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The rapid evolution of digital innovations has ensured the modification of systems, interactions, and processes associated with the health and wellness industry. Through better, more transparent, and inclusive systems, patients can now be proactively involved in healthcare processes, while healthcare professionals can better manage and leverage the copious amounts of data they are usually required to handle. The implementation of digital tools in the healthcare industry has enabled the optimal utilization of medical resources, better and individualized treatment facilities and reduction in hospital visits for patients. It has also led to a reduction in the frequency of manual errors through automatization, lowering of associated costs, and bridging knowledge gaps in healthcare.

Major Healthcare Trends

The concept of digitalization in healthcare, which has gained momentum in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, involves the utilization of digital tools and rapidly evolving technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, or big data. Healthcare digitalization has further  assisted in the treatment of medical disorders and to find efficient, sustainable methods of resource management. Digitalization has facilitated some crucial technology-driven changes in the healthcare sector, revolutionizing traditional global healthcare systems.

  • Artificial intelligence in healthcare:  The use of AI innovations in healthcare is associated with the automation of repetitive processes, resulting in time and cost effective focus on patients’ healthcare. AI-guided scans, tests, virtual nurse assistants, and minimally invasive surgical procedures have brought multifaceted advantages, saving time and lives.
  • Virtual healthcare and telehealth: Booking appointments and virtual meetings with healthcare professionals, searching for medical information, remote assistance to patients as well as healthcare providers, and virtual collaborations to enhance and modify existing healthcare models are some of the major features associated with virtual healthcare.
  • Big data for predictive analytics: Combined with AI, big data is utilized in the healthcare sector for offerings such as predictive analysis for patients by identifying patterns and analyzing family history of diseases, reduced errors in healthcare solutions, rapid adaptation to changes, and cost and time effective processing of large volumes of medical data for efficient management of resources.
  • Medical wearables and digital health: Further aiding preventive healthcare, wearables such as smart sensors and trackers have facilitated in keeping consumers updated on their medical status by collecting and tracking vital medical information to keep them aware of their health and to warn at-risk individuals of any potential health-risk.
  • Virtual and augmented reality: AR and VR have been useful in simulating surgeries for training purposes, therapeutic treatment for PTSD, autism, depression, and other physical ailments for analyzing and visualizing a patient’s anatomy before any surgical procedure and to improve patient experience.
  • Blockchain services: Medical information can be stored and exchanged in a secure manner utilizing this technology that makes use of a distributed ledger system. The technology has also aided in streamlining supply chain management in the medical industry. An example would be blockchain-based supply chain management of life-saving drugs.

Impact of Digitalization on Patients and Businesses

Digitalization is undeniably changing the healthcare industry for the better, for patients and businesses alike. Let us see the impact that digitization has had on healthcare:

  • Better access to medical information, enabling consumers and patients to make smarter, educated healthcare-related decisions.
  • Ease of communication and collaboration between healthcare professionals, hospitals, and patients, leading to better monitoring of medical status and processes.
  • Better cost management, efficient resource utilization, and automation of processes for businesses.
  • An inclusive healthcare system for patients, with personalized healthcare tools and services.
  • Better and improved quality of information and services related to healthcare, for patients as well as professionals.
  • For patients, multiple options to choose from for prevention, management, and treatment of medical issues. 
  • Improved management and security for large amounts of crucial and sensitive medical data for businesses.
  • Clinical trials, medical training, research, and testing made easier with the help of developing technologies. 

Challenges To Healthcare Digitalization 

While the evolving innovations and technologies associated with healthcare digitalization have undoubtedly changed the manner of management, communication, utilization of resources, and collaborations for efficient systems, there are certain roadblocks that need to be overcome. These challenges include:

  • There is a need for bridging the gaps in information when it comes to the digital world.
  • Digital healthcare tools need to be used by the elderly population as frequently as the younger generation does.
  • Necessity for rapid transformation of old systems to adapt to new digital technologies and processes.
  • Data security is still an issue that needs to be addressed to ensure complete security and compliance to regulations.
  • The digital transformation process is still relatively costly. 

Stepping Into The Future Of Digital Healthcare

An undeniable fact associated with digitalization in healthcare is the modification and enhancement of different models working within the healthcare industry. Digitalization is helping unite and bring to focus the efforts of everyone involved in the healthcare sector to offer better information, opportunities, and improved alternatives aimed at predictive, preventative, and participatory medical care. Further developments in innovations such as AI/ML, AR and VR, IoT, AI testing, blockchain, and big data promise to offer an even more secure, functional, efficient, and collaborative experience when it comes to healthcare. 


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