Over the years, technology has accelerated at a rapid pace. We see improvement in various areas of our life with the advancement in technology; the way we use gadgets and equipment for learning, communicating, transporting, and for health emergencies. Innovations in Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, robotics, and smart gadgets have greatly impacted the healthcare industry.
The Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated the need for early detection of infection, isolation, social distancing, and minimal human interference to reduce the transmission of the virus.
Digital healthcare technologies play a significant role in supporting epidemiological intelligence right from online datasets, identifying clusters of infections, monitoring travel patterns, rapid trace contacts, and communication of public-health messages.
Blockchains are publicly distributed ledger transactions that are managed by a peer-to-peer network for use.
In healthcare technology, blockchain enables the medical community and researchers to create a single database for all medical data; real-time tracking of patient medical records that allows healthcare workers, doctors, and patients to share information safely and quickly.
Blockchain technology could be used in storing electronic medical records enabling coordinated care for patients within the network. The shared data of blockchain allows the capture of comprehensive data sets from various countries; including various ethnic groups, geographic areas, environments, and socio-economic backgrounds. This provides health researchers access to vast data samples to study diseases, facilitate new medical discoveries, design patient-specific treatment, and track and develop drugs quickly.
The advantages of blockchain to the healthcare industry are - easy accessibly to electronic medical records, remote monitoring of patients, transparency, and quick accessibility of data for health insurance claims.
Healthcare providers of various departments in a hospital need to perform multiple tasks which are repetitive such as:
RPA and automation address these issues making the healthcare system faster, efficient, minimizing errors, and improved patient satisfaction.
Some of the ways RPA streamlines hospital automation
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a data protection act to ensure businesses adhere to strict guidelines while collecting, processing, and storing personal data. Penalty for non-compliance to GDPR has increased significantly under the Data Protection Act (DPA)
Healthcare providers and businesses have to cope with increasingly complex global privacy policies by constantly adapting to new privacy regulations, ensuring reliable data protection, and adapting systematic and programmatic approaches to simplify these operations.
Mobile technologies and apps are beginning to play a significant role in the healthcare industry. The development of user-friendly mobile apps has benefited healthcare by improved patient care and also helps increase the productivity of medical professionals.
Physicians can now better engage their patients using mobile computing charts and other wearable devices to help monitor patient their health and significantly reduce hospital visits and expenses.
What Is Mobile Health (mHealth)?
The Global Observatory for eHealth of the World Health Organization defines mHealth as “medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants, and other wireless devices”. Mobile and wireless technologies have the potential to transform how health and healthcare services are delivered across the globe.
Benefits of Mobile Devices in Healthcare:
Healthcare analysts have observed that the increase in accessibility to reasonable medical treatment is evidence of how technology has changed the healthcare sector. The healthcare industry is constantly working to improve patient care and at the same time reduce medical expenses.
An article in Science Daily dated May 10, 2021, states that “Researchers at KU Leuven (Belgium) have developed a 3D printing technique that extends the possibilities of lateral flow testing. These tests are widespread in the form of the classic pregnancy test and the COVID-19 self-tests. With the new printing technique, advanced diagnostic tests can be produced that are quick, cheap, and easy to use.”
The advancement of healthcare technologies over the years have helped the healthcare industry in various ways, right from diagnosis of unknown pathogens and rapid test interpretation to remote patient treatment.
The implementation of technologies such as RPA, blockchain, and mobile technologies into the healthcare industry has resulted in streaming processes, increasing efficiency and accuracy, minimizing errors, lower healthcare cost, and has immensely improved quality of care.
The future of the healthcare industry depends on how the health sector embraces the emerging new technologies and how efficiently they can implement them in the organization to attain the true potential they offer.