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Can digitalization harm the healthcare sector?

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With airlines, banks, and stores, the digital experience is really starting to take shape. Booking tickets, shopping, and transfers are all possible thanks to the app, where personal information and preferences are used for a seamless customer experience.

 

Unfortunately, until recently, this digital movement has not been truly embraced by the healthcare industry. But the ecosystem of the healthcare sector is already developing significantly with the development of new healthcare ERP software and the arrival of new players.

How digitalization affects the development of the sector

New technologies really made possible significant developments in the field of health care. Hardware and software are becoming more and more precise, allowing, for example, a surgeon to use robotics for the most delicate operations, or an oncologist to diagnose cancer in ever shorter times using software equipped with artificial intelligence (AI).

 

On the other hand, the traditional relationship between the patient and the doctor, as well as between the practicing doctors themselves, is changing.

  • Patients make an appointment with a doctor on the Internet, consult with a doctor remotely, and invite “chatbots”, robots equipped with artificial intelligence and able to answer certain questions or provide monitoring of files (pregnancy, appointments, etc.).
  • At the same time, teleexpertise allows different specialists involved in the same file to cooperate much easier and more efficiently.

So we see that new technologies can make a revolution in the field of health care, this transition raises new questions.

What can become an obstacle to the increasing digitization of the industry?

At first glance, the protection of personal data still concentrates a significant part of attention. The storage and processing caused by any AI-enabled software can have negative consequences if the accumulated data does not receive maximum protection.

 

In addition to legal issues, it is necessary to question other ethical, deontological, and social issues. In a sensitive field like health, transparency, traceability, and reliability of AI results are crucial. In addition, a lot of employees worry about the future of their profession.

 

We will see that there is no shortage of innovations in the field of health care. On the contrary, more and more companies, such as Intellectsoft, are offering services that can improve access to health care or the quality of care. However, these initiatives are likely to entail significant risks in the absence of thoughtful frameworks.

 

Impact of new technologies on access to medical care

Making an appointment on the Internet is one of the services that has developed the most in recent years. It is not difficult to understand the reasons for such success. From the patient’s side, making an appointment has never been easier: contacting via the Internet is faster than by phone (and without an intermediary) and allows you to clearly see the care proposals offered by the professional, as well as the different slots available.

 

On the physician’s side, the tool allows you to reduce clerical costs, as well as optimize the practice’s fill rate, in particular by managing cancellations. The concrete results of such a service are promising. Beyond simply making appointments, new technologies in general, and the Internet in particular, allow people to find answers to their questions – and solutions to their symptoms – in an increasingly autonomous way.

 

From a simple search on specialized websites – with the risks of self-diagnosis or even self-treatment that this creates – to a telephone consultation, via video conference with a professional doctor and even telemedicine, patients no longer always need to travel to receive a personalized medical opinion. It is also a response to the difficulties faced by some population groups.

Better health monitoring?

Technological tools have become indispensable for assisting doctors in finding diagnoses by reducing delays and increasing the accuracy and reliability of results. The quality of care is thus improved with the help of intelligent tools capable of automatically detecting malfunctions or anomalies.

 

Like “smart” devices for the home, such as Echo (from Amazon) or HomeKit (from Apple), wearable electronics are very present in the field of health. New smartwatches, for example, offer highly accurate monitoring of users to allow them to lead a “healthy” lifestyle.

 

Thus, watches can monitor the level of stress, calories burned, heart rate of the user, his sleep rhythms and a lot of other data, which together make it possible to establish a very accurate “health” map. Some watches go so far as to alert the wearer when they detect an anomaly or even call an emergency room on certain hypotheses (eg: fall detection). The main investments of the web giants in the field of health care are commensurate with the economic and social issues that arise.

Focus on the challenges of digitization of health care

There is an endless need for tools that can improve the functioning of the health care system. But digitalization needs to be approached with caution.

 

For example, new technologies raise many fears in all sectors of the economy about the profound changes in occupations and relationships that they cause. Some professions will be transformed – medical secretaries, for example, gradually see how some of their tasks are already being automated.

Simple tasks can be automated – powerful artificial intelligence software will find solutions faster and with the same (or even greater) accuracy than a human.

 

And the question really arises about how doctors and other specialists will continue to practice their profession. But there is no doubt that medical professionals will play a fundamental role in experimenting and training AI for medical purposes in real conditions. And besides, the useful role of new technologies in the field of health care is obvious, it is impossible to ignore their possibilities.

 

Therefore, people should also adapt the medical profession in the future, transforming the ways to medical research and adding training on the use of AI. The development of new technologies will certainly lead to automation, but this can be solved by reorganizing institutions and the missions of medical professionals. Digital Business transformation makes it possible to increase the productivity of medical personnel by reducing, for example, the time spent on analyzes that could be performed by high-performance software.

 

We are a team of writers passionate about innovation and entrepreneur lifestyle. We are devoted to providing you the best insight into innovation trends and startups.

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