How Digital Healthcare Solutions Boost Your Healthcare Services
21 February 2023
We have entered a new era where digital operations, data understanding, and AI-based patient management is nothing extraordinary. In other words, digital healthcare is the new order in the world of healthcare. The imperfections of the conventional healthcare system have been rapidly improved by digital transformation through data management tools and AI/automated processes, which is a great user experience for the healthcare personnel as well as easier and simpler for the patient.
Need For And Development Of Digital Healthcare
Whether changing government policies, global healthcare objectives, or the recent COVID pandemic, digital transformation of the healthcare system has accelerated its pace in evolving. As per recent figures, digital transformation has upgraded hospital efficiency, patient appointments, research investigations and diagnostics, and hygiene in healthcare sites. Patients’ and staff’s experience and healthcare operations have never been better. Modernization of healthcare has automated almost everything and streamlined the entire healthcare system.
The worldwide increase in the incidence and prevalence of age-related diseases, lifestyle diseases, child illness and mortality, discrimination on healthcare service allowance based on socioeconomic status and race, epidemics, pandemics, etc calls for an advanced approach towards attaining global health goals. As such, the digital transformation of healthcare is of prime urgency.
What Is Digital Healthcare?
Digital healthcare can be defined as a multidisciplinary concept that involves the amalgamation of technology and healthcare through digital transformation by incorporating software, hardware, and services in the healthcare field. This is achieved by introducing electronic health records, electronic medical records, mobile health applications, personalized healthcare, telemedicine, and wearable health devices.
Primary stakeholders in digital health are patients and healthcare personnel, who are accompanied by researchers, developers, manufacturers, distributors, and the government. Digital health encompasses analytics, healthcare informatics, IT, tools, and medical technology.
Digital health is not confined to technology and tools but it is rather a fundamentally interdisciplinary concept. It involves AI, big data, robotics, and machine learning. This conglomeration develops open secure platforms to provide patient-focused, preventive care. Nowadays ingestible sensors, remote monitoring devices, and robotic caregivers are revolutionizing health care as we speak. It is a matter of time until we see AI-designed vaccines, medicine, personalized recommendations, and consultation services.
Future of Digital Healthcare
The global health market is projected to rise to 28% around 2027, attributed particularly to healthcare apps. This push for digital transformation in the healthcare sector is also a result of the surge in the adoption of smartphones.
What Is the Difference Between Digital Health and Telehealth?
Often digital healthcare is incorrectly used with the term telemedicine. For differentiation, anything and everything concerned with the digitization of health care and medicine is digital health, whereas telemedicine is one of the many elements of digital healthcare, which involves real-time virtual consultation of patients by doctors and other healthcare workers.
Why Should One Opt of Digital Healthcare?
With so many elements of digital health around us one tends to get confused about whether they should opt for digital healthcare solutions in the healthcare industry. In other words, how do these boost a healthcare service? In a one-liner, the answer is that digital healthcare solution improves the delivery of medical product and services to patients. Let us elaborate on the reasons why the health industry needs a digital transformation: -
- Digitization induces core control of information: hospitals and health organizations deal with a great amount of information and patient data. This dealing of information, its access, storage, and management is eased.
- Personalization for patients: We are already familiar with what digital transformation does to user experience. Since the commercialization of healthcare, excessive rush has led to prompt treatment, but often the patient-doctor interaction is hampered in the process. Digitization brings about a customized experience for the patient where he/she is listened to.
- Multiple platforms: with so many options available consultation as well as a referral as well as community discussion is easier.
- Continuity of patient care: digitization helps maintain follow-up and successive appointments effectively
- Patient bookings: when everything from food to travel and be ordered/booked online, why not medical appointments? Receptionists find the digital interface a life-saver to manage bookings.
- Medical research: both intra and interdisciplinary studies are simplified as well as accelerated by digitization since record keeping, analysis, community discussion, etc are all improved.
- Lifestyle: digitization, through all its elements ultimately motivate and sometimes even forces patients to opt healthier lifestyle.
As we have entered 2023, it is safe to say that most nations and healthcare companies have successfully achieved almost complete digitization. The health industry is now having digital transformation as one of its cornerstones for further development. Gradually, a fully digitized operation and business model is what healthcare establishments from clinics and laboratories to hospitals and pharmaceuticals are looking forward to.
