My discussions here with some tech oriented doctors gave me the introspection that the field of medicine, healthcare and digital technology is going at a pace (now especially after over 2 years as there is a lull in the hospital with reduced number of emergencies associated with covid cases). While the hospitals are busy as usual, that urgent rush and emergencies have reduced, it seems, by almost 70% as compared to a situation just 6 months ago. Notwithstanding the above good situation, the impact of digital technology in the healthcare field is increasing at a fast pace. Today one can see a clear communication channel being established electronically between patients, hospitals, CV virtual consultation, pharmacies and health care insurance companies. One notices a speed in the interconnected ecosystem, thanks to the digital technology which is making its presence felt in the healthcare sector. Most countries in the western world and some in Asia are adapting advanced technologies in the healthcare sector. India is also doing its best to continue its tempo in digital healthcare. Some of the technological advances are briefly discussed in this article.
Today if any patient is visiting a hospital, they only need to give his health card at the reception of a hospital. He can already schedule an appointment with a doctor via his mobile app. Once the data is recorded, then the hospital digitally transfers the information and data of the patient on a real time basis to its billing section, doctor schedule section, and nearest pharmacy, the insurance company for billing and the aftercare department. All these happen at the time of entry of the patient’s data. Thereafter the patient is handed over a descriptive sheet with information regarding which doctor to visit, location in the hospital. During this time the consultation fee and other charges are already deducted, pharmacy payment is already done. So the walk-in patient after consulting the doctor goes straight to the designated pharmacy, picks up medicines and goes home.
This amount of development is done by digital technology in the healthcare sector currently. Many healthcare organizations are quick to adopt this cost effective digital technology not only for various medical devices, operation room equipment but also for billing, record keeping, accounting and communication to related stakeholders. The pharmacist informed me that in the use of electronic healthcare billing and records, she feels that a laptop to a doctor is as common as a stethoscope.
In the above process today, too much patient data is being created by the hospitals. One needs technology to improve data collection, segregation and compiling for ease of digital communication between doctors, patients, insurance and pharmacy and to ensure that data remains secure at all times.
So the latest technologies that can find use in the healthcare sector to manage patients’ electronic data being generated at speed. The answer is blockchain technology, Artificial intelligence (AI) tools and cloud technology.
So the latest technologies that can find use in the healthcare sector to manage patients’ electronic data being generated at speed. The answer is blockchain technology, Artificial intelligence (AI) tools and cloud technology. These technologies will certainly help improve work flows, streamline procedures, automate tasks and help open up new ecosystems involving hospitals, patients, insurance companies and pharmacies, by way of integrating all such related activities along with updating health records all at one go. Incorporation of the above technologies will improve the patient care and better management can be done on a timely basis.
Such a system will enable the hospitals and pharmacies dispensing medicines to automate most of their process online and in real time and enabling regular feedback to improve services and be cost effective at all stages.
Importance of patient’s health records:
Information integration at the hospital level, standardise and store patient information in a secure location. For starters, such a system will provide flexibility. Flexibility can be achieved by using telemedicine technology. Patients and doctors can seamlessly communicate. In addition, wearable devices will also provide data for doctors with better ways to evaluate the patient’s conditions and come up with more options to evaluate symptoms and take timely actions.
How will artificial intelligence assist the healthcare sector?
A stage will come when too much of patient data generation by various hospitals at various locations can become a landmine. AI enabled tools can shift through large and complex data generated from devices, hospital records, images, blood reports, etc to find a trend of patients undergoing treatment, come up with cost effective options, procedures and take timely clinical decisions to improve quality of experience provided to patients. Here comes the benefits of the blockchain technology which provides ledgers of unchanged data and thus secure the data provided to the patients and the consulting doctor.
A hybrid cloud environment will additionally offer various security features that can assist the sector with various report generation for regulatory agencies, State agencies, government agencies and procedure efficiencies.
Cloud technology works as an aid of the healthcare sector. When so much of technology is intertwined between patients, doctors and hospitals, a cloud environment most likely offers hospitals a chance to customize applications as per their specific reporting methods. Such records can help hospitals accounts departments to calculate costs, operational and financial efficiencies. A hybrid cloud environment will additionally offer various security features that can assist the sector with various report generation for regulatory agencies, State agencies, government agencies and procedure efficiencies.
There will be a five fold increase noticed in doctors appointments virtually and consultations. A great time saver. Lot of convenience will be provided to consult preferred doctors and healthcare workers and ambulance services. All such activities are enabled via laptop or mobile app. Overall, the digital health technology will make data availability easy, lower costs and will provide the doctors focus on the best line of treatment.
The conveniences are immense in adopting these new technologies for the healthcare sector. By this way, doctors can diagnose diseases with the help of medical imaging capabilities and improve their access and digital infrastructure. Basically a win win situation for the health care provider and the receiver.
Composed by: “Mr. Nanjundaiya Ramesh Kumar, is an international banker turned government Advisor, Professor and Global Ambassador with a deep interest in banking, communication, academics, technology integration in biomedical sciences and consulting. His forte is franchise promotion and exploring bilateral trade and investment avenues.”