How COVID-19 is Changing the Face of Digital Healthcare
September 15, 2020
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As the world struggles with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s obvious to imagine the future having some silver linings. Well, the situation might look grim today, but for sure, it would end up in better days, especially for the global healthcare sector.
Telemedicine has become a prominent and proficient practice as people across the world get accustomed to the new normal of social distancing and lockdown. Across all the major geographies of the world, regulations are being eased to promote such practices for the wellbeing of the entire healthcare ecosystem.
However, it is interesting to see that in the future, we might move towards technology implementation by integrating digital health services like digital therapeutics, remote patient monitoring and much more. Let’s have a closer look at how the post-COVID-19 world would look like when it comes to digital healthcare services and how we can make it possible.
Impact on Digital healthcare adoption
It is no brainer that COVID-19 has led to an immediate spike in telemedicine requirements because of the higher demand amongst healthcare providers (HCPs) and patients alike. Despite being in high demand, not a large population is exposed to the advantages of telemedicine. Once they go through the process, they would be introduced to the fact that how safe, effective and convenient the practise actually is.
The COVID-19 pandemic is working towards addressing the two biggest challenges associated with telemedicine – effective commercial models and awareness & credibility. This model would lead to the opening of new horizons for digital healthcare services as new technologies lead to better innovations and eventually, better implementation.
It might be cumbersome to define the term ‘Digital Health precisely’, but it is imperative to segregate the technology solutions into categories for effective and efficient deployment. Let’s have a look at the broad classification of the emerging healthcare solutions or rather ‘saviours’ that could drive us away from a dismal future. It is important to be noted that all these solutions sail on the wave of Digital Transformation and leverage cutting-edge digital innovation to a T.
As the name suggests, Virtual Visits are the live video consulting that takes place between healthcare providers and patients. This setup is a subset of telemedicine and is one of the most promising solutions with a long positive impact that would stay with us even after this pandemic gets over.
Remote Patient Monitoring
With the ever-increasing stress on the healthcare infrastructure and stakeholders, Remote Patient Monitoring or RPM is the ray of hope to provide increased visibility to HCPs before and after the patients’ hospital visits. The advent of technology like smartphones, connected devices, sensors, etc. have deepened the reach of RPM, and hence, this innovation has seen extensive implementation.
Digital Symptom Checkers
Digital symptom checkers are the equipment that provide the patients with preliminary guidance and give them the directions for the specific care they require as per their self-reported symptoms. This set of tools has been around before the pandemic period as well, but it has tremendously evolved recently with the incorporation of more advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence and chatbots.
Digital pharmacies is one sector which was well-established before the COVID-19 scenario, but the contemporary era has further accelerated its demand. To put into a local context, Germany has quite an innovative healthcare service infrastructure with a connected pharmacy ecosystem.
Technology is leveraged to the maximum to manufacture and distribute medicines with sophisticated robots and other automation solutions. The COVID-19 scenario has burdened the HCPs with increasing efficiency. This has indirectly translated into more and more intrusion of technology solutions like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning which would only escalate in the coming future.
Medical Technology or Medtech, as it is widely known, is the accumulation of every digital technology that is being implemented in the digital healthcare ecosystem. However, it is more inclined towards the more advanced and sophisticated technology solutions. The coronavirus pandemic is spreading across the globe like wildfire and to gain control before the second wave hits, we need to match the pace as well as the scale of the virus with our host of software and cutting-edge medical equipment.
IoMT has a very crucial role to play in order to smoothen things out. Internet of Medical Technology desperately needs to be implemented at an unprecedented scale if we have to make things like RPM and Virtual visits a reality. The fusion of digital transformation and healthcare practices is what would keep us ahead of the curve.
Cybersecurity in Healthcare
As the entire health ecosystem is on the verge of taking the digital path, the biggest challenge lies in securing it. The cybersecurity threats have constantly affected the healthcare industry, and the current pandemic only worsens the situation. Data Theft & Medical Device Hijacking are two of the most challenging issues that stakeholders have to address in order to offer effective and efficient digital healthcare services.
These were some of the most prominent and pronounced transitions, which the global healthcare industry is currently undergoing. Technology has been a big and bright ray of hope for us to come out triumphant of what appears to be one of the biggest challenges by humanity.
Digital Transformation and its eventual implementation in the global healthcare landscape would not only stabilize the current chaos, but they would also strengthen our preparedness to endure if such situations arise in the future.
How Can We Help?
At Gateway Digital, we have an expert team that delivers innovative technology solutions and healthcare experiences to healthcare payers, providers, manufacturers, and distributors. For instance, we have developed and deployed a Healthcare Messaging Platform for a Hospital chain that can deliver 40 to 45 million messages in a year. Not only that, but our team has also developed more than 25 Patient Lifestyle Apps for a number of therapeutic areas including Diabetes Care, Asthma, Schizophrenia, obesity and many more.
We are the right-sized technology partner company for Startups, SMEs and Global Healthcare Enterprises with more than 20 years of experience in the Healthcare segment. Having a global presence, we understand the business lifecycle, capturing the purpose and essential workflows for any technology implementation focusing on 3Ps – Patients, Physicians and Pharmacies. Get in touch with us to transform your healthcare business digitally. For more information, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org