Digital Transformation in the Healthcare System

During Covid-19 lockdown, health businesses experienced on their own skin the limitations of their analogue health care system; it seems clear that the industry needed to adopt an immediate digital revolution to face this crisis.

Covid-19 has spread to every inhabitable continent within weeks, outpacing our health system’s ability to test, track, and contain people with suspected infection. In order to make the health sector continue its activities, it has been necessary to redefine the situation by adopting a drastic change: private companies and institutions of higher education have made an abrupt transition to remote videoconferencing and other digital solutions, while the healthcare system is still managing this crisis largely through risky brick-and-mortar visits. Clinical workflows and economic incentives have been developed to support and reinforce a face-to-face model of care, resulting in the congregation of patients in emergency departments and waiting areas during this crisis. This care structure contributes to the spread of the virus to uninfected patients who are seeking evaluation. Vulnerable populations such as patients with multiple chronic conditions or immunosuppression will face the difficult choice between risking Covid-19 exposure during a clinician visit and postponing needed care.

As healthcare systems nationwide brace for a surge of Covid-19 cases, urgent action is required to transform health care delivery and to scale up our systems by unleashing the power of digital technologies. Despite some digital technologies, such as those used for telemedicine, have existed for decades, they have had poor penetration into the market because of heavy regulation and sparse supportive payment structures. To enhance the technology infrastructure available to clinicians to support these visits, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that it is using its enforcement discretion and won’t impose penalties for using HIPAA noncompliant private communications technologies to provide telehealth services during this public health emergency. Several remote health solutions have been rapidly adopted, beyond video medical visits, these services include text, email, and mobile-phone applications and chatbots. These services could be deployed to provide synchronous and asynchronous support both for patients affected by Covid-19 and for those standard illnesses or required clinical services. Adopting digital technologies it’s a solution to improve the quality of healthcare management systems and to reduce the cost of medical services. 

Digital transformation in healthcare is the consequential development of technology in the field; among the common health innovations there are: telemedicine, artificial intelligence which enable medical devices, and blockchain electronic health records. Digitizing healthcare means facilitating both medical specialists in the management system, and helping patients with their care management under an assistance and economic point of view. Employing technologies permits reducing human error and to decrease medical costs, by providing a better experience for patients and a better working performance for doctors. 

Digital trends in Healthcare

  • Patients seek on-demand healthcare services both for their busy schedules and for becoming mobile-users in the past decade. 
  • Big data in healthcare represents an advantage to decrease the rate of medication errors, from  patient record analysis, a software can flag any inconsistencies between a patient’s health and drug prescriptions, alerting health professionals and patients when there is a potential risk of a medication error. Also, big data’s predictive analysis could help hospitals and clinics to estimate future admission rates, by facilitating these facilities to allocate the proper staff to deal with patients. This saves money and reduces emergency room waiting times when a facility is understaffed.
  • Treating patients with Virtual Reality (VR) technology is being used not only to treat chronic pain, but everything from anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder, and stroke. Other uses include, doctors and residents using virtual-reality simulations to hone their skills or to plan complicated surgeries; VR headsets could also motivate wearers to exercise and help children with autism.
  • Another trend of the digital transformation in healthcare is companies collecting their own health data from medical devices, including wearable technology devices that  provide up-to-date monitoring of high-risk patients to determine the likelihood of a major health event. Among the most common devices there are:  Heart rate sensors, Exercise trackers, Sweat meters, Oximeters
  • Artificial intelligence represents the centrepiece of medical innovation and industry players are eager to invest millions in it. AI in medicine brings to mind Japanese nurse robots, now there are even American versions like Moxi, a friendly hospital droid designed to assist human nurses with routine tasks such as fetching and restocking supplies. Chatbots and virtual health assistants are another AI-based technology that patients are becoming familiar with. Chatbots can fill a multitude with roles from customer service representatives to diagnostic tools and even therapists. What AI-powered computer programs do for oncology, in a nutshell, is analyse thousands of pathology images of various cancers to provide highly accurate diagnoses and predict the best possible anti-cancer drug combinations. And, in medical imaging diagnostics, this technology helps radiologists spot details that escape the human eye.

EnMedicalSign as a digital solution to protect patient health records

Blockchain plays a key-role in keeping patients’ electronic health records accurate and safe, allowing customers to exchange financial information with suppliers, without the need of a third party such as a bank. An electronic health record (EHR) is basically the digital version of a medical record which includes all patient’s data from medical history and diagnoses, to treatment plans, immunization dates, and test results. It also contains their general personal information such as home address, previous workplaces, as well as financial information like credit card numbers. 

Euronovate Group medical solution available for patients is the ENMedicalSign, a mobile paperless solution for digital storage of informed consent and health documents of your patients. It validates the patient and acquires the digital signature according to DPCM 22 February 2013. It digitalizes the informed consent and the treatment of sensitive data forms, allowing people to have access anytime to their personal health records in a secure, fast, and intuitive way.

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