Digital transformation – the need of the 21st century

The need to modify the structure of healthcare has emerged as the cost of treating chronic diseases has increased, while the number of physicians needed has decreased. The digital transformation began with the popularization of solutions that enable the acquisition of large amounts of information in every area. One of them is coming out strongly ahead and that is the healthcare sector. In health, digital transformation will have the strongest impact and its effects will be most noticeable. The tools and activities that make digital transformation possible mean that costs will be reduced, outcomes will be improved, and patient engagement in the treatment process will be enhanced.

What elements have made the digital transformation possible?

There are a variety of technology tools as well as applications without which digital transformation will not occur. The most common of these are predicted to have a huge impact on data presentation methods, healthcare organizations of healthcare professionals, and the people who use these services. These tools are:

  • Big Data,
  • Internet of things, 
  • Artificial intelligence,
  • Virtual and augmented reality, 
  • Electronic health records,
  • Wearable medical devices, 
  • 3D printers

There are several determinants of the increasing demand for change in the way chronic diseases are managed. Most notably, technological advances, and shift of patients’ approach to their health. With the emergence of IoT, machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, are beginning to be implemented by various healthcare providers. The implementation of such solutions results in improvements, of diagnosis, prevention, and overall patients’ experience.

Read more: How do remote care centers work?

Digital transformation as a complex challenge

Decision-makers face the challenge of keeping up with the rapid pace of innovation when implementing digital transformation solutions. Unfortunately, the implementation process is often disrupted by patient and physician reluctance to change. Transforming the structure and closing the gaps to function accordingly must be preceded by solid knowledge as well as a proper mindset. Digital transformation certainly brings about significant changes and improves the quality of diagnosis and treatment of patients. However, it may be debatable that digital health literacy requires already possessing some knowledge as opposed to the notion of classical health literacy. Namely, it is about having technical competence to use computers or other devices. This raises questions whether the digital transformation will make health literacy more important, or whether there will be a bigger digital gap? We are yet to find out in the near future.

The physician’s role as a guide in digital transformation

Both solution providers and physicians take responsibility for the level of patient involvement, as well as for helping them to take advantage of new digital health technologies. Intelligent solutions can take some repetitive duties of physicians, which would allow them to focus more on the patient. Of course, some skills are irreplaceable such as empathy and social care and these would be the backbone of care. This is important because solutions and technologies alone are not enough, and a well-functioning patient-doctor relationship in the treatment process is crucial. The combination of these two components, i.e. partnership-based relationships, digital transformation and its elements can make a huge difference in the performance of current healthcare.

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