As a result, digital transformation is inevitable to get ahead in the competitive healthcare industry and maintain current patient care standards.
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Advantages Of Digital Healthcare
Digital health innovations progress effectivity and save time by molding elements like augmented reality, blockchain, electronic records, the internet of things, and smartphones with medicine.
Digital health can prevent potential diseases, reduce healthcare costs, help tackle chronic diseases, and monitor patient prognosis and follow-up. It enhances the customization and personalization of healthcare for patients. Simultaneously healthcare providers gain significant access to health data and are extensively assisted in managing the overall health of the patient. Diagnosis, treatment planning, and the delivery of the treatment are efficiently enhanced. Health care is overall boosted with better technology, information, connectivity, and convergence. The quality of medicine is also greatly improved. Patient tracking for overall health and wellness is an important aspect of digital healthcare. With top-notch network services, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, etc. healthcare not only goes digital but also futuristic.
Some of the advances in health care include
- Telemedicine: project to grow to about $ 220 billion by 2026, telemedicine has brought healthcare to our homes during the difficult pandemic times. It is cheaper, personalized, and simpler for the patient while easier and less taxing for the professionals.
- Health wearables: Bluetooth skyrocketed the demand for wearable devices. Nowadays, almost everybody is tracking their breathing, sleep, and pulse as well as counting 10k steps to be healthier. Wearables are also available to monitor diabetes and heart conditions. There are also hearables, implantables, and insideables.
- 3d printing: a trending technology, 3d printing has greatly helped in medical education and training, prosthetics, treatment of burns, etc. organ transplantation has become revolutionary through 3d printing.
- Artificial intelligence: AI has been changing the landscape of medical diagnosis. It has found great use in overseeing heart diseases, treatment planning, and drug research. It is one of the foundation stones of digital healthcare.
- Virtual reality: VR has greatly improved the training of medical professionals. It is also effective in treating autism, dementia, and other psychological ailments. It is recently being used in developing pain management regimes, rehabilitation, etc.
- Technology in mental health: AI-powered tools, chatbots and now video-game are being used nowadays to treat depression.
- CRISPR: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, or CRISPR is the prime of genetic technology today. It is promisingly treating cancers, genetic, and auto-immune diseases by cutting out faulty and pathogenic DNA. CRISPR uses the mechanism of bacterial immune system used to attack viruses.
- Precision medicine: it is transforming health care altogether by developing personalized treatment. Currently most developed in oncology, it directly works on the genetic makeup of the patient to fight diseases.
- Neurotechnology: neurotechnology is currently at work for brain mapping, neurostimulation, and neuro devices. Potently treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, it has further scope in education, workplace management, national security, etc.
- mRNA technology: the messenger for proteins, mRNA, and its advanced use is what gave rise to the near-divine COVID-19 vaccine, its ability to code any protein furthers its potential to more than vaccines- all protein-derived medicine like antibiotics. Development time, resources, and costs all can be reduced significantly by setting the human body to develop medicines in vivo.
Challenges in The Digital Transformation of Healthcare
Limited access to care:
In many areas, access to healthcare is limited, making it difficult for people to receive timely care when they need it. In most cases, healthcare requires face-to-face meetings. Because of this issue, patients must immediately seek treatment at the nearest medical facility.
The COVID outbreak made matters much worse. People were afraid to leave their houses due to the virus's contagious nature. When this occurs, how do they get immediate medical attention? As a result, addressing the demand for remote access or virtual consultations is a pressing matter that must be addressed if we are to maintain our technological lead.
Digital technology can help address this issue by providing virtual healthcare services, such as telemedicine, which allows patients to connect with a healthcare provider from the comfort of their own home.
Lack of robust supply chain:
We, the patients, don't give much thought to the organisational details of medical care. They are, however, the backbone of healthcare operations. Healthcare services run smoothly thanks to efficient logistics. However, it remains difficult to organise all of these details.
Mismanaged medical supplies, equipment, or drugs are the results of this issue, which may initially sound more like a supply chain management issue. Inefficiency on the part of the doctor's office is accompanied by patient frustration and potential health risks.
