Digital Transformation in Healthcare

Digital transformation is moving and expanding across industries globally. According to Statista, global spending on digital transformation is about to reach $3.4 trillion by 2026, which is more than doubling from $1.6 trillion in 2022. This rapid growth shows that digital ability is being prioritized as essential in almost every industry, and the healthcare industry too.
The healthcare industry is transforming digitally and it has very vast to optimize operational processes and improve the overall patient experience, all the while reducing costs.

What is Digital Transformation in Healthcare?

Digital transformation in healthcare is making use of the latest technology, methodologies, and processes to deliver an affordable and trusted value to patients, healthcare professionals, and healthcare organizations/institutes. It is mainly accepting and adapting advanced technologies and innovative approaches to maximize benefits. The basic goals of digital transformation include improved patient outcomes, lower costs, increased accessibility, and better experiences for both patients and healthcare service providers.

In recent times many healthcare providers are using digital transformation to make things better for everyone involved. We can go through the numbers;

  • According to a report by Future Market Insights, the global digital transformation in the healthcare market is projected to be worth $65.2 billion by 2023. The market is about to reach US$ 253.6 billion by 2033, with a CAGR of 14.5% from 2023 to 2033.
  • A recent Deloitte study found that around 92% of healthcare professionals & institutes have achieved better performance from digital transformation.

Digital Transformation Trends in Healthcare

Digital Transformation in Healthcare can largely improve the ability of healthcare professionals, institutions, and organizations by helping them provide better treatment to patients and help them live healthier and longer lives.

Below we will check the top digital transformation trends in healthcare:

1. Health Wearables

Before digital transformation happened people didn’t have any other choice from going to clinics for health checkups or meeting the doctor when they have health issues.

Patients nowadays are first focusing on consistent maintenance of their health and they are also demanding information regarding their health more frequently. To keep themselves updated on their health most people are investing in wearable technology devices to keep a check on important health metrics & determine the chances of a major health issue.

A recent study has also shown that the health wearable device market is forecasted to cross $419.44 Billion US dollars by 2028, which is a huge jump from just $186.48 Billion US dollars in 2023.

Health wearable devices that are popular:

  • An Exercise trackers
  • Fitness bands
  • Oximeters
  • A Sweat meter (used for tracking blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.)

These wearable devices are connected and can help healthcare professionals with better ability to take essential medical information of patients in real-time and obtain a more accurate process for patient’s health.

2. Patient Portals

The patient portals are online platforms that allow patients to access their health records, schedule appointments, chat with doctors, and many other services that are provided specially for patients. Patient portals are trending high because they promote transparency and convenience.

A recent survey revealed that 82% of healthcare professionals & organizations consider patient portals as one of the most important technologies for engaging with patients and creating immediate bridges of trust. Patient portals help people who can not only check their medical care history, prescription & visit notes from doctors, and see their test results online, but they can also share all this data with multiple healthcare providers.

This, as a result, removes the need to transfer or share medical records manually and this is convenient for both patients as well as healthcare professionals/providers.

We can take an example of, FollowMyHealth. It is a very popular platform among US citizens and is a great example of a patient portal. This platform allows its users to maintain records of both general medicines as well as specialist visits and they can even contact & message doctors within the platform. on the other hand, the doctors can access connected patients’ complete medical history from a single location.

On-demand Virtual Doctor Appointment App

3. Data Aggregation

Patient portals are a perfect solution for collecting patients’ data. Nowadays, healthcare institutions & organizations also need to collect patient data. It is important because most hospitals nowadays have large data coming in from a wide range of sources such as:

  • Patient-provided data
  • Lab results
  • Pharmacy data
  • Internal & external electronic health records (EHR)
  • Data from medical devices like health wearables
  • Imaging centre data
  • insurance claims records

Data Aggregation helps hospitals to make quick & thoughtful patient-care decisions without having to worry about missing important patient data. You can also understand it as data aggregation helps to improve patient care and minimize costs.

It brings together all data to create a thorough patient profile, which reduces the time spent through patient data and the patient has to wait less for any service done.

For example, IBM Watson is an advanced data collection and analysis platform. It is a universal solution for multiple industries, including healthcare. IBM Watson partnered with Pfizer recently to develop new cancer drugs by collecting & utilizing cancer patients’ natural immune responses.

These two companies were successful in predicting specific kinds of cancer by checking complex genomic data.

4. TeleHealth & Virtual Doctor Visits

The COVID-19 Pandemic has though many things and also created ways virtually for any medical help, the world has adopted virtual doctor visits and it has become one of the most growing trends in healthcare. Virtual doctor visits allow patients to interact with doctors through video calls, removing the need to visit doctors at their clinics in person.

Thanks to telehealth solutions, doctors were able to see 50% to 175% more patients during the COVID-19 lockdown situation.

There are many advantages of the virtual visits of doctors. Doctors can now easily conduct patient care visits, screen patients more easily & quickly, and schedule an in-person appointment only if certain follow-ups are necessary. And for patients, virtual visits save a lot of time as they do not have to travel to doctors’ clinics or hospitals sitting in waiting rooms.

5. On-Demand Healthcare

People have become more mobile over few years, which has pushed many industries to enter the on-demand economy.

According to Statista, more than 58% of web traffic comes from smartphones/mobile phones since 2023.

The Coronavirus Pandemic has thought and changed the way patients ask for help from healthcare services and not only patients but doctors are also no longer bonded to one organization. They’ve now become more eager to work for multiple healthcare institutes at a time and more opportunities have opened for them in healthcare.

6. Disease History Analysis

Demand for Healthcare solutions has increased and with them, more digital healthcare tools are being launched to help doctors analyze a patient’s disease history to provide the best possible treatment.

