Digital transformation trends that will shape healthcare services in 2022

Tapping into the right technology like data analytics for facilitating improved and faster diagnosis has been another stellar instance of how digital transformation has uplifted the healthcare sector, writes Nidhi Jain, Founder & CEO, KareXpert

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About Author: Nidhi Jain, Founder & CEO, KareXpert.
An alumnus of IIT Roorkee alumnus, Nidhi began her entrepreneurial journey in 2018 by founding KareXpert, which is aimed at digitizing hospitals by providing a SaaS-based digital healthcare platform for video doctor consultation solutions to patients. Prior to starting up, Nidhi held product management responsibilities with popular companies such as Transera and Mahindra Comviva.

For so long, all forms of medical consultations, lab & prescription orders, and more from the healthcare category have functioned offline. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a disruptive force to such a conventional approach, compelling the healthcare institutions from tier 1, 2 & 3 cities to focus on technological advancements and adopt the digital route.
As a result, healthcare workers and consumers have effectively leveraged technology and adapted to the virtual space’s safe care, helping them tackle the pandemic’s increasing brunt. The digitally-enabled business model has also allowed the healthcare service providers to scale up massively and offer faster (up to 10X), better and smarter services with future-ready hospital technologies.
It’s safe to say that technology has rightly shaped the healthcare sector into more inclusive and accessible than ever. Owing to advanced technology, healthcare services are now being delivered optimally. It allows doctors to provide best-in-class care to patients and reduce the intake load of patients in the hospital premise. Tapping into the right technology like data analytics for facilitating improved and faster diagnosis has been another stellar instance of how digital transformation has uplifted the healthcare sector. It has cleared every barrier to the healthcare service domain and provided a concrete shape with the below-stated emerging trends expected in this ongoing year.
7 Digital Transformation Trends in Healthcare that will Rule 2022
  1. Mobile Healthcare: Mobile healthcare is going to be a must if the patient wants to feel connected to the healthcare services anytime, anywhere. These applications allow them to book appointments, lab orders, medications order and view records, search doctors and do teleconsultation, and know more about the symptoms and treatments that will create healthcare inclusion. We will see increased adoption of mobile health by healthcare professionals (especially doctors) as demanded by the patients.
  2. Native Cloud Computing: Being mission-critical applications, the Healthcare Native Cloud is one of the biggest and most relied upon technologies of modern healthcare. It is essential because it encourages the collaborative effort of physicians and other healthcare providers across the globe to merge, conduct research and make sense of the data in real-time from any place. It also delivers a quicker and more optimum diagnosis of an illness and a more comprehensive plan of action for implementing the cure. The market for healthcare cloud computing is expected to grow from $28.1billion in 2020 to $64.7 billion by 2025, which is a strong indicator that health clouds are true disruptors of today’s healthcare.
  3. Big Data & Predictive Analytics: Developing precision medicine, ensuring better patient engagement, implementing preventive care, and identifying at-risk patients are just a few of the facets of modern healthcare that have been made possible by leveraging big data & predictive analytics. The influence of data in healthcare can never be understated. In fact, if every decision made during treatment were backed by the actionable intelligence provided by data analytics, it would transform healthcare because of this reason. The countless benefits data can provide that 60% of healthcare executives have stated in the Society of Actuaries survey will further implement predictive analytics to form their treatment plan. Predictive analysis has to be supported by good digitization and meaningful curated data. For these electronic medical records, care plans are the key starting point.
  4. Digital Therapeutics: The demand for digital therapeutics to be used in cognitive-behavioral changes and as interfaces for blood glucose trackers and embedded medical equipment is ever-present. The use of software products and suites has become increasingly popular in the wake of the pandemic. The fact that investments in this sector are now brisk and expected to exceed $1 billion attests to the efficacy of this healthcare paradigm.
  5. IoT, Telehealth & Homecare Services: This form of virtual care is exceptionally beneficial for immunocompromised patients or those who have poor healthcare access due to geographical constraints. Telehealth & remote patient services are cost-effective, quick, and thorough, and for these very reasons, this form of healthcare is being aggressively implemented by healthcare providers. Homecare services are also picked up to give convenience to patients. According to the data points released by Compunnel Digital, in 2022, telehealth and remote patient services are projected to grow from $79.79 billion in 2020 to $396.76 billion in 2027. These statistics, together with the fact that there will be over a billion digital wearables in 2022, are significant evidence that this healthcare paradigm will peak in the years to come.
  6. Healthcare IT Ecosystem: As technology has allowed us to live in a connected world, we can create bigger value by creating an ecosystem rather than working silos. There are many healthcare companies that are coming together to create better healthcare for their patients. For example, doctors give prescriptions but use other providers to deliver medicine at home or do the home collection from home. Healthcare analytics also can provide a better outcome, and patients could be simultaneously monitored by a specialist somewhere else using real-time connected technologies. Moreover, interoperability will become the critical factor for the same. A recent initiative by the Indian government for ADBM, by creating unique healthcare Id will also add value for the same.
  7. Healthcare Data Privacy and Security: As we continue to see rapid advancements in technology, numerous hospitals are now equipped to store patient data digitally. Though digital records come with a set of advantages, they are susceptible to data breaches and fraud. Hence, healthcare institutions should deploy digital solutions that comply with the cyber security standard, keeping patients’ data cyber safe at all times.
While healthcare is in the midst of a massive digital transformation, it is imperative to remember that this is only the beginning. Integrating healthcare and technology has in large part only made healthcare more reliant, inclusive, robust, and comprehensive. Digital transformation in the healthcare domain greatly aids in automating & reducing redundancies and creating newer benchmarks to provide holistic care.
To conclude, digital healthcare truly has the potential to save lives. With newer technologies being explored daily, it is safe to say that the digital transformation of healthcare will be one of the most certain markers of advancement.

*Above views expressed by the author are her own.