How is Technology Benefiting the Healthcare Industry?
The healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing industries, with a projected national expenditure of $4.3 trillion in 2023. To keep up with the demand, PolicyAdvice notes that 92% of providers of various healthcare solutions are promoting the use of digitization for healthcare facilities. Experts continue to predict a massive acceleration of digital technology in healthcare, including cloud computing, data security, and other tools.
This makes it a good time to invest in digital healthcare trends. However, to do so we must first gain a more comprehensive understanding of how exactly tech benefits the healthcare industry. Keep reading for a closer look.
Minimizing human error
The adoption of technology over the years has led to better the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Health information technologies, from the handheld stethoscope to the heavy-duty MRI machine, can reduce human errors, improve clinical outcomes, and even facilitate care coordination.
Software distribution models such as SaaS have also been key in increasing workplace efficiency. In the healthcare industry, we have programs such as Vitalware and its use of powerful data and healthcare analytics to handle all chargemaster data in a single, integrated framework. This detects compliance issues immediately as they occur and remedies them, encouraging health systems to carry out their operations in a more strategic manner.
Thanks to technology, healthcare is no longer limited by physical space and distance. Online healthcare has long transformed into a complex integrated service used across the globe today. This has been key in overcoming barriers to healthcare access, particularly in states like Utah, where there is a pronounced shortage of healthcare providers. With this shortage in providers, telehealth is the way to provide virtual primary care services that help make prescriptions available for everyone. This enables people to save on medications for conditions such as diabetes or asthma, while simultaneously minimizing the burnout of staff. This shift is also being seen across the country, making healthcare much more accessible.
The innovation of wearables has also been an integral factor in the success of telehealth when caring for chronic conditions. Caregiving staff in a southeast United States memory care facility took part in a study and used an activity monitor to check on the daily physical activity and sleep of seniors with dementia. This information is used to analyze their neuropsychiatric symptoms, which are then assessed synchronously in a monthly telehealth visit with a neuropsychologist.
Otherwise, there has been a growing trend in wellness that encourages more Americans to take their health into their own hands. Technology enabled this independence, and industry experts have noted the growth in online fitness videos, exercise blogs, and fitness applications in the digital sphere. There is a simultaneously increasing interest in wearables for adults to better monitor their own sleeping, eating, or exercising progress from home.
Unifying business processes
The use of automation, like ERP software, can help collect and organize key insights through the use of the cloud. This means that data is continuously stored and updated in real-time. Data security is less of an issue too. The newer security controls of ERP are capable of leveraging machine learning in order to automate security monitoring against insider threats, compliance and audit costs, and privacy issues.
This can reduce the flow of paper patient records and streamline coordination among the different departments of the healthcare industry. Health information systems like EMR and EHR have a crucial role here as well. Unfortunately, research from ACP shows that EHR usability isn’t properly optimized and has therefore been contributing to burnout. This is a waste of tech’s capacity to influence clinical decisions, shape triage decisions, and facilitate collaboration among members of a care team and with patients.
This shows us that there is still potential. The rise of automation is only just beginning as well, with the early traces of its integration in healthcare seen in medication identification processes using barcoding. Tech and healthcare enthusiasts alike can thus look forward to the transformative effects of the healthcare industry as it’s revolutionized by technology.