Digital Technology: Upgrading the Healthcare Sector
The healthcare system is undergoing a digital transformation. The number of hospitals that have adopted Electronic Health Records (EHRs) quadrupled from 2010 to 2013. The physicians that adopted EHRs have doubled from 2009 to 2013. Consumers are aware of their health and are well-positioned to engage with their healthcare service provider directly. Consumers use a wide range of devices such as smart scales, activity trackers, nutrition tools, and multi-measure wellness tools. This IT boom in the healthcare industry opens up endless possibilities for healthcare professionals and consumers.
The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) has developed a system to monitor older adults for any possible signs of illness. The individual’s healthcare provider is notified if any symptoms are detected. The system aims to improve the quality of life of older adults by utilizing technology to promote the independence of older adults and early detection of the onset of illness. Digital technology has played a vital role in creating a whole new realm of possibilities for the consumer, especially with the rise of smartphones and mobile applications. Majority of the people carry a smartphone and apps, which are helpful tools in educating and engaging patients. Here is how digitalization can help the healthcare industry:
Technology is changing the way people process information. For example, smart health monitors are gathering more medical records and lifestyle data. Comparing patient response with similar DNA, lifestyle and medical history can help healthcare service providers in understanding health risks and the impact of different treatments.
The information about a medical product is readily available on the internet, and it is no longer a secret. Patients can treat minor illnesses through the internet, and they can even find drug alternatives without spending any money.
Patients are now entirely aware of the treatment they need and the healthcare expenses of the respective treatment. Earlier patients did not know the procedures’ cost until it was done and received the bill. However, the cost of the treatment may vary from hospital to hospital. Digital technology is helping in improving the overall patient experience.