Technologies are developing rapidly while actively penetrating all spheres of our lives, and the healthcare system is not an exception.
As we live in a brave new world, cutting-edge Web 3.0 and Web 4.0 technologies have immense potential to disrupt healthcare, facilitate the overall workflow, make diagnosis more accurate and treatment more efficient.
Nowadays, it’s impossible to imagine the healthcare system without the implementation of telemedicine applications, electronic health record software, and diverse solutions that leverage artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, and data science.
In 2018, Accenture conducted a comprehensive Consumer Survey on Digital Health based on the feedback from more than 2,300 U.S. residents over the age of 18 and compared its results to similar surveys of 2016 and 2017.
The research shows that as many as 36% of Americans consider eHealth technologies to be very important (up 6% from 2016), with 90% of users admitting willingness to share their health data from wearable devices with doctors.
The top 5 sources used to manage health in the United States are:
- websites (56%, down 2% from 2016)
- smartphones and tablets (46%, up 10% from 2016)
- EHR (38%, up 11% from 2016)
- social media (35%, up 13% from 2016)
- wearables (33%, up 7% from 2016).
When asked if they’ve ever accessed their EHR, the prevailing majority of survey participants replied with a yes (44%), while only 6% opted out of having one. Among those who have access to their EHR, almost 40% admit EHR keeps them informed of their current health conditions. Also, in 2018, 25% of Americans received some healthcare service virtually, which is up 4% from 2017.
The Top 3 digital health benefits are:
- medical costs reduction for patients (54%)
- the ability to better accommodate the patients’ schedules (49%)
- providing timely care to patients (43%).
The survey results show how consumer perception of eHealth and its benefits has changed over just two years. This proves that modern healthcare systems can only be effective when powered by progressive technologies.
How Technologies Are Changing Healthcare
Technologies were penetrating the healthcare system with the advent of computers and started changing the industry drastically at the beginning of the 1990s with the creation of the first healthcare applications.
Then, the digitization of healthcare and technology implementation became a common practice in order to develop new ways of treatment, improve quality of life, provide better patient care, make the workflow easier, and reduce healthcare expenses. Today, innovations make an effective healthcare system impossible without technologies.
Let’s take a closer look at how the integration of computers into the clinical process changes the industry.
Health Record Digitization
Instead of endless piles of papers, digital records are now the everyday reality that allows accessing all sorts of healthcare documents in just a few seconds. All papers and documents are uploaded to the cloud, are strictly secured, and at the same time, access to them for healthcare professionals became much easier and faster. With digital health records, it’s possible to make a more informed treatment decision and provide care to remote patients.
Medical Mobile Apps
There are a plethora of different medical mobile apps that allow patients to monitor doctor’s appointments, get reminded to take medications, and lots of other useful features. People use health and fitness apps to become healthier, manage their food intake, physical activity level, and vital signs. Doctors can use these apps to communicate with patients, get access to drug information to make treatment more efficient, and to reduce time spent on other routine tasks such as record maintenance.
Electronic Health Record (EHR)
Electronic Health Records or simply EHRs, are digital summaries of all patients’ medical records, including diagnosis, prescriptions, lab reports, allergies, intolerances, surgical intervention reports, and so on.
These records allow healthcare professionals to make diagnoses more accurate and improve overall patient care based on their health overview. With EHRs, it became much easier and faster to collaborate with diverse professionals, lab specialists. Electronic records not just minimize time on record maintenance but also lower the chances of malpractice and medical errors.
Cloud Storage for Big Data
In the healthcare field, the amount of patients’ records and various data is enormous. All the data collected is usually used for further medical research to make predictions, prevent death, develop new treatment ways, pharmaceutical solutions, and so on.
Cloud services facilitate access to big data and improve workflow efficiency and make the exchange of health information more convenient. Cloud storages are not only highly secure but also can be cost-efficient for healthcare institutions.
