Prior to the concept of digital transformation (particularly in the health care industry), the buzzword was “medical innovation”. It primarily focused on new technology that made us healthier and our life spans longer. However, a decade ago a new word “digital transformation” surfaced in the industry; initially, everyone had a different approach towards this but now it has evolved into an umbrella term that is defined as:
“ Digital Transformation is the ongoing effort of an organization to reach digital maturity, by adopting the latest technologies in order to improve processes, strategies, and the bottom line. ”
2018 and onwards the meaning of digital innovation or transformation even in the health care industry has shifted towards the automation of the processes focusing more on the quality of services provided rather than maximum outreach. This is going to further intensify the debate on technology vs. humanity. Though many groups might go against the whole process, healthcare providers will opt for a different route.
Driven by rising consumer expectations, 60% of healthcare providers will make optimizing the digital patient experience a top 3 strategic imperative by 2020.
Let’s take a look at what can be expected by the digital revolution of the healthcare industry in 2019.
AI will Expand beyond Predictive Medicine.
Artificial intelligence has echoed in the sci-fi and scientific community alike as humans have been utterly obsessed with developing human-like systems. The dream is a little far from reality however the technology is being used for a lot more now than just simple predictive medicine. For instance, an AI-based diagnostic device that identifies conditions such as diabetic retinopathy by scanning the retina is already a reality and has been found to be highly accurate. 2019 will bring about the increased use of AI for cybersecurity as security risks are more prevalent than ever before and data manipulation in the medical industry can be fatal. Thus having systems in place that are trained to predict and protect against malware, phishing or data manipulation attacks is a vital part of the ongoing digital transformation to improve your services and business. Additionally, artificial intelligence and machine learning will also prove to be a great assisting factor for pharmaceutical companies, predicting results and reactions saving years and millions in clinical trial funds. The advent of AI is inevitable in all aspects of the medical industry, however effective implementation, research and constant updates are vital in order to yield the best results.
Top Agencies like Google, HTML Pro, Facebook, etc have designated a higher budget allotment for the R&D of their AI & machine learning services
Wearable & IoMT Devices
The initial surge of wearable devices has already hit the markets with a storm. Whether it be Fitbits, Smartwatches or insulin injectors. Portable wearable devices have had a profound impact on the quality of life among patients; especially for the ones with chronic conditions. Along with disease management, the combined efforts of IoT and data sciences will allow doctors and health care professionals to further their research, reduce the death rate by non-communicable diseases and allow a constant flow of data to reduce However, this technology is not yet as easily accessible or widely available for underdeveloped countries where even basic healthcare is scarce. The main reason is affordability. So, The next step for IoT in 2019 is improving accuracy while developing devices that are accessible to a wider range of audience. It is estimated that
By 2022, 20-30% of acute care providers will deploy smartwatch-based apps, thus improving clinician productivity by more than 50%.
Blockchain like digital transformation has been a buzzword associated with very specific meaning for a while now! However, very few people actually understand the true concept and meaning behind blockchain. It is a digital ledger system that places data in distinct locations, providing encryption for each layer and no centralized control. The concept makes it a remarkable candidate for data security in all industries especially healthcare where data leaks could literally cost someone their life.
The extended implementation of blockchain in healthcare facilities and industry will open up doors for better, faster patient care as the information flow remains constant, efficient and secure.
The endless applications are not just perfectly suited for patient data and records. A systemized collaboration of data analytics and blockchain w8ill allow professionals to identify epidemics, genetic abnormalities, regio0nal trends and a lot more; allowing us to be better prepared for whatever risks are thrown at us in the future.
Telemedicine, as the name suggests, is the utilization of telecom services for medicinal practices such as remote diagnostics, telephonic consultation or offsite monitoring. This practice has not only allowed access to healthcare professionals in far off locations but also proven to be a highly valuable asset in time-sensitive situations. On top of that, chronically ill patients experience less stress and save time by avoiding frequent visits for daily follow-ups.
The overall efficiency of the practice allows for better allocation of already limited resources. Non-critical patients with long term conditions can be cared for at while run-time data is transmitted to a medical facility for optimal observation. This fess up resources for other critical, urgent care patients and also helps prevent readmission due to effective precaution.