August 23, 2019
Technology has transformed the healthcare industry. The traditional methods of diagnosis and treatment are now complemented with digital applications and solutions. AI, IoT, Robotics, etc. are increasingly becoming a part of the clinician’s and healthcare provider’s care delivery process.
These advancements have disrupted the entire healthcare industry. Today, mobile care, wearable gadgets, remote communication, etc. have allowed providers to improve their healthcare delivery outcomes. Healthcare technology has resulted in reducing the costs of treatment and care for the patients. It has also offered clinicians and healthcare providers more time and access to large amounts of data for quickly making informed decisions.
Healthcare technology is only here to grow. The industry was deprived of technology in the past but the advent of mobile devices has enabled swift delivery of healthcare. As technology advances, healthcare will, too. Several major trends have emerged as a result of these advancements which are likely to impact the near future. Some of them are:
1. Regulatory standards and compliance
Data protection is the primary focus in healthcare’s integration with technology. The digital transformation begins with the collection of massive amounts of patient data. This data needs to be secured before it can be analyzed using AI tools for drawing valuable insights.
There are strict rules to protect this data with federal and regional compliance guidelines and mandates. IoT enabled devices and robotics accumulate enough data to determine a patient’s health in the future. This is private information that must stay confidential and protected at all times to avoid identity and cyber thefts.
In the United States, the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 1996 (HIPAA) focuses on providing data security based on standards that need to be followed by healthcare providers. This is the most important act that ensures compliance of data protection guidelines.
The introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) focuses on data protection guidelines for the European Union. It requires data protection “by design and by default,” meaning that the healthcare providers must inherently comply with the data protection guidelines. It includes every aspect of data from its collection to generating outcomes from it. Apart from these, there are Data Residency regulations that restrict the transfer of data across national boundaries.
2. Innovation and Digital Transformation
Digital innovation has become the need of the hour. To stay ahead of the competition, healthcare providers must incorporate digital transformation and innovation in the organization.
This transformation focuses on integrating digital technology in mobility, analytics, cloud computing, and IoT for delivering better healthcare outcomes. Digital transformation is one of the major healthcare trends that is ready to revolutionize the industry. It offers several benefits that promise a high return on investment.
With digital transformation, healthcare providers can reduce the cost of care delivery, make their processes efficient, multiply their revenues, and offer distinct services to their patients.
Digital transformation is enabled by the network infrastructure that operates in the healthcare provider’s horizon. Obsolete network processes can’t serve the new technologies that allow digital transformation. Clinicians and healthcare providers must continuously upgrade their network architecture to support the transformation from traditional to the digital healthcare facility.
3. Better Financial Conditions
Cost is a primary concern for healthcare providers. Their revenues often match or are less than the costs incurred. These costs are impacted by focusing on effective, efficient, and quality care to the patients. The population multiplication, old age, and chronic diseases play a major role in increased costs as the treatment is costly and sometimes not affordable by those who need it the most.
With digital transformation, the service delivery process has transformed which has also improved the business models. The challenge is to maintain a balance between the high quality of care and costs involved to install the latest technology for this care. Quality care comes at a cost as the providers must follow the financial regulations without compromising on the quality.
Patients today have access to the internet and are empowered by information. They expect better healthcare services, comfortable facilities and want better treatment which might also be expensive. Healthcare providers focus on cost-control but these demands and requirements of the patients can drastically affect their budget.
The above factors call for better management of finances with the healthcare technology infrastructure. Clinicians and providers will ensure that their increased spending on better infrastructure is justified. These technological innovations must improve the quality of care for which patients are willing to pay.
4. Market adoption and cultural factors
There are massive technological changes going on. The healthcare industry is also seeing them now. The industry now has innovative communication technologies to improve their performance and augment their business models. These models align better with the overall goals of healthcare providers.
Generally, the CAPEX investment model was utilized for gathering network and communication infrastructure. However, with the latest advancements in technology, providers can also choose the OPEX-based alternatives which include on-demand network, pay-as-you-go, and cloud-based options.
Today, the healthcare industry must be ready to face each and every challenge that comes with technological innovation. While patients demand complete access to their EMR data, clinicians prefer not to disclose this to them. This is also regulated by government bodies that have stringent guidelines when it comes to patient data management.
Medical tourism is another major trend that will catch up soon. Patients are now traveling to places where they believe better healthcare is provided. Traveling outside their own country to receive medical care is getting popular among residents across the globe. These are high-class patients that demand better services and high-quality care as they expect to travel to places that can provide them with a hotel-like experience for their health.
Although there are challenges in healthcare technology, the benefits far outweigh them. The IT and communication infrastructure is the basis for digital transformation. A strong network will be able to handle huge amounts of patients, secure data, and provide better services. TechJini is a leading healthcare solutions provider that enables better care delivery through innovative healthcare IT products. Contact us today and augment healthcare outcomes for the patients.