Digital Transformation in Healthcare: Benefits vs. Challenges
By | Nitin Patil
The fact is not at all deniable that digital transformation is truly shaping the healthcare industry. Following the pandemic, numerous outcomes changed in many areas, including healthcare. Doctors, hospitals, and organizations that treat patients to help them live healthy and long lives have significantly improved.
Patients can benefit from online tools, patient portals, virtual care platforms, and a wide range of low-cost apps that have improved screening, communication, viewpoint management, and more. Also, from a healthcare viewpoint, digital tools have increased diagnostic testing and screen time reliability, improving relationships with patients by offering dependable electronic record management and more.
Healthcare has emerged as the industry with the highest growth, with expenditures in the US estimated to exceed $5.7 trillion over the following few years. The digital health market is anticipated to grow to $657 billion by 2025. From mHealth to eHealth, AI screening and wearables have transformed how healthcare is provided for patients and businesses by utilizing technology.
What is the digital transformation of healthcare?
A digital transformation is a holistic approach to restructuring a company’s culture and workflow through technology. Simultaneously, the healthcare uses the latest trends and technologies to give optimum results to patients, healthcare professionals, and organizations.
Utilizing foundational technologies like BigData, IoT, Web 3.0, PaaS/SaaS, and Unified communications increases the overall effectiveness of healthcare companies. As a result, this procedure is quick, mobile, and automated.
The most significant barrier, however, is not technological but rather a confluence of particular healthcare needs that have significantly impacted the services in consumers’ lives. These obstacles have resulted in the healthcare industry needing to adapt to technology adoption.
This essay will cover all you need to know about digital transformation in healthcare, including its advantages and drawbacks.
What are the potential benefits of digital transformation that apply to healthcare?
We’ve covered a few basic patterns and illustrations that technology in medical contexts is replacing or enhancing.
Improved patient care
Current and historical information is gathered when a patient enters a hospital to make the most precise diagnosis possible. When the hospital management records such records, they can provide and coordinate with care. While if the patient has a history, they can be more active in such cases. However, due to secured patient portals, accessing and reviewing medical and test results is now easy.
Automation of manual processes improves safety and helps to cut down on errors. CPOE, or computerized physician order entry, is a tool that aids in lowering errors when ordering radiology, CT scans, lab tests, and other diagnostic procedures. It consists of complete checking with drug interactions by patients and doctors and allergies against it.
Cost savings come from the paper base’s digital processing. The requirement for paper records that are necessary for keeping and managing them can be decreased with the usage of systems like EHRs, or Electronic Health Records. EHR systems with cutting-edge medical facilities also help reduce patient admission costs.
Medical professionals can engage with patients and deliver care electronically with digital tools, such as a virtual care platform using video and chat technology. Generally speaking, this is for inaccessible and distant locations.
The workflow of healthcare professionals is smoothening with the help of digital tools that make their job easier. The documentation process is streamlined with the aid of EHRs, making it simple to access information. Moreover, the ERP system specially developed for healthcare-specific resources can reduce operational costs, improvise compliance procedures and improve overall efficiency.
Increase patient engagement
When the patients have their records, they can care for themselves well. They can easily manage their health and avoid certain things that cause them chronic diseases. In turn, they are easily able to manage their health.
Improve population health
Healthcare professionals can identify trends and take the necessary steps to improve the entire population’s health when they have access to patient health records in their region. For instance, the healthcare professionals appointed by the public health department can take the necessary actions to slow the spread of disease and stop it from infecting the general population.
R & D
Digitalized data helps in developing new treatments and cures. For instance, many cancer research projects concentrate on DNA sequences used to identify the cancer-causing mutations that could be addressed with the latest targeted drugs.
Big Data Analytics
With the aid of digital health formats, trends are being detected to better care and hospitality. For instance, hospitals use patient information to analyze data to determine whether a patient is in danger and to take preventative measures against readmission.
What are the obstacles to the healthcare industry’s digital transformation?
Whatever the industry in digital transformation, it doesn’t survive without challenges. However, the biggest challenge is cultural change. While healthcare has been a traditional pen-paper industry, changing professionals’ mindsets to digital can be difficult.
A handful of the difficulties mentioned above can help you organize your digital health setup and develop an agile solution.
The ongoing issue in healthcare organizations is addressing the increasing risk of cyberattacks. According to numerous securities research reports, the healthcare sector is one of the top industries for cybercriminals’ targets. Due to a large number of internet of medical things (IoMT) connected devices, the risk factor is increasing. It is growing among the available patients’ medical and financial data and complexity in the patient delivery model.
