digital transformation in healthcare

Digital Transformation in Healthcare: 2021 Update

COVID-19 became a turning point for most of us. It also played disruption in the digital transformation in healthcare.

Now, what is it all about? How are things going on now? Also, what are the emerging challenges in 2021?

Read on to learn more.




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What Is Digital Transformation in Healthcare All About?

Digital transformation means adopting technologies. And the purpose of doing so is to change the organization for the better. But, it seems to not provide what it means in healthcare. 

Yet, this should be a big deal. By 2025, the industry is expected to spend about $210 billion in DX. We also see the perks of applying tech. But, what is digital transformation in healthcare all about?

Here are some examples of what DX means in healthcare:

  • Applying new technologies to make healthcare affordable and accessible.
  • Using new advancements as an investment.
  • Making health records digitalized.
  • Collecting data from health-related devices.
  • Securing health records and data.

For every hospital, healthcare system, country, and even individual, digital transformation in healthcare have a different meaning.

Still, it’s worth to talk a look at what happened in 2020 before discussing the challenges in 2021.

How Has Digital Transformation Influenced Healthcare in 2020?

We all agree that was out of the ordinary. The COVID-19 pandemic strikes us all.

In healthcare, it introduced the following transformational changes since March 2020.

Telemedicine/Virtual Care

In the BC (Before-COVID) era, patients are hesitant to try telemedicine. But at the beginning of 2020, we saw the benefits of it.

For one, it reduces contact between patients and healthcare workers. So, we can get appointments with the doctor while staying at home.

Communication

For many years, patients had to pay a visit to doctors. Doctors also had to hand-copy all the medical records.

But, 2020 promoted using of patient portals. Now, patients can do a lot of things easily while being safe, such as:

  • renewing of prescriptions
  • general questions
  • check-ups
  • booking an appointment
  • on-call doctors using live chat and video calls

Predictive Analytics

COVID-19 also taught us to be prepared. And that influenced how hospitals view incoming patients.

With the help of analytics, they can predict the potential threat of the virus. For example, the US uses the following tools:

  • temperature and humidity data to predict COVID-19 surges
  • GPS data for tracking potential cross-infection
  • risk calculator to project the testing results

Digital Transformation in Healthcare Challenges of 2021

Still, healthcare needs to improve the digital experience of patients. They also need to provide greater support online.

But, those are just extensions from last year’s challenges. Here are some of the challenges this year.

Data Security

The challenge for making patient records safe is still present. But, blockchain can help solve the problem.

For example, security firms can manage data security for a private healthcare institution. So, they can prevent any breaches.

On-Demand Healthcare

Patients now care about mobility. After all, mobile devices have increased for the past five years.

So, it influenced how patients what to get everything here and now. The lifestyle and new risks also affect these changes. That’s why on-demand and telemedicine will stay even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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