New information and communication technologies improve the interaction between care providers and patients. Healthcare professionals can access a larger amount of research and other data to compare patients’ records, identify risk factors, and come up with more effective treatment solutions. This technology also allows patients to get in touch with specialists not just across the country but to contact medical experts throughout the world.
Telemedicine is a perfect way to overcome the distance barrier and contact healthcare professionals from across the world. This particular technology makes remote patient care more simple yet effective. With video telephony and various apps, patients can get high-quality home care and support. Video conferencing enables patients and doctors to communicate, diagnose, monitor patients and medical documentation, images, and biosignals are transmitted in a few seconds to facilitate consultations.
The Future of Digital Health
Within the next few years, interactive technologies such as VR, 3D printing, robot-assisted surgeries, and artificial intelligence will be actively integrated into the healthcare system.
AI will help make the diagnosing process of strokes, heart and eye diseases as well as cancers much faster and more accurate. Artificial intelligence will also be used for clinical decision support and disease management.
ROBOT – ASSISTED SURGERIES
Robot-assisted surgeries will also become more common in the healthcare industry. It’s definitely the future of medicine as this type of surgery is much less invasive, more controlled, and precise. All risks of complications are minimized, and it requires less recovery time.
Virtual reality is a promising technology which is penetrating healthcare so fast. From 2017 to 2022, the value of VR in this industry will grow by 30 times and will attain $285 million. This technology will be helping healthcare professionals with training for a more accurate radiological diagnosing process, pain management, and exposure treatment.
3D printing is another aspect that drastically changes the healthcare system. Innovative 3D printers will be able to make not just medical tools but also artificial bones, braces, supports for amputees, prosthetics, and even tiny organs.
Main Benefits of Technology Implementation in Healthcare
Cutting edge technologies are called to facilitate the workflow process, make patients record automated, and data access fast and easy. It’s possible to provide treatment remotely, manage patients directly, and diagnose more precisely. Healthcare applications and software also enables us to minimize the risks of medical and diagnostic errors.
93% of physicians believe that healthcare apps help improve patients’ health, and 90% of doctors also use mobile devices in their daily practice. Applications and software enhance the overall productivity and efficiency of healthcare providers.
For patients, the benefits of technology implementation are better convenience, greater care, and treatment as well as the opportunity to get virtual care, which is becoming more and more popular.
Technologies allow virtual visits with doctors and healthcare specialists using mobile apps. 23% of patients have already had experience of virtual visits, and 57% of patients are just willing to try. Also, there are plenty of mobile applications that allow the monitoring of health and body during everyday life and during physical activities.
Examples of Healthcare Technologies
Check out these examples of excellent health care application that make all processes easier, smoother, and more effective and is beneficial for patients as well as for healthcare providers.
These amazing tools make the interaction between patients and care providers easier and faster. The app aggregates all patients’ data they have shared with it and enables access for healthcare professionals to start and monitor the treatment process.
This tool helps medical staff coordinate their effort for a seamless workflow. The application allows prioritizing, delegating, and managing clinical tasks to deliver better care and work efficiently. The tool makes collaboration between staff smooth and reduces potential inconveniences.
The app facilitates patient’s decision-making regarding teeth treatment and helps them choose one that will yield the best result. The app comes along with a detachable scanner that creates a holographic reproduction of the patient’s mouth. It helps dentists better explain to patients what type of treatment would work best for their jaw structure and other mouth peculiarities by visualizing the whole thing for them.
Check out more cool eHealth apps here.
As you can see, technologies keep changing the healthcare system every day, and their advantages are countless. More innovations are being designed and implemented in order to make the workflow smooth and efficient, provide better patient care, make the diagnosing process easier and more accurate.
Therefore, the integration of innovative applications and healthcare software is imperative to achieve quality improvements and take the industry to the next level.
Are you looking to build a high-quality and secure eHealth solution? Get in touch with us to discuss how ByteCraft can help!