- Digital healthcare, with EMRs, telehealth services, and Health apps, is transforming patient care globally.
- Telehealth offers improved access to healthcare, better patient engagement, cost-efficiency, and flexibility in care.
- Electronic Medical Records centralize patient data, enhance diagnosis accuracy and facilitate inter-provider communication.
- Mobile Health Apps deliver health services directly to patients, offering real-time tracking, management and wellness support.
Emerging digital technologies are revolutionizing the healthcare industry, shaping how care is delivered and received. For instance, telemedicine has surged in popularity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the American Medical Association, telemedicine saw a 53% increase in use in 2020 compared to the previous year. Furthermore, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are becoming integral in predictive diagnostics. A study by Stanford University found that AI could correctly identify skin cancer with 91% accuracy, compared to 86% by human dermatologists. These advancements show that the integration of technology in healthcare is not just improving accessibility but also the accuracy and effectiveness of treatments.
The average clinic must make the most of digital healthcare, as it brings numerous advantages for providers and patients. However, it can be challenging to identify and leverage new technology that fits your clinical needs. To best use digital healthcare, clinics need to know what products are available. Here are a few of the key digital technologies that are changing healthcare today:
Electronic Medical Records
Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) have become a cornerstone in modern healthcare settings due to their ability to centralize and streamline patient data. These digital files replace traditional paper records, offering a comprehensive view of a patient’s history, including past diagnoses, treatments, and medications. This wealth of information at a clinician’s fingertips ensures a more accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment approach, improving patient outcomes.
EMRs also facilitate smoother communication between healthcare providers. For example, a specialist can easily access and review a patient’s records sent by a general practitioner, leading to better care coordination. Furthermore, EMRs support data-driven decision-making and can be used to identify trends or risk factors across a patient population.
For hospitals looking to leverage EMRs, selecting a system that aligns with their needs and workflows is crucial. Implementation should include comprehensive training for all users to ensure they can effectively navigate and utilize the system. Additionally, data security measures should be robust to protect sensitive patient information. Regular system updates and audits can further enhance the functionality and security of EMRs. This way, hospitals can optimize their use of EMRs to deliver high-quality, efficient, and coordinated care.
Telehealth refers to utilizing digital technologies to deliver health-related services remotely. This innovative approach to healthcare has seen tremendous growth, offering numerous benefits for hospitals and patients alike.
Improved Access to Healthcare
Through telehealth, hospitals can provide medical services to patients who might otherwise have difficulty accessing care due to geographic location or physical limitations. It eliminates the need for travel, making healthcare more accessible to rural communities and individuals with mobility issues.
Enhanced Patient Engagement
Telehealth facilitates better patient engagement by enabling more frequent and convenient communication between patients and healthcare providers. This constant interaction can improve healthcare outcomes as patients are more likely to follow treatment plans and make healthier lifestyle choices.
Telehealth can lead to significant cost savings for hospitals by reducing the need for physical infrastructure and associated overheads. Furthermore, it can lower hospital readmission rates by enabling timely follow-up care and monitoring of patients at home.
Flexibility in Care
Telehealth offers the flexibility of providing various healthcare services virtually, ranging from primary care consultations to specialist services. It includes teleconsultations, telesurgery, tele pharmacy, and tele rehabilitation. Each service adds a unique dimension to patient care, enabling personalization and comprehensive treatment.
As more hospitals recognize the potential of telehealth, it is becoming an integral part of healthcare delivery, promising improved access, engagement, efficiency, and flexibility in care.
Mobile Health App
Mobile Health Apps, also known as Health apps, are swiftly becoming a staple in healthcare, primarily due to their ability to deliver health services and information directly to patients’ smartphones or devices. These applications have seen a surge in adoption, with a report by Research2Guidance stating that the number of Health app downloads reached 4.6 billion in 2020.
One rising trend in this realm is the new chronic care management apps for doctors. These apps offer a comprehensive platform for monitoring and managing a patient’s chronic condition. For example, a diabetes management app can track a patient’s daily glucose levels, medication schedule, and diet, providing doctors with real-time data to adjust treatment plans promptly.
Another noteworthy development is the proliferation of mental health apps, which deliver therapeutic interventions and self-help tools to users experiencing mental health issues. For instance, apps like Talk space and Better Help connect users with licensed therapists for virtual consultations, while Calm and Headspace provide mindfulness and meditation exercises to help manage stress and anxiety.
Fitness and wellness apps like MyFitnessPal and Fitbit have also gained popularity. These apps track physical activities, provide workout routines, monitor diet and sleep patterns, and offer personalized advice to help users maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Digital healthcare is transforming the healthcare industry, offering numerous opportunities to improve patient care. From Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and telehealth services to Health apps, hospitals have access to a wealth of technologies that can help them deliver efficient and personalized care. As technology evolves, digital solutions will become even more integral in transitioning towards a connected healthcare system.