Every day we read about big changes on the healthcare horizon as a result of a variety of technologies enhancing our ability to collect data from a variety of sources including wearables, EMRs, and telemedicine. These changes offer great opportunities for the advancement of care option as we begin to deliver the right data to the right people at the right time. AI is able to diagnose cancer more accurately than human counterparts. Big Data is supplementing care provider´s knowledge gaps for improved care outcomes. Wearable Tech is freeing patient recovery from traditional hospital environments by allowing us to monitored remotely in the comfort of our own homes surrounded by loved ones. And the list goes on and on.
The challenge is despite these great advances, most healthcare data still resides on old legacy systems that are unable to process, let alone communicate, data in real-time. Care providers still request paper files. Hospitals still use faxes. Test results, billings, and other administrative functions are still beholden to antiquated systems that have remained the same for years, if not decades.
Advances in digital communications offer consumers instant, or very close to, gratification. Amazon Prime delivers our purchases the next day. Netflix offers entire seasons of our favorite shows in real-time. And just about everything else is but a click away on our smartphones. Everything, that is except healthcare.
Patients are consumers used to real-time access to information. They are informed and they demand more from their payers and providers. Whether it’s Dr. Google or online support forums, they know their options and want to actively participate in the care programs. They have options when it comes to selecting hospitals and care providers. Healthcare must shift from a volume-based model to value-based care models that focus on patient engagement and experience.
At the same time, the hospital landscape is changing. With advances in telemedicine and the potential for personalized medical records, patients and providers are no longer tied to physical locations to access care. Providers can monitor our vitals remotely via wearables. Through online connectivity, patients, and providers will have access to specialists around the world 24/7 to read X-rays, consult on rare diseases and offer real-time insights from which to develop informed care decisions.
Hospitals will continue to focus on acute care but closer to home. The hospital of the future will be smaller with even greater functionality than the current large regional centers. Providers will be freed from most administrative tasks to focus on care delivery. Their years of experience will be supplemented with real-time access to all the available medical studies and treatment options by a simple search on their iPads. AI will offer greater insights and earlier detections for quicker interventions and personalized medicine will allow providers to offer the best possible care option tailored to each and every patient.
The path to the hospital of tomorrow is cloud technologies.
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