Digital transformation is a reality of the information age that has been embraced by many companies. It is, after all, significant in delivering value to customers. Furthermore, it also helps businesses grow and stay ahead of the competition. This is true about the healthcare sector as well. Typically, digital transformation in this space tends to be largely focused on using analytics to improve clinical decision-making. However, digital transformation for healthcare is much more than that; it encompasses employing machine learning for personalized medicine and using artificial intelligence to better detect signs of disease in areas like radiology, dermatology, gastroenterology, and pathology. These are just some examples. In this article, we take a deeper dive into the digital transformation trends that are shaping the healthcare industry.
In the blog, you will learn:
- Digital Transformation for Healthcare: 10 Key Trends and Innovations for 2024
- Digital Pathology
- Health Wearables
- Digital and Social Connectivity
- Big Data Analytics
- Virtual Reality
- Electronic Medical Record
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Learn Digital Transformation With Emeritus
Digital Transformation for Healthcare: 10 Key Trends and Innovations for 2024
M-health or mobile health, refers to using mobile phones and other wireless technologies in medical care. A significant digital transformation trend in healthcare, this empowers patients to monitor their health, schedule doctor appointments, and access medical resources conveniently via their smartphones and health wearables. Additionally, this digital healthcare innovation plays a crucial role in preventive healthcare, chronic disease management, and telemedicine.
The growth of m-health aligns with the broader digital transformation for healthcare, driving advancements in patient-centered and technology-enabled healthcare delivery. Moreover, the number of smartphone users in India reached 600 million in 2022. Given the large number, with the potential for more over the coming years, there will certainly be a growing market for online healthcare.
2. Digital Pathology
Digital pathology allows for the digitization of an entire glass slide, producing a digital image for review. Also called Whole Slide Imaging (WSI), it uses computational techniques for data extraction and analysis. The aim is deeper insights into the past and future of an illness. Additionally, digital pathology uses virtual microscopy, which converts glass slides into digital slides that can be viewed, shared, and analyzed on a computer, phone, or tablet. Today, digital pathology is on the verge of becoming a transformative trend. In fact, by 2024, it may even become a standard of care to help in better patient diagnosis and management through precision medicine. Clearly, digital transformation in hospitals and other healthcare centers is only going to rise exponentially; and digital pathology is just a part of that.
The growth of telemedicine, the process of availing clinical services remotely, is in keeping with the broader digital transformation for healthcare. The focus, after all, is making healthcare convenient and accessible. And with telemedicine, people can access healthcare from the comfort of their homes using online platforms and apps.
Furthermore, telemedicine not only improves healthcare accessibility but also enhances the efficiency of healthcare delivery. It allows healthcare professionals to reach patients more conveniently and fosters better patient-doctor communication. Telemedicine will transform how healthcare services are accessed and delivered. It is thus integral to the future of healthcare.
4. Health Wearables
Healthcare wearables—smartwatches, fitness trackers, etc—not only empower individuals to take charge of their health but also provide valuable data for healthcare professionals to make informed decisions. What’s more, the added awareness about their value has also led to a significant increase in the demand for health wearables. Noise, a popular Indian smart wearable brand, for instance, revealed in a recent interview with The Economic Times that they had a 100% year-on-year increase over the last few years. Clearly, health wearables have become a crucial part of the future of healthcare. Moreover, according to another report, the Indian wearable market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20% by 2024. Telemedicine is thus a key digital transformation trend for the coming year.
5. Digital and Social Connectivity
Social media is a prominent phenomenon in India, something that is backed by staggering figures. A recent report reveals that an average person spends about 194 minutes of their time on social networking sites. Healthcare players have also understood the omniscience of social media. They, too, use social media platforms to encourage patients to share experiences and seek advice. Moreover, healthcare providers can use these social networking sites to offer emotional support and valuable health-related information. This has thus made social media platforms a crucial platform for digital transformation for healthcare. Moreover, there are more and more people joining social media networks today. This means that as a digital transformation trend, social media as a medium leveraged for healthcare purposes is expected to reach new heights in the coming years.
6. Big Data Analytics
Big data analytics helps healthcare providers make effective use of large amounts of data to derive deep insights. It helps healthcare providers combine patient data and internal company data to inform and optimize their product offerings and attract more customers. Furthermore, healthcare players can use data analytics to identify medication errors and predict staffing needs.
In 2024, big data will further improve patient care, streamline operations, and advance medical research. Furthermore, in 2024, healthcare organizations will focus on harnessing big data to enhance predictive analytics for disease prevention and early diagnosis. This will result in more personalized treatment plans and better patient outcomes.
7. Virtual and Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) lets people interact and explore virtual surroundings in a way that emulates the real world. Meanwhile, Virtual Reality (VR) creates a stimulating virtual environment. These modern technologies offer improved access, superior outcomes, and superior experiences to even the remotest parts of the world, making them a key digital transformation trend.