For instance, BostonGene is worth mentioning. The company is famous for offering complete clinical as well as research solutions including the disease history analysis tool. BostonGene’s tool is built in a way to conduct an in-depth analysis of a patient’s previous diseases and provides a completely personalized treatment plan that could generate the best results for patients’ health.

7. AI Screening

The most growing trend of digital transformation in healthcare is AI screening by using artificial intelligence technology. AI Screening helps hospital service providers discover which patient needs care first and guides the patient to the correct channels without delays. Many hospitals across the globe have successfully adopted AI-based chatbots and voice systems to screen patients to reduce the load on hospital staff.

AI Screening could help to guide patients to the appointment scheduling line, the laboratory, or the pharmacy and this can reduce the number of people gathering in the waiting room unnecessarily and can take some burden off of the hospital staff.

An AI-based automated phone system is a great use case for AI Screening. It could collect callers’ information and direct their calls to the correct person, this reduces the transfer wait time & hold times.

Challenges of Digital Transformation In Healthcare & Their Solutions

Digital transformation is a complex process, especially for a traditional industry such as healthcare. But, to become more competitive, all healthcare institutions & organizations need to go through digital transformation.

Below, we’ve listed the most significant digital transformation challenges (along with their solutions) that healthcare companies usually need to overcome to implement digital transformation.

Challenge 1 – Data Security

When it comes to digital transformation, cybersecurity is a basic and main concern for all healthcare institutes because cyberattacks usually target details like private information, sensitive details, and highly valuable personal health data which can lead to disturbance of patient care.

For instance, Low risk in private hospitals of malware attack. But such an attack could easily breach patients’ privacy, leading to a hospital’s reputation loss, fraud, differences, etc. It is highly advised to take required measures to strengthen the security level and prevent cyberattacks.

Solution – Leveraging Blockchain in Healthcare

Adopting blockchain technology is highly advisable to overcome this challenge. Blockchain is a digital transaction technology that is built upon multiple networks of computers and is mostly adopted in the finance industry.

According to a recent study by Precision and Strategic Intelligence, the market based on blockchain in healthcare applications is already forecasted to cross $890 million US dollars by 2023.

Healthcare with blockchain helps to:

  • Prevents from cybersecurity breaches
  • Identifies incorrect activities in patients’ health information
  • Allows patients to use & share their private health data
  • Healthcare has already been using blockchain as a solution to solve the issues with the medical records of patients.

Challenge 2 – The Cost Factor

Many healthcare institutions, organizations, and companies are putting digital transformation plans on the back burner as the cost factor. Unfortunately, these healthcare entities mainly focus on the ROI while neglecting the value of digital transformation that it can deliver.

Digital transformation in healthcare requires huge investments in technology as well as partnering with a software development company for technical jobs. It is proved that digital transformation can also offer higher scalability, more profits, and increased revenue compared to the traditional approach.
There are some cost-saving ways to approach digital transformation in healthcare.

Solution

We can save cost by hiring a Software Development company that can provide you with a solution that is the most popular and most-used methodology that increases the speed as well as the flexibility of the digital transformation process.

For digital transformation in your healthcare organization, it is essential to partner with a healthcare software development company with digital transformation or outsource your project to a reliable software development company.

Challenge 3 – Resistance to Change

A large number of healthcare professionals have agreed in a survey that because of working on tight schedules, they usually don’t have enough time to participate in learning how to use new software and they regularly spend hours on hospital administrative work, which could be easily automated through digital transformation.

Digital transformation is about transforming the way healthcare entities as well as their professionals think and work. It is important to fight for the resistance to change mindset before starting on the digital transformation journey.

Solution – Introduction of New Software to staff

Educating your staff and stakeholders familiar with new software developed during the digital transformation can seem like a difficult task but it is certainly done. To educate your staff & stakeholders on how to use new software, you have to create a good training program and participate in the training program. An important part of getting your staff as well as stakeholders to participate in the training program is to demonstrate respect for their time and packed schedules.

Therefore, it’s best to make clear & realistic deadlines for the new software training program and give a lot of advance notice. Allow your staff and stakeholders time and space to process the change.

Challenge 4 – Complying with HIPAA Regulations

The challenge that arises with digital transformation in healthcare is complying with the HIPAA Regulations. The HIPAA law is made to protect a person’s personal health records and private health information at all costs. This regulation was created to allow patients to set boundaries on the use and sharing of their health records.

Must do to comply with HIPAA Regulation

  • Make sure of complete safety, confidentiality, and availability of patients’ medical records.
  • Save them against cyber threats.
  • Protect from the use of patient’s medical history wrongly.

Not following the above rules can lead to both civil monetary as well as criminal penalties.

Solution – Software Development with HIPAA-Compliant

Developing custom HIPAA-compliant software is a complex, time-consuming & expensive process. It is essential to go with a healthcare software development company that you can trust and make your own software.

Before starting on your digital transformation journey, it’s best to research potential healthcare app development companies to build your software.

Conclusion

Digital transformation in healthcare is evolving at an unmatched rate. It has burnt many improved healthcare services, leading to better patient care and outcomes. Apart from this with patients’ demand rising for modern and latest technological healthcare services, the healthcare industry cannot afford to be a disaster.

Digital transformation has the power to not only change patient care but also allow healthcare entities for professionals to reduce the amount of time spent performing administrative tasks.
We at Nevina Infotech provide you with the best healthcare software development services. You can reach out to us for ease in developing your healthcare app and other related services.

Rahim Ladhani
Author

Rahim Ladhani

CEO and Managing Director