Digital transformation in the time of coronavirus
The health sector is the biggest winner
The health sector has undoubtedly benefited from the digital transformation that is gaining ground due to the precautionary measures that have taken over all countries of the world, prompting many hospitals and medical centers to adopt digital transformation strategies in line with the global change imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. Digital health technologies have significantly grown and we have been relying on them tremendously in the time being.
Specialized companies have rushed to develop programs and work mechanisms that ensure that the patient and the hospital alike have access to the necessary facilities for communication, case diagnosis and other benefits. Hence, telemedicine has become a tangible reality with the help of electronic health records, online consultations and other innovations.
Doctors and hospitals have adopted digital communications, health platforms and applications during complete lockdown, therefore, the concept of global digital health has expanded, which includes telemedicine, electronic pharmacies, wearable devices and many others, at a time when the demand for digital health services is still growing so that healthcare providers can benefit from the available technical options in addition to the advanced systems and programs. Patients can benefit from remote healthcare thanks to the digitization provided by health institutions that provide remote medical services, hence, the patient receives immediate medical consultations with the ability to closely monitor and follow up on the medical condition remotely, especially for those who suffer from chronic diseases and are unable to leave their house.
Digitization in Hospitals
Smart hospitals rely on digitization in their operations by adopting digital healthcare solutions, which has evolved even more with the coronavirus outbreak, especially in terms of patient data and records through the electronic personal health records that collect information about the patient’s health that includes test results, clinical notes, diagnoses and health problems that the patient suffers from in addition to the medications he takes, procedures he underwent, etc.
Smart hospital infrastructures rely on a wide range of devices necessary to automate and digitize work to enhance productivity and increase healthcare accuracy.
The modern methods available today for telemedicine give the patient a speedy response by the medical team following up on his condition by connecting the home device with the hospital, so the patient gets clinical monitoring at home, but remotely, which guarantees his access to medical services through coordination with the medical team with improved patient participation. Most importantly, the patient receives a medical consultation without the need to leave the house.
This type of services would reduce the burden on healthcare systems and doctors, so the patient does not always have to go to the doctor’s clinic, saving effort and time on the one hand, and increasing the productivity of healthcare providers on the other hand. In addition, telemedicine enables people who live in distant locations to receive the medical service they need without the hassle of commuting.
Dependence on telemedicine and remote consultations has increased in light of the coronavirus pandemic, and it has proven to be a preferred method for many patients to practice home quarantine and social distancing by saving the hassle of commuting to the hospital and waiting at a time when we urgently need it.
Most healthcare institutions and hospitals in the region realized the danger of the emergence of the coronavirus, so they worked to activate websites and turn them into a platform that allows the patient to communicate with the doctor, from anywhere and around the clock, in order to obtain remote medical consultations and answer their inquiries, which contributes to providing patients with healthcare services and avoiding being in a crowded place as one of the precautionary measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus.
Today, health institutions and hospitals have advanced programs run by health professionals and human resources working with a high level of professionalism, as they have demonstrated high competence and professionalism in terms of communicating with the patient or his family through video technology with the aim to provide medical consultations, lab test results and radiology results, and give the necessary prescription.
Remote medical consultations provide the opportunity to connect the patient with the specialist physician to carry out the necessary and accurate consultations about the disease, so that the doctor listens to the complaint and type pf pain with the help of the data and information provided.
The coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying home quarantine and the difficult patient access to hospitals and doctors’ clinics was a strong driver behind the unprecedented increased demand for electronic medical platforms, after a large number of patients relied on those platforms in search of the right doctor. The advanced mobile technology has helped in the growth of telemedicine to provide healthcare services such as initial diagnostics, consultations, and comprehensive monitoring of the patient’s health condition, among others.
The market of wearable devices and tools containing sensors to quickly monitor vital signs and various conditions of the human body has expanded, so that the information issued is transmitted directly to the personal doctor, enabling him to closely monitor the medical condition through data collection and analysis by artificial intelligence algorithms in order to identify diseases and health problems. The aim is to obtain an early diagnosis, successful treatment, while reducing complications that may result from the development of the condition.
This technology has been able to change many trends in healthcare industry, as it has become possible to monitor the patient’s vital functions from home and there is no need for him to be permanently in the hospital, through small devices that the patient can wear anytime and anywhere, enabling the medical staff to follow up on his health condition while receiving detailed and real-time information about blood pressure or heart rate, for instance.
The use of wearable devices has expanded at the present time, which led to its technical development. Wearable technology can be worn as clothes or accessories, such as watches, glasses and clothes, as these devices can provide instant information that suits specific contexts, through data recording, analysis and delivery. These devices monitor and analyze the health of individuals according to several indicators such as heart rate, blood pressure and others.