It’s amazing to look back and see just how far our world has come technologically. If someone from 100 years ago suddenly found themselves in today’s world, they would think they had been teleported into another dimension.
The same can be said about technology in healthcare. From improved operational efficiency to standards in patient care, the healthcare transformation has enhanced the entire experience for both patients and medical professionals.
The following are five of the top healthcare technology and healthcare industry trends and innovations that are revolutionising the field.
Top 5 Healthcare Technology Trends And Innovations
1. Availability of Information and big data
The accessibility of data and the means to store and process it is a hallmark of the technological age. The Internet, intranet systems, search features and the ability for healthcare professionals to rapidly share information have enhanced the synthesis and analysis of data.
“Big data” in healthcare allows the entire field to benefit from comprehensive research studies. These endeavours can access larger and more diverse population groups than ever before. They can also draw from existing studies for comprehensive meta-analyses. This innovation allows medical professionals to stay on top of health care trends, techniques and technologies. This can be used to automatically identify risk factors and recommend the right preventative treatment by comparing patient data with data from thousands of other patients.
2. Improved Communication
Technological innovations in healthcare have facilitated much smoother communication within healthcare organisations. Medical professionals can now use media such as video, online discussion platforms and real-time meeting capacities to communicate and advance the spread of knowledge in the field. Electronic medical records in-house are accessible by all relevant departments and care providers. This results in improved case management, treatments and patient recovery.
3. Electronic Medical Records
Previously, medical information from visits to the General Practitioner (GP), medical specialist, allied health professionals and the dentists were held in separate locations with different health practitioners and hospitals. Electronic medical records allow all patient histories, test results, diagnoses and relevant information to be stored centrally in an online location. The data allows for more focused and accurate care as well as the ability to see health trends for each individual. Medical billing systems allow hospitals, clinics and medical practices to run much more smoothly.
Telemedicine/Telehealth services such as video-conferencing are becoming cost effective ways to complement local health services. It is particularly beneficial to those living in rural, regional and remote communities and requiring regular access to medical specialists who live several kms away. Generally you have a GP, other medical practitioners, nurse practitioners, midwives, health workers and practice nurses providing face-to-face clinical services to the patient during the teleconsultation with the specialist to ensure the correct procedures are carried out. Teleconsultation is also beneficial to health care workers on location, as specialist can provide education and training virtually.
5. Mobility and Mobile Apps
Mobile software applications (aka mobile apps) are key to improving accessibility for patients and healthcare professionals. Mobile apps enable people to easily manage their health and wellbeing; everything from prompting them to get checkups, to finding general medical information or accessing their test results securely online 24/7 without having to book in an appointment with their GP and wait days for results. Healthcare professionals on the other hand, can quickly access information relating to diseases and drugs, images for clinical matters, continued education activities and so on.
How Technology Can Transform Digital Services
The positive impact of technology in healthcare is clear. Hospitals that make a digital transition experience all of these benefits of healthcare technology, trends and innovation. Making the move promises a higher calibre of care across the board. Embracing digital healthcare services facilitates:
- Cutting-edge digital platforms
- Improved operational efficiency
- Integrated approach to patient care
- Automated administrative and clinical processes
- Easier collaboration
- Higher HIMSS
- Enhanced capacity for innovation
- Better patient outcomes
- Reduced costs
Elcom brings effective strategies for implementing and integrating new digital solutions seamlessly into your operations. The following are examples that illustrate the benefits of digital healthcare transformation:
The Medical Indemnity Protection Society (MIPS)
Medical Indemnity Protection Society (MIPS) is a nonprofit organisation that provides healthcare students and professionals with support in their practise of medicine. Their website serves 40,000 members. MIPS wished to enhance their online presence through offering online courses and trainings as well as better access to information and membership details.
The Elcom team assisted MIPS by outfitting their website with a strong website CMS system as well as a Training Module for core needs. Their website is now more integrated, streamlined, unified and aligned with their mission statement. The new system has enhanced security and complements the organisation’s existing systems and initiatives. Custom features like dynamic content and SMS reminders were also included as part of their healthcare technology transformation.
The Fred Hollows Foundation
The Fred Hollows Foundation is a nonprofit organisation inspired by the work of the late Fred Hollows. It is focused on preventing and treating blindness and vision issues in more than 20 countries worldwide. Their challenge was connecting individuals and staff across the world for better access to the organisation’s knowledge base and communication. The technology limitations of the Fred Hollows organisation were hindering its ability to effectively fulfill their stated mission.
The creation of the FredNet intranet solved this problem. It is a modules-based solution that provides both cutting edge communication capacity as well as effective information management. Fred Hollows now enjoys better email efficiency, accessible content and a more connected global community. The design reflects the beautiful photography and video the staff collects from around the world. The communication functionality is effective even in nations where the internet service can be less than reliable.
Cabrini is a private, not-for-profit, Catholic health service providing a comprehensive range of health and health-related services and twelve locations. With more than 4500 end-users representing a wide range of job profiles and professional backgrounds, they needed an intranet that could cater to varying levels of technical savvy and information needs. It was critical that staff could easily navigate the intranet, find the resources they need and get back to their patients quickly. It also needed to be built on a user-friendly content management system (CMS) platform so it was easy for administrative staff to use.
Since its launch, the intranet CMS, Cabinet, has been recognised with international awards and commendations from Ragan, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Public Relations Society of America. Cabinet’s ability to interface with many other products and display content on the page gives users a seamless online experience. Cabinet continues to grow with new sections added in advance of projects being rolled out. These are full of FAQs, support documents, forms, training schedules and other resources, keeping everyone informed. Whether staff need to find a specialist, view medical rosters or download post-operative care brochures/information for patients, Cabinet is a great support tool for the Cabrini community.
We Can Help You Too
Elcom has been assisting organisations in achieving their digital objectives and furthering the global healthcare transformation for over two decades. You can read more digital transformation success stories here, or contact us directly to discuss your digital healthcare technology needs and possibilities.