The entire business world is going through a digital transformation. While organizations that were encouraged by the benefits offered by digital technologies embarked on this journey first, others were forced to move digital, owing to the pandemic that brought the unexpected lockdown. While the healthcare segment was slow to adopt digital technologies owing to the lack of expertise to decide on where to invest and how to invest, the recent trends reveal that healthcare institutions are now aggressively embracing digital transformation.
What is Digital Transformation in Healthcare?
Digital transformation in healthcare is about implementing digital technologies to improve healthcare operations, increase patient experience while making healthcare cost-effective and accessible to everywhere, on-demand. Right from online appointments to managing EHRs and medicine reports to integrating various departments for seamless coordination, digital transformation makes healthcare services efficient, easy to use and accessible everywhere.
According to Global Market Insights, the global digital healthcare market was valued at $141.8 billion in 2020. This value is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.4% between 2021 and 2028. Similarly, Grand View Research reports that the global healthcare market earned a revenue of $96.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.1% during the period 2021-2028. These numbers speak volumes of the growing popularity of digital transformation in recent times.
How Digital Transformation Helps Healthcare?
Digital transformation is not a silver bullet that can simply transform existing healthcare institutions. It requires proper planning and implementation. Organizations that have rightly implemented digital technologies are reaping the following benefits:
Centralized Data Management Systems
Gone are the days when patients had to wait in long queues to meet a doctor, undergo tests/scans and return to join the long queues for treatment. With digital technologies incorporated across the organization, patients can now schedule an appointment from the comfort of their homes and get treatment at their convenience. With a single digital ID, doctors can pull out the records of the patient and check out the illness history. Similarly, the diagnostics department staff can retrieve the patient details and update them with the test reports so that the doctor can prescribe the right medicine which is then passed on to the pharmacy wing. With a centralized data management system, concerned people across the healthcare can access the required patient information and deliver quality care. Patient care becomes quick, easy and accessible for everyone.
A patient portal is an intuitive online healthcare platform that enables patients to access their medical records, communicate with healthcare professionals, receive telemedicine etc. It enables them to access the data from anywhere, any location on-demand and share the test reports and case histories with multiple healthcare providers, gaining better control over the treatment.
Virtual Treatment / Video Call
Today, patients don’t have to visit a healthcare professional for regular sicknesses. Instead, they can contact a medical practitioner via a video call and get their illness treated over the phone. Whether you are in the office, at home or on the road, it is a breeze to search for a healthcare professional and communicate with them on a video call. It is especially useful in rural areas wherein healthcare services are scarce. It means digital transformation extends healthcare to most rural parts of the country. Virtual treatment has helped several patients during the time of Covid. While these options don’t negate direct visitations, they help you in times of health emergencies.
Wearable medical devices are on the rise in recent times. With the help of wearable devices, patients can keep track of high-risk conditions and prevent a health upset. For instance, you can monitor heartbeats, sweat, pulse rate, oxygen levels etc. using a wearable device and instantly contact emergency support in case of an emergency. The device can automatically send alerts to your prescribed contacts in case of unusual health metrics. Not only does it prevent a health event but it also saves high medical expenses.
Healthcare / Wellness Apps
Using digital technologies, healthcare professionals can design healthcare or wellness apps that enable patients to track and manage their health from the comfort of their homes. For instance, you can use a wellness app to receive recommendations on food and nutrition. Similarly, you can get mental health counselling from trained and experienced professionals on-demand. There are beauty care apps that can help you to manage your skin for acne, allergy or other issues. Similarly, some apps track your sugar levels, eye health etc.
As healthcare is aggressively moving towards digital transformation, designing the right digital strategy with the right technology stack is the key to fully leveraging this revolution.
Contact CloudTern right now to embark on the digital transformation journey!