 era.

Critical care physicians, driven by precaution and the need to deal with increased workloads, have embraced tele-ICU models.

In-person care experiences have been augmented/replaced by telehealth models such as telestroke, teleradiology, and telepsychiatry.

2. Telehealth and remote monitoring programs will increase with active public-private participation.

During COVID, people and groups with different abilities and resources are coming up for the help of others who need it. One such initiative in Chicago aims to provide internet access to over 100,000 students of the Chicago Public School system, indicating there could be multiple benefits from democratizing access to bandwidth.

The FCC’s $200 million telehealth grant program, launched in March 2020, has funded targeted initiatives across the United States supporting medically underserved populations to overcome the impact of COVID-19 on access to care. The program, which has funded 539 applications for the total amount of $200 million approved by Congress, has focused on telehealth, supported in many cases by remote monitoring devices, for rural and indigent populations.

3. Governments have a role to play in instigating digital transformation in healthcare systems.

Governments tend to have unique relationships with their systems of healthcare, whether at the local, regional, or national levels. One exception appears to be about promoting the use of technology. Among the countries we looked at, whether the prevailing system was government-run or market-oriented, those with the most digitally advanced healthcare played an active role in promoting digital transformation.

4. Healthcare organizations that promote open innovation will help spur digital transformation

A number of countries are following the route of creating an open innovation platform—or ecosystem—around patient healthcare data that allows providers to develop their own interfaces to access the data.

For example, a partnership of several organizations, led by the government-run Social Insurance Institution of Finland, has built a set of digital healthcare services for the social and healthcare sector. Called Kanta, these services include personal electronic health records, a prescription service, a pharmaceutical database, a patient-data repository, and archives. The latest set of services, My Kanta Pages, is a national data repository in which citizens may enter information on their own health and well-being. The system’s architecture is open, allowing software suppliers to develop their own interfaces for Kanta’s content.

5. The growth of wearable medical devices

Another trend of the digital transformation in healthcare is companies collecting their own health data from medical devices, including wearable technology.

In the past, most patients were satisfied with undergoing a physical once a year and only checking in with their doctors when something went wrong. But in the digital age, patients are focusing on prevention and maintenance and demanding information about their health more frequently.

As a result, healthcare companies are being proactive by investing in wearable technology devices that can provide up-to-date monitoring of high-risk patients to determine the likelihood of a major health event. 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 of the most common of these devices include:

  • Heart rate sensors
  • Exercise trackers
  • Sweat meters – used for diabetics to monitor blood sugar levels.
  • Oximeters – monitors the amount of oxygen carried in the blood, and is often used by patients with respiratory illnesses such as COPD or asthma.

For healthcare, investing in developing and executing enterprise digital roadmaps may seem overwhelming in the face of heightened financial pressures and a rapidly transforming care delivery model. Consumers want more from healthcare today, pandemic or no pandemic. Healthcare is already behind other sectors such as retailing, eCommerce, and banking when it comes to delivering satisfactory experiences for healthcare consumers – online or offline.

Sources:

Digital Authority Partners

McKinsey & Company

CIO

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