As healthcare organizations encourage cloud computing and collaborate with data exchange, cloud security is another cybersecurity concern that is growing in importance. Nevertheless, despite a security surface spanning numerous businesses, IoMT devices, cloud platforms, and traditional medical equipment are all at risk.
Data processing is a significant challenge in the healthcare industry. The problem is due to the vast amount of data that hospitals, clinics, and health professionals collect. They attempt to safeguard and save all the data without using an AI system, which makes it difficult for businesses to provide patients with more individualized care.
Another factor is collecting data and syncing it. Nonetheless, the doctors’ visits on multiple channels make it harder for health professionals to maintain records. Hence, the healthcare industry must record and update health records for in-person and virtual visits.
Digital user experience
Developing user-friendly, practical products, such as mobile applications, connected heart monitors, and many other digital goods or services, is challenging. The developer should consider the features and usability when creating any product or service.
Using a low-standard IoMT device makes it more difficult for these products and services to integrate easily with an ecosystem and connected devices. However, the overall quality of healthcare will significantly impact improvements.
QA in Healthcare
QA- Quality Assurance is vital in producing any digital product or service, especially in the healthcare sector. QA testing evaluates the quality and effectiveness of products and services since software faults frequently impede overall progress.
Regardless of where they come from, software issues negatively affect overall performance and erode public confidence in companies and organizations, making restoring challenging. QA testing plays a high-stake role in any organization to yield success.
Difficulty in changing large enterprise
The large and inflexible organizations that have expanded their healthcare premises everywhere face extreme resistance to change. They tend to stay back after undergoing extensive alterations and budgetary constraints that make technology implementation possible. A well-thought-out system must be built from the ground up to enable seamless digital transformation in healthcare.
Lack of business data
Digital transformation is less visible to decision-makers and stakeholders. Only if the healthcare executive conducts surveys and interviews, gathers data, and compiles a list of the problems the organization is facing will the system be able to improve. Therefore, helping the executive gain possible solutions and implement them later on.
The government likely provides the healthcare sector with sufficient funding, making it challenging to locate extra investment. The executive should present complex data demonstrating how much money is wasted by ineffective methods. Thus, it’s crucial to understand which technology may solve the problem and how much money can be saved to make a meaningful statement.
Processing and analyzing the data is one of the significant challenges in healthcare. The issue arises due to the volume of data that hospitals, clinics, and healthcare professionals gather. An AI system is capable of managing data for better-personalized care.
Healthcare workers need to appropriately update the patient’s medical data by using telemedicine while at work or in another place. There should be a way to record and update health records both virtually and physically visit.
There is much risk of exposing patient data as the healthcare industry moves to digital health. Several medical practitioners and biomedical researchers employ artificial intelligence for health monitoring and diagnosis, using the data to improve medical judgment and patient care.
Several medical practitioners and biomedical researchers employ artificial intelligence for health monitoring and diagnosis, using the data to improve medical judgment and patient care. Without sufficient data privacy control, personal data loss is risky, and patient care will be jeopardized.
Technologies that are trending in the healthcare sector
The following examples signify the use of technologies in transforming healthcare digitally.
Wearables and IoMT
The major trend in the digital transformation in the healthcare industry is wearables and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). AI makes it possible for patients to use self-service terminals when it is practical, allowing clinics and resources to be employed in a way that has the most significant positive impact on patients’ health.
AI and Data Analytics
In the healthcare domain, executives have to make enough decisions between the affordability, accessibility, and effectiveness of their services. AI systems can lower costs by finishing off time-consuming tasks with no-human error. Where possible, AI enables patients to use self-service terminals and to access clinics and resources in a way that has the most significant positive impact on their health.
AR and VR
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality offer innovative solutions that resolve healthcare issues entirely. AR helps medical professionals to learn how to complete tedious procedures without putting patients at risk. Many complex surgeries are risky, and AR helps reduce the chances of mistakes.
Many innovative solutions are entirely changing the healthcare sector.
New methods make it simpler for people to get in touch with medical professionals, from making an appointment to locating a doctor who will show up. The most well-known example is the virtual appointment, which makes it possible for someone living in a rural or remote area to visit the doctor without limits.
The digital transformation in healthcare aims to make the best use of all technologies available to improve patient care and increase productivity. By investing in social, cloud, and analytics, healthcare leaders should prepare to give technical solutions to issues limiting growth more sophisticatedly.
Hiring a healthcare software development company that develops solutions that give streamlined, frictionless, and personalized workflow is wise. Hence, digital transformation in healthcare is unavoidable.