Digital transformation is a process whereby digital technology is embedded in all areas of the enterprise. It has a direct impact on business performance, which makes digital transformation a critical component of a business plan.
Today, we most often think of digital transformation as a high-impact strategy for healthcare organizations to become more customer-centric while simultaneously transforming their operations, culture, and approach to using technology. Some of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare industry today are increasing consumer satisfaction, improving the quality of care, and containing costs as populations grow and life expectancy increases.
Spending on digital transformation has exceeded $1.3 trillion globally and is growing 10.4% year over year. At the same time, a Deloitte study reports that about 92% of healthcare professionals and institutions achieved efficiency gains precisely because of digital transformation. As COVID-19 identified existing vulnerabilities in many healthcare systems and the value of having quality data for decision-making, it’s time for digital health to become an integral part of healthcare priorities and benefit people in safe, reliable, and sustainable ways.
In our article, we look at what the current situation of healthcare digital transformation looks like, what trends to consider, and how to support the convergence of digital transformation.
The trends and benefits of digital transformation in healthcare
Digital transformation involves adopting advanced technologies and digital solutions in healthcare to streamline workflows, improve healthcare infrastructure, empower healthcare professionals, and increase the availability of on-demand care.
Let’s briefly look at the benefits of digital transformation:
- Better interaction with patients
- Secure database
- Increased accuracy
- Improved data management
- Improved productivity
The following technological advances are examples of the digitalization that is being implemented in healthcare: EHR, telemedicine solutions, cloud security, software as a medical device (SaMD), Big Data, Al-powered medical devices and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).These technologies are fundamentally changing the way patients are diagnosed, treatment plans are selected, patients communicate with healthcare providers, information is exchanged between providers, and much more.
Healthcare digital transformation trends in 2022
Digital technology is the future of the healthcare industry, having already revolutionized medicine. According to a Global Market Insights, Inc. study, the global digital health market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.4% to reach $426.9 billion in 2027.
Listed below are some of the digital health trends in 2022 that have emerged from the increased adoption of technology by startups and digital health institutions:
- Big data
- Health and mental well-being apps
- Online pharmacy
- Digital therapeutics
- Disease history analysis
- Health wearables
Now that we have described the current sense of healthcare digitalization and have an understanding of which areas are likely to evolve, let’s talk about the practical steps to accelerate the convergence of digital technologies.
Steps to advance digital solutions
Social distancing measures have already led many providers to use virtual care technology for routine outpatient appointments. Hospitals and other healthcare institutions are turning to 5G telecommunications, cloud computing, interoperable data and analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) to address both current challenges and the future of healthcare, namely the creation of digital models of care delivery.
Talking about approaches to supporting the convergence of digital transformation, our experts advise the following ones:
1) Use what you already have
2) Engage partners or buy what you need
3) Automate your existing repetitive process
For example, health institutions can move nonessential functions – disaster recovery backup, training databases, testing environments- to the cloud. That way, they learn how to work with those capabilities, and over time, can move critical systems there. They should also look at automating routine processes, such as testing the EHR system, as this can provide cost-effective scalability in the future.
Among no-regret steps to advance digital strategy in healthcare and digital solutions, we decided to highlight the followings:
- Focus on strengthening interoperability and connectivity.
To provide the flexibility and necessary capabilities for healthcare systems – which in turn are necessary to deliver care at the right time and in the right place – it is important to choose interoperable, future-focused digital solutions. And it’s also important to take the time to encourage aggregation and connectivity of data from different sources (both institutional/traditional and wearable devices, for example).
- Emphasize the shift from inpatient visits to more outpatient and digital management.
As a result, this can transform the way health care is delivered. Creating an integrated platform that integrates a digital control tower with proactive AI capabilities will optimize the flow of patient data. As a result, it will increase the efficiency of physicians and resources, which in turn will enable the delivery of patient care across physical boundaries.
- Move contact centers from legacy technology stacks to the cloud.
This will improve customer interactions and make it easier to solve all kinds of problems. Traditional call centers often limit organizations’ ability to retain patients and provide efficient service. By migrating functionality to the cloud, you get a secure, multi-channel contact center platform with conversational AI and automation, complete with an integrated ecosystem to enhance the customer experience.
- Invest in 5G infrastructure.
Consider creating an independent organization focused on 5G computing and Edge computing to test, apply, and develop these capabilities. Such an organization should be outside the control of the core business and capital deployment processes.
- Expand the concept of partnership.
No information system in healthcare, public or private, has the full suite of digital transformation tools. Forming intra- and cross-industry partnerships and alliances can provide access to knowledge, data, capabilities, expertise, investment, and scale that one organization may lack. Broadening the concept of partnerships can open the door to cost savings, operational efficiencies, improved service access, and clinical innovations to improve population health.
Are you seeking an IT team to streamline your medical practice with modern technology? Explore Yalantise’s expertise to learn how your organization can begin reaping the benefits of digital transformation in healthcare.