Digitization is catching up in the field of healthcare and medicine. The coronavirus pandemic boosted the adoption of technology. Investors, medical practitioners, and governments are thinking positively about the role technology will play in improving people's health standards worldwide. Advancements in technology and digitization will give people living in remote areas access to top-notch healthcare and the medical staff comprehensive data to conduct full-width research.
This article will shed light on 4 digital transformation trends in healthcare in 2021 and how this field is transforming rapidly in the coming days.
In 2020, remote work took the world by storm when a deadly pandemic devastated businesses worldwide. The healthcare industry was among the first ones that had to deal with extreme challenges. The number of patients was rising rapidly, and medical institutions worldwide weren't prepared to deal with a calamity of such gigantic proportions. Also, people suffering from other chronic diseases couldn't visit hospitals for their routine check-ups due to the fear of catching the virus. This was the time when telemedicine came as a ray of hope. It allowed doctors to provide the best-quality treatment directly to the patient's homes through the internet. Seeing the efficacy of remote treatments, doctors are now increasing the use of medical devices at home, such as remote sensors for monitoring cancer patients.
Digital health records play a significant role in the healthcare industry. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana [PM-JAY] in India received about 30,000 to 40,000 calls every day during the height of the pandemic. Digital health records helped them to create a database of high-risk people, including:
The database allowed healthcare professionals to ensure that people showing Covid-19 symptoms could access the right information and treatment as early as possible. Moreover, the government also launched the Aarogya Setu app that tracks and records the details of all the people that come in contact with the user. Later, if any of those people test positive for Covid-19, the app immediately arranges proactive medical intervention for the user.
There are numerous steps involved in a patient's journey. It starts from identifying the disease, providing effective diagnoses, and finally, the recuperation period over which the patient heals. Artificial Intelligence [AI] is set to revolutionize this field by digitally transforming it. Examples such as PARO robotic seal for dementia patients and chatbots that instantly provide healthcare information have shown how AI plays a critical role in this field. Researchers have also designed AI applications that use pattern recognition techniques to identify the patient's genetic makeup and lifestyle to produce/suggest suitable drugs. Moreover, AI is improving healthcare by transforming fields such as:
Recently, researchers have developed an AI that identifies and diagnoses Covid-19 in asymptomatic patients through the sound of a cough. Reports suggest that AI in healthcare is expected to grow from USD 3.7 billion in 2019 to USD 67 billion by 2027.
Medical practitioners across the globe see similar challenges associated with Covid-19 and other chronic diseases. Statistics suggest that chronic illnesses account for over 80% of the total Medicare cost. There is a broad scope for saving money, and thankfully, technology provides a solution. Self-monitoring apps and wearable devices, including exercise trackers, heart rate sensors, and sweat meters, allow chronic patients to record their vitals and share them with their doctors conveniently. Today, diabetic patients can monitor the sugar and oxygen levels in their blood at the click of a button without visiting doctors. With such significant benefits, the wearable market is expected to rise from USD 8 million in 2017 to USD 27 million by 2023.
The above article explains how digital transformation trends will impact the healthcare industry in 2021 and beyond. It's important to note that healthcare institutions must have Enterprise Resource Planning [ERP] software systems to ensure maximum patients receive the best quality healthcare services in the shortest possible time. They help plan the resources in an orderly fashion that reduces operational expenses, increases revenue, and allows healthcare institutions to adhere to government rules and regulations. Moreover, to record and access patients' health data instantly and conveniently, Customer Relationship Management [CRM] software systems are a must. They help to share crucial information and build robust and long-lasting relationships with people. Technology is set to change the face of the healthcare industry by reducing costs associated with medical treatments and democratizing healthcare facilities so that they become available to the last man standing in the queue.