Digital Transformation in Healthcare- 7 Trends to Know

National health care spending in the United States is predicted to reach $5.7 trillion by 2025. Healthcare organizations are identifying innovative methods to collect a larger portion of the available profit that the healthcare system generates. As a result, more and more healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations are utilizing digital transformation.

Healthcare digital transformation has already benefited healthcare providers through optimized systems, patient outcomes improved, and reduced costs. Additionally, healthcare providers report more streamlined work, improved patient data security, and less potential for human error. Health information technology is evolving with contributions ranging from medical devices that utilize artificial intelligence to blockchain electronic health records.

Although digital transformation has consistently demonstrated its potential to positively influence the healthcare industry it is still grossly underutilized. In fact, only 7% of pharmaceutical and healthcare organizations identify as digital healthcare businesses. Compared to 15% of organizations in other industries, the healthcare industry is notably behind in its digital transformation efforts. Through educating themselves and others, healthcare professionals can begin to decrease the digital transformation gap. 4 trends to follow for digital transformation in healthcare include-

1. Artificial Intelligence

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84% of healthcare industry leaders believe artificial intelligence will transform healthcare in the near future. The market for healthcare artificial intelligence powered tools will likely exceed $34 billion by 2025. Artificial intelligence is predicted to save the healthcare economy in the United States a massive sum of money. By the year 2026, annual savings attributed to artificial intelligence are estimated to reach $150 billion. Studies conducted in the United States have noted that active artificial intelligence startups have increased 1400% since 2000.

Artificial intelligence technologies have various digital healthcare applications ranging from diagnostic medical devices to virtual customer service representatives. Artificial intelligence is also exceptionally helpful for research and groundbreaking medical advancements. For example, artificial intelligence is widely used in medical imaging, pharmaceutical discovery, and genomics. According to studies, artificial intelligence has contributed 60% cost savings and decreased early drug discovery timelines by 4 years.

2. Virtual Reality

Experts predict the healthcare industry will have invested $5.1 billion into augmented and virtual reality digital technologies by 2025. Health systems interested in digital transformation are increasingly recognizing the value virtual reality health technology holds. There are so many digital healthcare applications for virtual reality that already exist or are being developed.

Both the healthcare provider and patient experience is improved with virtual reality. Virtual reality trained surgeons reported a 230% increase in performance. Virtual reality trained surgeons also made 700% fewer errors and performed surgeries 29% faster. Surgery patients using virtual reality headsets with calming landscapes reported their patient experience was improved 100% of the time!

Virtual reality is used for pain management which is a huge issue in the United States and around the world. 50 million adults in the United States reported chronic pain in 2016. Combating the pain management crisis in the United States is much easier with virtual reality technology available. Virtual reality is used to treat both physical and mental pain, ranging from anxiety disorders to stroke survivors.

3. Blockchain

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Blockchain is a digital transformation healthcare trend that healthcare providers should pay close attention to. Blockchain has significant digital health implications especially for medical data like electronic health records. Electronic health records are digital medical records that equip healthcare professionals with comprehensive patient data summaries.

Health care best practices have been revolutionized by electronic health records. Electronic health records provide healthcare organizations with real time medical records that improve patient outcomes and patient experience greatly. Unfortunately, hackers are also well aware of the valuable patient data within electronic health records. Healthcare providers that include blockchain in their digital transformation can rest assured health records are secure.

4. Big Data

47% of healthcare organizations currently use patient data predictive analytics. Additionally, 57% of healthcare organizations think predictive data analytics will save them 25% each year. With a market share predicted to reach $14.9 billion by 2022, big data is a digital transformation hot topic.

Big data collects health data in order to identify valuable trends and patterns that have very real implications. Big data offers benefits for the healthcare digital transformation movement including addressing the 28% of recurring patient emergency room visits. Big data and data analytics could be used to identify these patients and create preventive care plans. Medication errors are combatted with big data utilization, supplying real time alerts to healthcare providers regarding any inconsistencies detected. Due to these benefits and more big data and data analytics are often considered top digital transformation priorities.

Key Takeaways for Digital Transformation in Healthcare

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  • Digital transformation in healthcare is increasing in popularity due to the benefits it supplies.
  • Digital transformation trends in healthcare range from artificial intelligence to virtual reality digital technologies.

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