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Role of technology in transforming healthcare delivery

Management

There is no doubt that technology has shaped several industries in different ways. Take the example of online shopping and how it has evolved over many years. Many businesses are acquiring over 65% of sales from online channels, especially e-commerce ones. Had it been a decade ago, no one would have believed that a business can own over half of the total sales through online channels.

Therefore, it is evident that technology can shape the future in a way no one can comprehend. The same has happened with the healthcare industry. With new technological concepts and advancements in healthcare practices, companies, and healthcare organizations can now offer services with 100% satisfaction. 

In the following article, we will study the role of healthcare technology in transforming the future of the industry and the current challenges businesses have to face.

Advancements in healthcare technology

There have been several ways the healthcare industry has adopted technologies differently. For example, when the entire world was under lockdown due to the pandemic, the world adopted a new concept of consulting doctors: teleconsultation or telemedicine. 

Even after the pandemic is over and the world is gradually restoring balance, people still rely on online consultations instead of visiting doctors in person. It is how technology has revolutionized the healthcare industry and changed its future for the good.

In this following section, we will learn about the top healthcare technology advancements in the industry and how these have affected the overall operations and target audience.

  1. Teleconsultation and telemedicine

The term has almost become the best friend of people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures since Covid-19. After the world witnessed a nationwide lockdown, regular people weren’t allowed to walk outside, even if that meant for a health check-up. However, people who were either affected by the infection or needed immediate medical assistance were allowed to go out and visit the doctors. Since medical assistance and healthcare services are always in need, doctors decided to offer their services and consultations over the Internet.

It was either through WhatsApp calls or other online video conferencing software programs. Doctors and patients conversed with one another over video calls instead of the regular clinical chambers. 

It is what teleconsultation or telemedicine is: a revolutionary practice in the healthcare industry where doctors and patients can talk with one another over the Internet without requiring physical assistance.

  1. Digital health

One of the major changes the healthcare industry has witnessed in recent years is digital help. The term digital health is comprehensive and multidisciplinary. 

It involves incorporating technology, primarily hardware and software, into healthcare practices to provide deeper and better insights into a patient’s conditions with maximum accuracy and precision. 

For example, heart tracking devices come with special sensors that record the heartbeats and pulse rates and display the information as connected peripheral devices. It is what digital health is all about. It is a technological concept through which traditional healthcare practices involving manual work can be transformed and automated using modern software based on technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. 

Similarly, the introduction of robots assisting doctors in surgeries, including complicated ones such as open heart surgeries, is also a prime example of digital health. Any modern-day healthcare practice involving technology can be termed under this category. It is considered a comprehensive and multidisciplinary practice in the healthcare industry.

  1. Artificial intelligence and IoT

With the amalgamation of the 2 most advanced technologies of the decade, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, the healthcare industry can achieve miracles. For example, hospitals and clinics can rely on robotic doctors to perform surgeries instead of human doctors with the help of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. 

Similarly, when a patient is admitted to a hospital under comprehensive care, IoT will help remove data silos and allow collaboration between doctors from various departments at the earliest. Therefore, it is evident that artificial intelligence, when combined with the Internet of Things, can bring positive changes in the healthcare industry at so many different levels.

  1. Electronic health records or EHR

One of the major areas where the healthcare industry has truly advanced and come forth by a significant distance is capturing and storing records. In earlier days, healthcare organizations such as hospitals and clinics used to store all the data sets in manual register books. 

They lacked clarity and organization in handling data and didn’t understand the mistakes they were committing using the manual registers. 

It is where the concept of electronic health record or EHR comes into play. Here all the records are captured online and stored in the databases as digital. Any person with access to the database can extract and check the data. Everything is sorted in terms of stables and columns automatically. 

Therefore, no one has to deal with recording the details manually in the databases and making mistakes. Apart from this, a database can typically store electronic health records of more than 10 years without deleting a single record.

You may be interested to know about the benefits of an MBA for doctors and how an MBA helps doctors scale up their services.

Challenges in implementing healthcare technology

There is no doubt that the healthcare industry has been advancing at a rapid rate in recent years. However, the major concern of most healthcare companies and institutes is regarding the implementation of these advanced technologies in the easiest possible way. They have many challenges to overcome, and the process is not at all easy. So, let’s have a brief look at the steps the healthcare industry is taking concerning the challenges faced in technological implementation and adoption.

  • First and foremost, not many people are aware of teleconsultation and telemedicine. Therefore, doctors and other healthcare professionals who still want to conduct consultations online need to accommodate patients’ education concerning the use of the Internet and digital technology for healthcare.
  • Implementing artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things into healthcare technologies is challenging. Not only are there rooms for errors, but these are quite nascent. Although several robots are used to perform minute procedures, large-scale implementation is out of bounds at present. 
  • Another major area where the healthcare industry is facing challenges in technology implementation is data security for mHealth (mobile health). There is no doubt that electronic health records have solved many problems for healthcare companies, such as record storage and maintenance. However, the database can be hacked easily, and if the situation is such, the healthcare business will lose a significant amount of confidential information and private belongings.

Conclusion

Here, we have discussed varied technologies in the healthcare industry. Although these technologies are yet to be adopted worldwide, proper planning and risk analysis can help mitigate the chances of failures and increase success. 

If you want to know more about the role of technology in healthcare, enroll yourself in an online MBA in healthcare management program from Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). This course has been curated to help you understand how different technologies can be implemented in the healthcare industry for a better patient care.

Key takeaways

  • Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things can help launch robots for performing complicated surgeries in the healthcare industry.
  • Although the pandemic is over, telemedicine will remain in practice due to its convenience to patients and doctors.
  • Data security is a growing concern for healthcare organizations dealing with electronic health records.

Disclaimer

Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.


Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

  • TAGS
  • Healthcare Management
  • Online MBA for working professionals

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