Healthcare is the maintenance or improving of health via prevention, diagnosis, treatment, recovery or cure of diseases and other physical, mental impairments in people. It includes primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care as well as in public health. It is a complex pluralistic public good, marked by constant interaction across a varied set of individuals and organizations.
Our modern society has been transformed by the arrival of digital era – computers, communication, and the impending era of cognitive computing. Health care likewise has evolved and is well launched down this digitalization journey. Digital era is unstoppable and empowering driver of healthcare that will be best seen soon through advance in EHR functionality, streaming analytics, virtual care teams and remote monitoring. It is a building block of a patient focused approach to healthcare. Due to machinery, patients get better treatment with virtual reality tools, wearable medical devices, teleconsultation and 5G mobile technology. Hospitals and health systems across the country are transforming their organizations towards these more patient-centric, participatory future. Disruptive digital health technologies accelerate change on two fronts- shifting the care location to anywhere anytime, and the care models to preventive, personalised and participatory.
Three shifts made possible by digital transformation are moving the health field towards a highly personalized, participatory anywhere and anytime system.
- Convenient care anywhere anytime-
Digital technology such as apps which works on variables and environmental sensor, video, chat platform, are becoming integral to health system. According to the medical device market size report, it is expected to expand a compound annual growth rate of 26.8% between 2021-2028. The growth of a home healthcare, remote patient monitoring devices is anticipated to influence market growth. In addition, increasing focus on convenient care, fitness and healthy lifestyle orientation are also expected to impact the market.
The outburst of COVID 19 pandemic has extended the role of wearable medical devices in healthcare trade. Various companies working globally in wearable medical products are entering the landscape, where the early warning signs of viral infection can be detected with the help of wearable medical devices.
Another transformation is teleconsultation. Teleconsultation is leveraged by physicians to provide healthcare facilities to the patients, thereby promoting social distancing and lowering the risk of corona virus infection. According to telemedicine market size the CAGR between 2020-2026 witnesses is 19.3% increased by and valued at US dollar 45 billion in 2019. It is rapidly transforming the health industry and in next few years it is accepted and used methods of diagnosis and prescription.
- Moving from digital to smart–
The Digitalization of healthcare is well underway. Smart technology and connected medical wearables are enabling the creation of hospitals ‘without walls’ in which out-patient and long- term care can be delivered remotely by health professionals to patients in their homes, thus freeing up vital bed space for patients who need more intensive care. In England, the Northampton General NHS Trust carried out a trial in July that involved partnering with Doccla, a virtual hospital care start-up, to remotely monitor recovering COVID 19 patient and those with chronic illnesses.
Beyond helping to ease the burden on hospitals and enable remote care in context of COVID 19 virtual hospitals have the potential to change the way that care is delivered in the longer term. Another Digital to Smart example is Robotic Surgery. Surgery has evolved from open surgery to robotic surgery. Surgical robots can perform complex procedures with geometrical precision, even in anatomical areas that are difficult to reach by human surgeons. The ‘DA VINCI SURGICAL SYSTEM’ manufactured by INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC., is one of the well know and widely used robotic surgical device in the world.
Talking about other transformation, block-chain is a recent developed advancement in healthcare industry. Block-chain is a digital ledger or a computerized data base of transactions. Shared across a network of computers, it allows customers to safely exchange financial information with suppliers without the need of third-party such as bank.
The healthcare and pharmaceutical industry are already vouching for its efficiency by investing millions in its market. According to recent report, block-chain in healthcare market is expected to reach $890.5 million by 2023. In healthcare, block-chain is proven to be an effective tool in preventing data breaches, improving accuracy of medical reports, and cutting costs.
Another transformation which has been recently used for improving healthcare technology in 2020 and 2021 is Artificial Intelligence. It is more than just a digital transformation in healthcare. It represents the epitome of medical innovation and industry players are eager to invest millions in it. This technology can improve precision, speed, and efficiency of diagnosis. One of the recent examples is Chatbot technologies- it is used to give assistance to patients in self-diagnosis and assisting doctors in diagnosing patients.
For all the ways of technology is transforming the way people shop, bank and travel. It yet to make major inroads into how they survive healthcare. The adaptation of digital transformation in health would help in early diagnosis, treatment, and management of health-related issues.