Furthermore, AR and VR can enhance remote consultation and treatment. Additionally, these technologies assist surgical procedures too. Healthcare professionals use them to holographically overlay pictures and data in real time. This consequently improves surgical efficiency. Moreover, VR Exposure Therapy (VRET) and AR Exposure Therapy (ARET) are used to treat anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and phobias too.
In 2024, these technologies will be game changers when it comes to digital transformation for healthcare. An Economic Times report reveals that the integration of the metaverse into healthcare is expected to revolutionize the industry, and could reach $800 billion by 2024. VR, AR, being part of the metaverse, will ensure immersive experiences for medical training, patient consultations, and therapy sessions.
Ambupod is a transformative technology that was launched in India a few months ago. It is a digitally adept ambulance that transmits a patient’s real-time health data to the hospital. Further, this one-of-a-kind ambulance is equipped with the latest medical equipment, patient monitoring applications, and telemetry devices. This enables paramedics to transmit real-time patient data more easily. This way, hospitals can provide immediate care to patients seriously ill or injured in the ambulance.
There are many hospitals and new players that are making ambupods available in India. For instance, Apollo Hospitals, Airtel, and Cisco together launched a 5G-enabled amupods in 2022 with the aim of revolutionizing emergency healthcare. The potential to scale up in the coming years of this as-yet new tech in India is high.l.
Blockchain technology is emerging as a pivotal trend when it comes to digital transformation for healthcare. This decentralized and secure digital ledger system has the potential to revolutionize healthcare in several ways. Firstly, it enhances data security and privacy by providing a safe way to record patient information and treatment history. Moreover, with blockchain, patients would have greater control over their data, granting access only to authorized healthcare providers. Secondly, blockchain would streamline administrative processes through smart contracts, reducing paperwork, and administrative costs.
The Indian blockchain technology market is growing. In fact, this market is set to grow at a CAGR of 58% in 2023. This means there’s a boom in blockchain-based solutions across industries, and healthcare is no exception. Health organizations will use blockchain technologies to gain greater control over patient data and use it to enhance healthcare delivery.
10. 3D Printing
3D printing is becoming increasingly important in healthcare. It is used to make important health-related products such as lightweight prosthetics, advanced medical devices, and casts for healing fractures. These technologies can create customized models of organs and special tools for surgeries as well. They use the patient’s own medical images, making procedures more tailored and precise. Several industry experts believe that 3D printing will continue to rise in the future.
The 3D printing market in India has grown exponentially in the past few years. According to a Financial Times report, the Indian 3D printing market in 2022 was $92.34 million, and the forecast says it will grow at a CAGR of 20.33% till 2030.
The above list can be considered as a shortlist of digital transformation in healthcare examples. Indeed, given the rapid pace at which digital technology innovations are coming to the forefront, it is entirely possible that the healthcare landscape will witness many more such revolutionary changes in the next few years.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Digital Transformation in Healthcare
1. How Will Digital Transformation Revolutionize Healthcare Delivery and Patient Care in the Next Few Years?
Healthcare digitalization will utilize digital transformation trends such as telemedicine and AI to streamline diagnosis and offer personalized care. Moreover, digital healthcare innovations like wearables will make it easier for hospitals to access a patient’s health information, which can be used to make data-driven treatment decisions.
2. What Role Does Artificial Intelligence Play in the Digital Transformation for Healthcare Purposes?
AI plays a pivotal role in the digital transformation for healthcare. It enhances the efficiency and accuracy of medical processes by using AI and machine learning to digitize and automate tasks like diagnostics, treatment recommendations, and predictive analytics. Furthermore, it continuously monitors patients, leading to early detection of health issues and personalized interventions.
3. What are the Challenges and Opportunities Associated With Implementing Digital Transformation for Healthcare Needs?
Digital transformation for healthcare presents opportunities for improved diagnosis and effectiveness. Meanwhile, challenges include data management, security, ethical concerns, and the need for infrastructure and training.
4. How Will the Adoption of Telemedicine and Remote Patient Monitoring Evolve in 2024?
In 2024, telemedicine will further integrate with patient medical records, incorporating data from consumer devices. This will provide healthcare providers with a more comprehensive and real-time view of patients’ health, enabling more personalized and effective care.
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Learn Digital Transformation With Emeritus
If you’re seeking guidance on building a successful digital transformation plan or making the most of transformational trends in your organization, you’re in the right place. Emeritus offers an array of digital transformation courses that help learners understand how digital disruptions are driving change in industries. These courses, offered by the best institutes, teach learners about the tools they need to learn to lead transformation projects. What’s clear is that healthcare digitalization is here to stay and learners can only benefit by being prepared.