The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2021 Future of Healthcare report predicts that around 80% of healthcare systems aim to increase their investments in digital healthcare tools over the next five years.
By Gaurav Gupta,
India’s healthcare industry is on the cusp of a major digital transformation. While Covid-19 has exposed the shortcomings and pitfalls of our healthcare system, technology is enabling the sector to fill gaps in our existing medical care and infrastructure. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2021 Future of Healthcare report predicts that around 80% of healthcare systems aim to increase their investments in digital healthcare tools over the next five years.
Due to the growing needs for personalized medicine, access to affordable health services and the crippling effects of Covid-19, more and more healthcare organizations are turning to technology trends in the years to come. The advent of health technologies opens a new path for the future, a path with better patient outcomes, reduced medical costs and increased efficiency of care.
Here are some technological interventions that may change the healthcare landscape in 2022 and beyond.
As we move forward into 2022, many healthcare providers are embracing digital therapy (DTx) to deliver evidence-based medical care and therapeutic interventions directly to patients through high-quality software. This allows physicians to make an informed selection of the right solution to patients’ problems. As digital data is continuously generated and tracked, it also helps overcome the problem of nonadherence in chronic diseases, thus helping to improve treatment outcomes. Germany has established itself as a pioneer in digital health innovation, with 73 million German citizens covered by public health and 24 apps approved for reimbursement. The country that paved the way for DTx has inspired neighboring countries like Belgium and France to follow their example.
Remote patient monitoring
The concept of remote patient monitoring gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people had to follow movement restrictions and social distancing standards. RPM is slowly becoming the future of healthcare service delivery to patients by providing them with a range of medical devices such as implants, blood pressure cuffs, sensors and many more so that physicians can access patient data. patients in real time for better treatment. It is generally recommended for discharged patients because it allows doctors to systematically monitor their patients and act on vital data, further reducing frequent patient visits to the doctor and speeding up the recovery process. In addition, it works as a solution to enable physicians to break away from traditional healthcare environments and reduce time, costs and deliver high quality healthcare without seeing their patients. Navia was part of the launch of the first smart device of its kind launched in India to follow the pattern of patient use of metered dose inhalers (MDIs). The reusable device had built-in sensors to track daily usage and spending habits. Physicians using the app can monitor patient adherence to treatment to improve clinical outcomes
Wearables and smart devices
Wearable technology in healthcare allows patients to take a more active role in maintaining their health. Patients, equipped with wearable technology, can track everything from heart rate to reproductive cycles. Doctors can also use this data to develop individualized health care plans. In addition, data extracted from portable devices is more systematic and accurate in recording all of the patient’s medical and vital details. The smart device market is not just limited to fitness bracelets and smart watches, there are smart inhalers, smart hearing aids, sleep bands, bio patches, and more. Even the new Apple Watch is not a fitness watch, it is a health monitoring device and we can find that the company is focusing on wearable medical devices for health monitoring.
Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have overturned the conventional healthcare delivery model and allowed many healthcare providers to embrace telemedicine and virtual patient monitoring. Telemedicine not only makes healthcare more accessible and cost effective, but also increases patient engagement. It is particularly beneficial for the injured, immunocompromised or patients located in remote areas who can now contact physicians virtually via a secure video connection. Telemedicine solutions have enabled rapid diagnosis, real-time patient information and, in some cases, treatment without even having to visit the doctor. It will be a game-changer in the healthcare industry by bringing healthcare right to the patient’s doorstep, tailored to meet their individualized needs.
Digital prescriptions and digital health records
Digital prescribing is an innovation that is transforming the healthcare landscape. e-Rx is a digital version of a paper prescription created by healthcare professionals using digital media / software. Additionally, digital prescriptions help create digital patient health records, which in turn improves patient outcomes as it reduces the chance of human error when interpreting bad drugs, e-Rx s has proven to be beneficial for patients as well as for physicians. The year 2022 is expected to witness a sharp increase in the use of electronic prescriptions with the idea of reducing paperwork and longevity of storage.
As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, it is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), automation, telemedicine, e-Rx, and cloud computing. With the integration of these new technologies, healthcare technology organizations are reshaping the healthcare landscape. Guided by these emerging trends and the accelerating digital transformation, physicians and practitioners are expected to pave the way for better management of care and better patient outcomes.
(The author is the co-founder of Navia Life Care. Opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)
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