Healthcare is poised to take off to the next generation with a lot of help from technology. With it’s renewed focus on patient engagement and experience, healthcare industry is adopting the latest in digital technologies in order to enhance quality of patient care, data security, and cost control. The onus is on technology providers to be proactive and help healthcare organizations in their journey towards the future.
Cloud Computing & Mobility
Cloud Computing and Mobility are the two most important game-changers in the healthcare arena. With more and more hospitals moving to the Cloud, storage and access to patient data becomes much easier than before. Mobility enhances remote monitoring and also provides value addition from the information angle. Mobile access makes quality physician time an achievable goal compared to the past. Moreover, mobile apps are being accepted as valuable tools that influence patient health and outcomes.
AI & Chatbots
Artificial Intelligence is the latest buzzword in healthcare. AI makes use of historical patient information to deliver informed decisions and interactions that mimic the physician’s brain. Chatbots use AI based technology to interact with patients in various phases of diagnoses and recovery to accelerate their move towards wellness. IBM’s Watson is already creating waves in the medical field by quickly and accurately diagnosing as well as offering treatment options to cancer patients.
It is estimated that wearables are going to be universally adopted by most of the population in the near future. The number of wearable units to be shipped by 2021 is estimated to be nearly 100 million as per reports from a well known research and consulting firm.
Blockchain is a more exciting technology term that we are slowly getting used to. Blockchain implies the presence of a distributed ledger framework, with each block/node comprising of a computer that stores and records transactions occurring in the chain. This means that what transpires as a transaction in the chain cannot be duplicated without the knowledge of all blocks in the chain. This becomes important in healthcare because of the security aspect. An example would be the storage and entry of patient details, such as their medical history or payment details.
Internet of Things (IoT) is sure to have multifarious applications in healthcare, considering the huge volumes of data to be transmitted to and fro from devices. IoT has endless possibilities in medical services such as remote monitoring, device sensors, and patient outcomes. Though the volume of data collated by sensors and devices can be huge, raising a big challenge to healthcare institutions, IoT cannot be ignored for the larger benefits it can offer to the healthcare space.
Regularly occurring security breaches in hospital information systems make it imperative for healthcare providers to invest in reliable security processes and systems. Financial and human resources are often the barriers to achieving cyber security in healthcare. This calls for wise decisions on spending.
Paper-based billing leads to unnecessary wastage and reduced efficiency. Electronic payment methods speed up billing, cut down paper wastage and associated costs, all the while improving storability. Digital payments also enhance patient experience. Physicians can now concentrate more on patients, avoiding the undue time spent on paper-based/manual documentation.