By Akansh Khurana,
The role of technology in healthcare continues to be a trending topic in recent months and there is no sign of technological integration in healthcare slowing down, well, ever really. AI in healthcare has wide-reaching potential as we are living in the age of screenagers and everything from drug discovery to coaching solutions meet the criteria of what can be achieved with machine learning.
Further, AI-enabled and other technologically advanced solutions are revolutionizing the healthcare industry, more prominently during the pandemic. These innovative solutions are providing immediate returns by helping with new product development, cost reduction, and better consumer engagement. Today, an ever-increasing number of healthcare organizations are scaling up their investments in technology by pairing it with a robust strategy. Looking at the way technology is making aspects of healthcare more efficient, it will likely play a significant role in supporting clinical and other applications, resulting in more insightful and effective care and operations.
Though many healthcare executives are still too reluctant when it comes to experimenting with advanced tools and techniques, tech leaders are continuously striving to streamline the process and remove barriers that come in the way of tech adoption. Surely! The future of technology and that of healthcare are deeply interconnected.
Digital Innovation and Transformation
Major advances in wireless technology and computing power are driving the increased pace of digital health care innovations and how they are impacting both clinical and business operations. Machine learning, robotic process automation (RPA), predictive tools, and cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) are being leveraged to improve healthcare infrastructure. Also, better data access and data sharing are improving self-service, personalization, and patient experience. Moreover, the advanced tools and technologies are transforming healthcare with the use of data and personalized member outreach and engagement.
Leveraging Technology to Improve Healthcare
Today telemedicine, cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS), data analytics, and machine learning are being tapped on to empower the patients, providers, and other constituents for a better patient experience. Surprisingly, many clinics and hospitals are leveraging seamless technology solutions and moving to online service delivery systems for a connected experience – early diagnosis of a disease, sharing health tips, test reports, analytics, etc.
Further, the pandemic exposed many limitations in delivering care and cutting down health care costs. However, the integration of technology in healthcare delivery that began as a rescue from the uncertain situation soon opened the aperture for digital technologies to solve healthcare problems and highlighted the importance of AI. As a result, AI is increasingly becoming the backbone of the healthcare ecosystem and expected to drive its influence on care delivery services even after the pandemic subsides.
According to a report by Markets and Markets – Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Market, the global AI in healthcare market size will probably reach USD 45.2 billion by 2026. For a better future of healthcare and to stay ahead in this technology-driven world, it is necessary to implement human-machine collaborations or in simple words, equip researchers, clinicians, and data scientists with powerful AI tools.
Telehealth and Physician Access
According to the Economic Survey 2019-20, the doctor-population ratio in India is 1:1456 which is worrisome as compared to the WHO recommendation of 1:1000. As the need for quality healthcare keeps growing, the number of physicians, however, is not growing at the same rate, which is creating a supply gap. New communication technologies such as AI-based chatbots, as well as, a new generation of sensing devices that can be used to diagnose and treat patients remotely – will help enable more effective and affordable physician access for patients. The pandemic only highlighted the significance of these technologies and why patients, physicians, and providers need to adopt these technologies.
Moreover, technology in healthcare is a great tool for clinical decision support to help doctors make better as well as faster decisions with pattern recognition of patient’s health complications that are far more accurate than the ones registered by a human brain. The effectiveness of the diagnosis and time saved are crucial in an industry where every small aspect can be life-altering for patients. Technology in healthcare also adds value to the information management for both patient and physician. With the facility of telemedicine or otherwise streamlined process from clinic visit to treatment, valuable time and money are saved, increasing the comfort of patients.
Today, the healthcare system faces pervasive challenges across its value chains, spanning every process right from care to cure. In the future, the organisations that integrate technology into every process from care to cure will be successfully able to deliver improved healthcare services, ensuring the well-being of consumers.
(The author is CEO & Co-Founder of THB, a clinical intelligence company. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)