The criticality of our healthcare sector has never been more apparent than it is now. It is, in the words of our leaders, our last line of defence. If we take into consideration the important research and testing that laboratories around the country are undertaking, then we should also regard the health care sector as a vital part of a long-term offensive strategy.
As a result, a focus on business continuity and resilience in the healthcare sector has highlighted the pivotal role of healthcare technology and digital transformation within the space. For the health sector to meet the challenges we face now, and in the future, CIOs must review their readiness to deliver the following:
1. Virtual care solutions
Telehealth facilities and virtual care have rapidly become the norm in the time of COVID-19. Continuity of quality health care can be established by connecting medical practitioners with their patients, or with medical colleagues for collaboration and consultation.
High-quality cameras and audio-visual equipment beside the bed or over the bed allow for consultation and rehabilitation. Mobile video conferencing carts enable healthcare facilities to share the technology between beds or wards, bringing remote expertise to the bedside.
2. Communication via digital signage platforms
The information delivered via a secure digital signage platform can increase patient engagement, can put patients at ease and improve the healthcare experience and patient outcomes. Interactive wayfinding stations can help to direct visitors, patients and families to their intended destinations more rapidly, enhancing social distancing efforts and reducing time spent searching or needing human interaction.
Communication instantly improves between patients and health professionals when displaying relevant, targeted, and informative health messaging and content in each location. Every screen can be managed efficiently from one centralised platform that easily scales as your digital signage network grows.
3. Mobile video conferencing and collaboration
Video conferencing and collaboration solutions enable health practitioners to mobilise and connect with clinicians or other health professionals, regardless of location or proximity to a meeting room. Medical service providers can interact with their patients remotely and safely.
Video conferencing technology is a spatial barrier breaker. By using video conferencing, healthcare service providers can meet patients who are located far away, in remote locations or patients who are immobile and cannot visit health care facilities. It is today’s new version of house calls.
Rural patients can visit smaller local clinics, which may be near their homes, and access specialised treatment from clinicians in urban areas via web conferencing while under the guidance of their local G.P. In addition to this, doctors can use video conferencing to track the recovery of their patient post-discharge, ensuring patients are recovering as expected and receiving high-quality medical care.
4. Artificial intelligence
The integration of Artificial Intelligence models in healthcare is fundamentally going to change the global health care system – making it possible to radically redesign the medical diagnosis system and develop new approaches to medical treatment. Not only will AI improve the quality of healthcare services, but it will reduce costs for medical clinics.
AI can use electronic health records and other operational data to integrate with existing clinical workflow tools to provide real-time data. The use of AI and predictive analytics can help medical practitioners detect diseases earlier and more accurately than before. Rather than manually identifying patterns in diseases, healthcare professions can use AI to interpret patterns too subtle for the human eye to detect, directly from the data supplied.
Today hospital networks are growing in importance and reliability. The introduction of new and ever-more advanced medical technologies, devices or communication tools, together with stringent regulations for enhanced patient confidentiality and data security, can lead to a high level of complexity for healthcare IT professionals.
Unlike enterprise networks, hospital networks have no breathing room for downtime and so both wired and wireless networks need to be resilient and able to scale up in response to unplanned surges. They must be able to adapt to rapid adoption of modern, innovative technologies and automation.
As medical devices become network-enabled and organisations become more connected, it’s essential to put strong cybersecurity systems in place to protect networks and prevent breaches that could have damaging consequences. To achieve this, it’s essential to have full network visibility, including all devices that are connected to the network, so that they can be leveraged to their full potential in achieving better staff and patient experiences and long-term outcomes for the organisation.
The future of healthcare lies in working together with new technology. Healthcare workers must embrace emerging healthcare technologies to stay relevant in the coming years.