Envision a world wherein individuals spend less time traveling to the clinic to make appointments since they can get check-ups and consultations at home, where every patient has a solitary 360-degree clinical record. What’s more, the patient-record has been consistently updated via healthcare teams. The costs and complications of chronic disease begin to decline as remote patient monitoring and virtual training become routine.
That’s what a connected health ecosystem is all about – a network where smarter, faster and more accurate interactions between people, devices, data, analytics, and apps are transforming the way healthcare is delivered. A connected health ecosystem involves connecting physicians to data, connecting patients to healthcare providers, and connecting practices to networks – all to deliver better, more integrated health and care outcomes. So, as the sector becomes more interconnected, a network of intelligent communication and information exchange intended to improve patient outcomes is transforming the way healthcare is delivered.
These changes and advances have gone from being an obligation to something essential and beneficial. Therefore, below we are going to explain how it affects, what will be its future applications, and the advantages it brings to the health sector.
How does digital transformation affect the health sector?
It is impossible not to notice the digital transformation happening around us. Until recently, many hesitated to buy online for fear of fraud or even the need to be in direct contact with the products. Today, there are companies that do not even have physical stores and, even so, are among the largest in the sector.
Technology approximates and simplifies the way relationships are established, including in the professional sphere. It is a revolution that brings different applications, with important gains in various sectors of daily life. And it is no different in the area of health. The new digital tools and strategies are used decisively in the search for innovative treatments and solutions that democratize access to health. And that makes procedures cheaper for the general population.
Technological trends that drive digital transformation in healthcare
New practices that were once a dream in hospital corridors are now being applied. Here we highlight three of the main technologies that will increasingly drive the ongoing digital transformation: Interoperability, Digital Signature, and Artificial Intelligence. Know a little more about each one of them.
It is common for health institutions, when starting their digital transformation processes, to have a series of legacy systems that need to be integrated with the new systems. Interoperability is a concept that expresses the ability of different systems to operate together, exchanging information with each other efficiently. But it is possible to go further.
Imagine the benefits for patients and physicians of an information system that spans public and private systems across the country. It would be an important step in the search for the offer of truly universal health, integrated, and focused on prevention.
The digital signature, supported by biometrics and facial recognition, has already been used in several market segments and is equivalent to a signature as its own hand. With the increasing use of management systems to centralize information in the electronic medical record of patients (PEP) and the search for greater efficiency and security in the handling and storage of health information, the digital signature becomes essential to securely identify the source of clinical information to avoid errors and fraud.
Another direct benefit that digital signature brings is the reduction in the cost of printing and storing medical records, reaffirming the paperless trend considered essential in the journey of digital transformation.
Artificial Intelligence is an area of technology that aims to create human simulators capable of reasoning, having perceptions, making decisions, and solving problems. Its application in supporting clinical decisions is of great relevance because, in addition to the volume of information generated in the entire ecosystem being gigantic, professionals need to be constantly updated, which constitutes a great challenge.
In this sense, Artificial Intelligence tools are important to support pillars in indicating the paths to follow in-patient care. With information bases always up to date, they can guide so that the professionals responsible for the care can treat patients more efficiently.
To get the project off the ground, strategies like design thinking can help you establish a direction for a more assertive and results-oriented journey of change.
The digital transformation in health, now more than ever, has become an urgent topic. It is the answer to more assertive health management, to medical practice more connected with the reality of the contemporary world, and to guarantee the loyalty of its patients. It is no longer a thing of the future; it needs to be done now.