5 Technology Trends That Healthcare Institutions Need To Be Aware Of
Healthcare technology has gained tremendous momentum in recent years. Various aspects such as evolving patient expectations, rising healthcare costs, the need to come up with innovative delivery models, changing patient demographics, have compelled the healthcare institutions to look at technology to address these changing demands.
The benefits of adopting technology are aplenty.
To begin with, it helps in reducing errors in diagnosis and enables the healthcare institutions to provide timely and better quality treatment to patients. It also improves operational efficiency within healthcare institutions and facilitates increased collaboration between doctors, caregivers, patients leading to better patient outcomes and higher patient satisfaction.
But what kind of technology trends should healthcare institutions follow, and how will they benefit them?
We will explore it in this blog.
Five Technology Trends That Healthcare Institutions Must Know
- Wearable Devices
Healthcare institutions are usually unable to offer timely treatment due to a lack of real-time data. They have to compare the results of the current report with the previous reports that may not be recent. This could potentially impact the outcome of treatment. There are various types of wearable devices available in the market. These devices can be of help here. Devices like Fitbit or Apple Watch help patients to track their sleep, heart rate, etc.; while some devices measure advanced vitals such as blood oxygen saturation and ECG. These devices generate real-time data, which can be quickly sent to healthcare providers digitally for monitoring. The data enables healthcare providers to make better decisions about the patient’s healthcare plan. Using a wearable also puts the patient in charge of their health. They can easily measure their vitals, compare the data, and alert their healthcare providers if they find any abnormal fluctuations.
Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, telehealth has garnered support from healthcare institutions and patients. In March 2020, NHS England issued a notice to all healthcare institutions, including general practitioners, to provide digital and video-based consultations to outpatients to minimise hospital visits and offer continuous treatment to patients.
Telehealth services are particularly useful for pregnant women and patients with chronic conditions as they cannot visit the hospitals and clinics repeatedly during the pandemic. Although telehealth services seem particularly useful during COVID-19, we foresee it to become an integral part of continuous healthcare in future. It will save the patients the effort of travelling to the hospital for treatment and waiting for a long period. It will also benefit the healthcare institutions as they can reduce the number of emergency admissions, which sometimes are not required and ensure consistent care for patients. The main benefit is that healthcare institutions can expand their access to remote areas too. Telehealth monitoring can be done through video conferencing, or via telephonic conversation.
- Digital Communication
The primary benefit of digital communication is that it bridges the gap between healthcare institutions, the patients, and their caregivers. Patients and their caregivers can easily communicate with their healthcare providers through text messages, in-app chats, and emails. This reduces the burden of healthcare providers as they can focus on patients who require urgent attention and at the same time, provide continuous treatment to out-of-hospital patients. It also helps patients avoid unnecessary hospital visits. The objective is to improve the overall out-of-hospital specialist care and their outcome.
- Mobile Apps
Healthcare apps help in improving patient experience as well as enable the healthcare institutions to manage coordination between the patient, caregiver, and healthcare provider efficiently. With the help of mobile apps, patients can book or cancel appointments, access their health records, purchase medicines, and even communicate with their healthcare provider easily. The healthcare institutions, on the other hand, can use it for purposes such as better administration, easy management and access of health records, seamless communication, information gathering, and for continuing medical education of healthcare providers. It helps streamline the process of patient management and improves the outcome through better coordination and seamless experience.
- Cloud-based Platforms
As the number of patients grows, healthcare institutions have to think of ways to manage their patients as well as hospital data for future reference. That’s when cloud-based platforms come to rescue. Cloud-based platforms help healthcare institutions to store a large amount of patient data that come from various sources such as electronic medical records (EMR), wearable devices, etc. They do not have to spend money on buying servers and hardware systems. This helps them to reduce capital expenditure and also reduce operational barriers caused due to overwhelming health care records. The best part about a cloud-based platform is that it allows easy sharing of data between different healthcare providers, patients, and their caregivers. This helps all the relevant stakeholders to access the data and offer timely treatment to patients. Cloud-based platforms have also made telehealth more accessible and simple for patients and healthcare providers. Of course, healthcare institutions have their share of concerns about the security of data. However, cloud providers have been providing additional cybersecurity capabilities to prevent data loss or cyber-attacks.
As lifestyle diseases and the aging population in the world increase, healthcare institutions have to adopt technology to improve operations and patient experience proactively.
We have been helping healthcare institutions provide personalised care to patients through our cloud-based healthcare platforms. Our platform helps healthcare institutions to improve care and treatment experience and operational efficiency. The GDPR and NHS-DSPT compliant platform has been specially built for care management, so it has configurable features that can be customized based on the needs of the stakeholders.
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