Many years ago, people had to call to take a doctor’s appointment only to go to the clinic and wait for hours. Any tests done would require the wait for a few more days to get the results. And finally, the wait at the doctor’s office again to discuss the results. 
Luckily, now the waiting period has been cut down, making people’s lives easier and better. The quality of life matters and healthcare professionals need to focus on giving judicious and precise care to their patients. Relying on technology helps make the healthcare process smoother, faster and more efficient.
Technology can save lives and the scope of technology and its benefits in healthcare are increasing daily. The need for a more satisfactory customer experience, in healthcare, has caused a surge and allowed digital transformation to take place rapidly in this industry.
For example, electronic medical records (EMR) were barely used sometime back and now there is a significant increase. In Canada, EMR usage by the primary care physicians alone has increased from 16% in 2004 to almost 85% in 2018.
What does Digital Transformation signify for the Healthcare Industry?
The wave of digital transformation has swept through the healthcare industry and various forms of technology are being used to help patients lead a better life. The focal point is the need of the patient and how to improve their quality of life.
Digital transformation is not only about how data can be used and technology can be applied, but it is also about redefining a customer’s experience. To establish a company as the leading platform for healthcare, an organization would need to help patients find the following:

Doctors and Hospitals
Finding and connecting with the right healthcare provider is a life-and-death matter. Calculated evaluations which help patients make healthcare decisions are still based on word of mouth recommendations and now can be done via data analysis. Information from all over the industry can be made available to patients so they can make an informed decision about their physicians.

  • Accessibility: Everyone relies on their mobile phone to get things done and the healthcare industry can use this to drive innovation so more patients can access the physicians using their phones. Apart from finding the right physician, a patient would also need to find the right physician in their area. The process of finding a physician or a clinic, setting an appointment or a house call should be as frictionless as possible.
  • Financial transparency:Technology shares more healthcare expenses and the related information with patients at few clicks of a button. The lack of consistency in treatment, if a procedure is required or no, discrepancies in cost and the differences in cost at different clinics are concerns which can be addressed before treatment commences. Patients no longer have to wait till the end of treatment to know how much the cost would be.
  • Electronic charts and reminders: Not many people are regular with their check-ups and follow-ups. Patients are rarely engaged and doctors know the patient by a few routine questions. With the use of digital technologies, physicians can get more information from their patients and accordingly share relevant treatments or preventive ideas. 
How does Digital Transformation modernise the Healthcare Industry?
The relationship between patient and their needs are being redefined so that the components of healthcare are redesigned. Digital technology has helped healthcare facilities enter an era where data is generated at scale. New data points emerge, providing the industry with an unparalleled opportunity to prevent illness and offer treatments with more precision.
Let us have a look at the ways in which digital transformation is revolutionizing the healthcare industry:

Technology has made the world a smaller place and it is no longer necessary to have to physically travel to discuss or get treatment from a specialist. Telemedicine has made it possible for specialists to discuss treatment options with local doctors to help save lives. Patients in the remotest villages can still get the highest standards of care.
Success of this form of medicine lies entirely in technology and the various web applications, alerts and notifications needed to monitor and save people’s lives. Availability of a patient’s medical records at the click of a button also ensures doctors have all the information needed, no matter where they are being treated.

Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Artificial intelligence has reduced the waiting time for test results, where full body scans can be completed 100 times faster. Acute neurological events can be detected in split seconds. AI also helps speed up trials as it has all the data needed to break down the compositions and medications involved. This data also helps physicians look at alternate approaches to the treatment. It is believed that by 2020, the average spending on AI projects, in healthcare alone, would be $54 million.
Augmented and virtual reality programmes help doctors hone their medical skills without actually having to cut into people.

Gene Mapping and Genetic Engineering
The advances in technology have made sequencing the DNA, to help identify disease markers, a reality. Understanding the genetic profile of a person helps administer treatments which can be customised or tweaked for better outcomes. Genetic engineering also helps when modified viruses are used to help fight off diseases.

Wearables and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
Wearables have been around for some time now to help monitor vitals, send alerts and notifications and this trend is growing. The healthcare industry is using the data collected for preventive medicine.

The new revolution with IoMT, which is a combination of telehealth technologies, telemedicine and Internet of Things, is also using wearable devices for ECG and EKG monitoring. Common vitals, calorie counting, heart rate are a few reasons why wearable devices have gained popularity with the millennial crowd.
Now the patient becomes an active participant in their own health plan and are more alert to their physical ailments thus taking necessary precautions against chronic illnesses and more responsibility of their own health.

Robotic Surgery, 3D printing and Chatbots
Most surgeries are completed via key-hole procedures and some are done completely by laboratory models. Robotic prosthesis are also being used to aid people with sensory, cognitive and motor impairments.
3D bio-printing technology allows the doctor to get a full, undistorted view of the organs they need to see. It eliminates the guesswork and assumptions needed from 2D images. The also helps doctors prepare better for surgeries before even entering the OR.
Chatbots technology is used to help deal with routine medical queries and AI backed messaging. These chatbots learn from patient interactions and assist physicians by keeping a track of contacts, managing appointments and providing prescriptions when needed.

Big Data Analytics
Data is necessary to provide seamless healthcare services. Big data when applied to this industry can be used to help prevent epidemics, cure diseases and even reduce costs. These programmes are also useful to help identify theft and medical frauds. In order to accommodate the growing population, big data will assume a more significant role in improving healthcare and patient satisfaction by reducing friction in the workflow.

In Conclusion
The set-up of the healthcare industry has not changed must in a century. It still consists of doctors, medical professionals and a clinic or a location with waiting areas for patients. Now there is the added use of computers for filling and storing patient data as opposed to old forms and appointment books.
We are in a post-digital era, where despite the healthcare sector being a cautious adopter of digital technology, we can certainly expect significant changes over the next few years. These new changes and technology will push the digital transformation agenda and engage the people they need to please.
If you are interested in implementing digital transformations in your healthcare organization, you can contact App Scoop mobile app developers on:  

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