Without a reliable supply management system, hospitals become hotspots for wasteful operations due to frequent supply shortages, lost or stolen inventory, and inadequate preventative measures against shrinkage.
Patient data management:
The healthcare industry generates a vast amount of data, making it challenging to manage and store it effectively. The sheer volume of patient information alone can be a stressful part of any healthcare system. With each new patient added to the database, the total amount of data continues to grow. As a result, it's more challenging than ever to keep up with all of this information.
The hospitals confront a challenging situation in securing the patient data and accessing it when needed. Misdiagnoses, breaches in data security, ineffective treatment, missed appointments, failing to monitor improvement or relapse in a patient's condition, etc. are all common results of inadequate data management and excessive data collection. The results could be disastrous for both healthcare providers and their patients.
Digital technology can help by providing secure and centralized storage systems for patient data, which can be accessed by healthcare providers when needed.
Inadequate access to online pharmacies:
People's shopping habits have shifted due to the proliferation of online retailers; they now expect to be able to buy virtually anything from the comfort of their couch. However, the industry is behind other sectors due to the lack of online medicinal stores. Online pharmacies can cause market disruption and inconvenience for customers if they don't carry prescription-based medicines.
Chronic disease management:
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer place a significant burden on the healthcare industry. Digital technology can help manage these conditions by providing patients with remote monitoring tools and educational resources to help them manage their health.
Inefficient data refinement:
Quite a lot of challenges have come forward in the path of healthcare stakeholders, since the introduction of digitized healthcare. Humungous amounts of information are collected across a variety of systems even more diverse storage and coding. Refining this data in a standard format along with uniformity and consistency is an enduring challenge.
Healthcare's isolated systems:
The healthcare industry is fragmented and disjointed. There is a need for a central hub where healthcare professionals can meet online to compare notes, discuss new information, and collaborate on projects.
If the healthcare industry had its own unified platform, things might improve. Better understanding, diagnosis, and treatment are possible when everyone learns from everyone else.
Lack of digital proficiency:
Another bump on this road is the digital proficiency among patients and healthcare workers, leading to inadequate access to healthcare. Other challenges include issues related to data storage, distribution, and possession. This results in security, privacy concerns, and technology and ethics issues.
Strict guidelines related to data privacy:
The right to information and the right to privacy are some of the most important legal hurdles when it comes to digitization, and the digital transformation of healthcare is no exception to that. Critics argue that not only these laws are often violated but also that these are inadequate to limit a venture as great as the digital world. The governments look forward to make amends in the laws such that while the patients’ rights are safeguarded from any intrusion or negative impact, the quality of value of healthcare is not compromised in the transition of healthcare system to digital health.
Additionally, the tectonic shift to digital health strategies renders the workforce highly active and dispersed. This makes the system susceptible to improper authentication of healthcare personnel and the jeopardy of unauthorized access. If a system is further flawed with a weak framework of connectivity there are patients at risk.
Moreover, the digital transformation of health care requires a robust infrastructure that is linked, cohesive, planned, and activated enough to translate the data into tailor-made, patient-centric healthcare. If any of the properties are lacking, digital architecture itself is a posing challenge.
How Are Healthcare Problems Solved with Digitization?
1. Remote Access: Healthcare has so far picturized as in-person consultations. This compels the patients to run to the nearest healthcare provider in case of any ailment. The pandemic outbreak and lockdowns worsened the situation as the risk of infection restrained people within their homes. The solution to the problem was brought by mobile healthcare web applications with better flexibility and personalization which not only provided the needed care to the patients but also relaxed the providers from burnout. Recent developments to achieve remote access include holography, AI, VR, and machine learning.
2. mHealth applications: being uninsured is synonymous with being denied access to healthcare services. mHealth apps with high transparency and online access are getting more popular by providing direct access to routine primary health care and giving real-time assistance through, tracking activity, reminders, communication, etc.
3. Fraternity Connectivity: Healthcare professionals are so engrossed with their respective workloads that they are disconnected from their community. As a result, better learning in the art of diagnosis and treatment is being underdeveloped because of a lack of communication. A social networking app dedicated to health professionals can break the silo culture and boost communication not only among personnel but also about recent advances. Features like live conversations, media sharing, newsletters, etc can help greatly as well.
