Covid-19 has all but altered how we see healthcare in the modern day. What we used to simply accept as part-and-parcel of everyday life we now see as a lifeline to easing and eventually overcoming the pressures of Covid-19.
It’s not been smooth sailing for those executives invested in renovating and updating their healthcare systems since the start of the year and to meet the challenge, digital transformation has become perhaps the most important cog in the machine concentrated on the prevention of the coronavirus.
Digital Transformation and Interoperability in Healthcare
Patients are transforming from passive recipients of healthcare services to active consumers. In a world where we are more disconnected physically, patients need digital touchpoints and experiences delivered to them now more than ever before. The pressure is on, and health organizations are being forced to address pressing questions to optimize their patient and member engagement strategy.
At the end of the current decade we want to be able to look back on 2020 and view it as a turning point, one in which we saw our systems and executives rise to the challenge of the virus and institute technologies which didn’t just cater to the prevention of this disease, but any potential disease that could threaten to become an epidemic.
As Kees Wesdorp, Chief Business Leader for Precision Diagnosis at Philips puts it, “COVID-19 has become a catalyst for change – a defining moment for all of us to reimagine healthcare the way it should be.” Covid-19 is a significant challenge for healthcare services the world over, but it is also a significant opportunity, one in which professionals can push for the tech that they’d always dreamt of employing.
Interoperability in Healthcare and Patient Data Exchange
Interoperability is defined as the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information. For healthcare purposes, it’s potential is enormous.
When any new pandemic is on the rise, collating and correlating the data on its aggression and infectiousness are vital when formulating a response. Secure minute-to-minute data sharing tools are a significant boon when managing any disease and to this extent we’ve seen healthcare providers worldwide look to build digital bridges in the face of the pandemic.
For example, during March, Philips collaborated with the Dutch government and two leading hospitals to create an online portal that connected 95% of all Dutch hospitals for digital exchange of COVID-19 patient data.
Once executives have improved their data exchange potential, they should then look to employ technologies which help them to examine and scrutinize their data. From here, executives can generate new strategies to see them through difficult times. To this end, healthcare providers are making use of AI to help them to scan vast swathes of data quickly and efficiently.
Artificial Intelligence can obviously be used in the battle against Covid-19, helping to identify trends between sufferers of the virus to work towards the prevention of the disease and its potential to mutate. However, this is not its only use. In 2015 for example, misdiagnosing illness and medical error accounted for 10% of all US deaths, by making used of effectively trained AI solutions, healthcare providers can reduce the margin of human and error and save lives in the process.
Internet of Medical Things
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) envisions a network of medical devices and people, which use wireless communication to enable the exchange of healthcare data. According to Deloitte, there are as many as 500,000 medical technologies currently available to professionals. If these devices could all talk to one another, the data produced could prove radical.
Goldman Sachs has estimated that IoMT will save the healthcare industry $300 billion annually in expenditures primarily through remote patient monitoring and improved medication adherence. It also suggested that the market will reach $136.8 billion by 2021, truly no provider can afford not be part of innovation on this scale.
Digital transformation has long been a vital element in introducing radical change to the medical industry, it’s just that now we’re beginning to see this possibility manifest into something tangible.
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