The Digital Transformation of Healthcare

Digital healthcare transformation is happening at an increasingly rapid rate. The current crisis in global health has increased the demand for more healthcare technology to deliver meaningful solutions and more personalized patient care. In an effort to deliver high-value and high-quality care to patients at a reasonable rate, adopting technology is no longer an option – it’s a must. 

How Has Digital Transformation Impacted Healthcare?

Digital healthcare transformation is now considered the foundation to a patient-focused approach in healthcare. It allows healthcare providers and institutions to deliver streamlined operations that will benefit patients and ensure an improved user experience. 

The process of collecting, storing, and accessing data through digital communication will prove highly beneficial in the healthcare setting. The ability to access information about patients is the building block of providing personalized service that will foster trust and loyalty. 

However, keeping up with digital transformation is never easy. The first major hurdle that healthcare providers must face is in terms of choosing the right technology to use. It’s a huge investment. and it will also create a disruption in existing business processes. Getting it right the first time, with the right technological solution that brings results, can supercharge your digital transformation. 

In general, digital transformation has impacted the healthcare industry in a massive way. In the US alone, the digital healthcare market is estimated to be valued at US $504 billion by 2025. To fully understand the scope of this digital transformation, it is important to look at the key trends in the industry. This will help healthcare institutions to achieve the most impact in the way they do business and deliver results. 

Every industry must learn to evolve with the times. The healthcare industry in particular must be quick to adapt these changes to ensure that the best quality care through technological solutions can be provided to patients. As healthcare technology rapidly develops, there are more opportunities for healthcare businesses to adopt these technologies and enhance the diagnosis and treatment for patients. 

To help healthcare workers cope with these changes, these are the top trends in digital healthcare transformation.

Trend #1: Rise of On-Demand Healthcare

This is the first key trend emerging as part of the digital transformation in the industry. Gone are the days when patients wait in line for hours to be able to show up to a doctor’s appointment. Nowadays, patients expect healthcare providers to fit around their schedule (not the other way around). Convenience, essentially, is what patients want and need. 

As the healthcare industry enters the new era of digital innovation, on-demand healthcare will become necessary for healthcare organizations to survive and thrive. People want to be able to consult with and get diagnosed by their choice of healthcare provider despite their busy schedule. 

Reliance on mobile devices has also fueled this key trend. Most patients are online and are connected, so they want to be able to use these devices to easily connect with the physician of their choice. 

Trend #2: Stacked Technological Infrastructure

This is another important trend that healthcare organizations need to focus on when it comes to adapting to digital innovation. Technology is not a one-size-fits-all solution for healthcare providers. Therefore, it is more critical than ever, in terms of providing quality patient care, to have a solid technological infrastructure as a building block. 

Healthcare organizations must invest in flexible technologies that are scalable. For example, APIs, analytics, and cloud technology is needed to be able to access data and provide timely solutions for patients when they need it. 

There are so many new technologies out there that it can be overwhelming. Taking the time to fully understand what each technology does and how it can impact the way business operates can be the key differentiator for the healthcare business.

digital transformation helping doctors

Trend #3: Importance of Big Data

Choosing a powerful technological infrastructure is only the first step towards delivering higher quality patient care and handling and processing big data with higher efficiency. For example, technological solutions that reduce medical errors. The right technology must flag inconsistencies in patient reports to ensure that healthcare professionals deliver the most adequate and timely care for patients. 

Another importance of big data in the healthcare setting is through predictive analysis. This will enable healthcare institutions to properly allocate medical staff. 

Trend #4: Virtual Reality for Patient Treatment

The use of virtual reality is ever-growing in today’s society. But it is also widely used in the healthcare setting, which makes it one of the key trends in digital healthcare transformation. 

Virtual reality has had a myriad of applications in the healthcare industry, and it has transformed the way patients are being treated. A good example is pain management. A few years ago, doctors were quick to prescribe medications to patients to treat pain. Nowadays, VR is used as an alternative to drugs, but its capabilities extend far beyond that. It is utilized for simulations of complicated surgeries to minimize surgical errors. 

Trend #5: Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is another key component of the digital transformation in the healthcare industry. AI-powered tools are dominating the healthcare market. From AI robots and hospital droids being utilized to perform routine tasks for nurses, to the use of chatbots in virtual health consultations with patients, there is a lot of potential for this technology to make an impact on the medical field. However, the real value of AI technology is evident in key medical areas such as medical imaging, genomics, and delivering personalized therapies. 

The Future of Digital Healthcare Transformation

As promising as it seems, digital healthcare transformation is only getting started. The recent global crisis opened everyone’s eyes to the importance of delivering not just quality healthcare, but also timely diagnosis and treatment for patients. 

For this reason, healthcare providers and professionals have come to an agreement that digital healthcare is here to stay. In a report published by Accenture regarding digital health technology in 2021 and moving forward, 81% of surveyed healthcare executives believe that the pace of digital transformation in the industry will continue to accelerate. Moreover, 93% of them believe that there is a sense of urgency to adopting digital transformation.

These healthcare executives have come to the conclusion that healthcare consumers will only increase their expectations in terms of diagnostic care and treatment, especially as the technology develops. They expect that healthcare providers will adapt too, by equipping themselves with the latest technologies available. 

Thus, it is easy to say that the digital adaptation of the healthcare industry is still in its infancy. With consumer expectations elevating as new digital solutions become available, it is important for healthcare organizations to adapt – and quickly – if they want to remain competitive moving forward. 

Explore the Latest AI Insights, Trends and Research