4. Patient records: with a heavy workload, data entry for patient records that are necessary for not only healthcare but a lot many aspects like identification, finance, medico-legal issues, etc. may seem cumbersome. Electronic health records make it easier, help in communication as well as save a lot of revenue for a healthcare establishment in terms of drug costs, emergency and ambulatory services, length of stay reduction, readmission, and revenue reimbursement.
5. Data management: logistics is the skeleton of the healthcare industry. The traditional supply-chain management system is obsolete to control this, leading to problems like drug shortage, mismanaged equipment, lost/damaged inventory, patient harm, etc. a robust analytically powered data management system is not only easy to use, constantly updating, and nonstop, but also insightful in providing information.
6. Cloud capabilities and data analytics: storage, accessibility, and usage of patient data is a testing task. Cloud-based data systems and mobile portals allow real-time access to valuable information and help update these data easily. They are useful in maintaining proper databases.
7. Prescription-based online pharmacy stores: the booming e-commerce field should capitalize on the healthcare industry through online pharmacies. These not only bring medicine to the touch of a button for the patients but also prevent disruption of the market.
8. Genome Editing technology: mutation is revolutionary- a nick or an extra might chance the whole sequence. That is how we encounter newer ailments and infections. As we learn more about our DNA, we might be able to not only be prepared for diseases but also get breakthrough to treat deadly ones.
9. The internet of medical things (IOMT): emergencies often catch doctors unprepared, and sometimes it might become a too-little-too-late situation. Wearables help monitor patients with such risks by tracking chronic conditions, medication orders, hospital admissions, etc., and sending the information to caregivers. IOMT brings together various sensors and devices through Wi-Fi into communication with each other and cloud platforms for data analytics and may prevent potential health dangers.
10. Block-chain: incompetency and errors in healthcare in such an era of medical advancements is often attributed to improper data transfer between departments or professionals. What is painful is that the patient pays the price. Block-chain-based databases help bring a complete patient experience by maintaining and safeguarding the integrity and privacy of patient information. Gone are the days of the pen-and-paper way of data management
How Jeel Techsoft Can Help in This?
The move to digital healthcare has fast-tracked in the recent years unlike the early days. It has entirely transformed the way society participates with healthcare establishments and services, and the patient experience. The expedition of revamping healthcare using front-line technologies to help our healthcare association shape digital solutions, increase effectiveness, and cut prices.
Dedicated and skilled professional developers build fundamental websites and applications and provide to countless consumers from the healthcare industry. Not only patients but also professionals and larger institutions can be helped to rationalize the core functions in healthcare service.
There are numerous possibilities where digital healthcare tool developers assist to oil the healthcare machinery: -
Hospital Management Systems
This vigorous system patrols and adjusts the routine procedures in hospitals including Medical Records management and safe archival within the system. They can maintain patient data access and retrieval as well as update them automatically with subsequent follow-ups.
Telemedicine software development services provide both doctors and patients with a key to arrange online virtual appointments, with consultation, instantaneous appointment schedule, access to medical diagnostic and therapeutic services and reports, follow-up, clinic management as additional benefits.
Drug Delivery Solution
Rapid medicine delivery system targets both website and mobile channels, and is an online drugstore app development solution. Quick order process with prescription upload and drugs search features along with inventory management, offers, and shipping integration with enhance the patient engagement and help a better pharmacy to serve the patients.
Patient Engagement Solutions
With cost effective solutions like portable health monitoring applications, clinical maps and tailor-made patient portals which follow regulatory standards, developers can conquer custom healthcare web development.
Automated system sequences and mobile healthcare facilities greatly improves the productivity and adjusts healthcare services as per demand. Since the pandemic, patients are more comfortable in their homes and find it compatible to access the internet of things via smartphones, wearables, and smart climate systems for their healthy welfare. Developers can thus revolutionize healthcare through health automation, which is getting more and more cost effective as well as capital generating.
Healthcare, like almost every industry, is rapidly evolving with new technologies. To stay ahead in the field and provide the best care, each of the stakeholders must do their part to stay aware of these advances and proactively seek the skills that will enable them to make use of the technologies as they enter the industry. Only this way the goal of holistic user experience is achievable in digital healthcare.