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The future of Care – How new technology can change your business

Artificial intelligence and digital medicine are transforming the healthcare industry1. From saving time in administration, to improving patient health, the potential for healthcare technologies are endless. But what does this really mean for your care business?

How future technologies are improving healthcare:

  • More efficient administration
  • Improved data security
  • Safer practice
  • Faster diagnosis
  • More personal treatment
  • Cutting costs

Bringing your care business into the digital age

While it’s hard to predict the future, there’s no doubt that now is an exciting time for the healthcare sector. New technology has great potential for improving patient care. It could also have a huge impact on cutting costs and reducing pressure on staff and recruitment. 

Consider how these three types healthcare technology could have a positive impact on your business:

Digital Health Systems

What are they?

Digital systems such as Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Blockchain are used to store, link and move highly confidential data2. These technologies make patient records easier to access, helping improve both the quality of healthcare and patient confidentiality.

How will they impact my healthcare business?

Digital Health Systems provide a more secure way to store and manage data. These technologies provide a great opportunity to reduce costs by decreasing paperwork. They can also reduce the risk of medical errors, ensuring all information is up-to-date at the point of care3.

In a recent study, IBM predicts that 56% of healthcare executives will employ Blockchain solutions by 2020.

Telemedicine

What are they?

Internet of Things (IoT) and mHealth are the most widely used telemedicine technologies, often connected to wearable devices. They’re used to diagnose and treat patients remotely outside a hospital setting. The main function of the IoT is to collect data, giving doctors invaluable insight into symptoms and enabling remote care4.

How will they impact my healthcare business?

Telemedicine is transforming the treatment and diagnosis of disease5. While IoT offers insight into symptoms and trends6, mHealth gives patients the ability to track and personalise their care. The mHealth apps sub-sector saw an annual growth of 35% between 2014 and 2018, making it the greatest healthcare investment in the last decade7.

NHS found that 63% of adults would be willing to have a video consultation with their GP for advice on a minor ailment.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics

What are they?

Robotics and AI provide automated staffing solutions. Automated roles can include anything from administration and virtual diagnostics to health monitoring systems8.

How will they impact my healthcare business?

AI is bridging gaps in the healthcare workforce. Tasks such as patient administration and preliminary diagnostics can now be carried out by AI. By saving time and money on staffing, healthcare businesses are now able to maximise patient care at contact level.

A 2016 report from CB Insights found that 86% of healthcare providers are using a form of artificial intelligence technology.

Costs and forward-planning

In the long-run, there is no doubt that new technologies have the potential to reduce costs in healthcare. But the initial costs involved with implementing these technologies can seem daunting.

EHRs and other Digital Health Systems come with lots of hidden costs. As well as initial software licensing, advice and installation, there are number of ongoing costs and add-ons to be aware of. It is important when investing in any Digital Health System that you allow for the costs to maintain and update the software9.

In 2018, organisations in the UK lost an average of £2.77 million due to data breaches.

Digital Health Systems should be viewed as a long-term investment. But when it comes to telemedicine and AI, there may be other ways of incorporating new technology without a huge initial outlay.

Leasing gives businesses affordable access to technologies. Technology such as wearable health tech, smart inhalers and wireless blood pressure monitors can all now be leased on demand. This enables practitioners to provide high-quality care on PAYG rates10.

The importance of risk management

Cybersecurity currently heads the list of risks for many healthcare leaders.

It’s important when investing in new technology that you carry out the appropriate risk assessments. Your risk management strategy must be updated to allow for new working practices. Failing to do so could leave you open to claims not covered by your current insurance.

Potential risks when adopting new technologies include:

  • Increased cybersecurity risks
  • Data integrity errors
  • Malpractice claims involving diagnostic devices 

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.hee.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/documents/Topol%20Review%20interim%20report_0.pdf
  2. https://www.pwc.co.uk/industries/healthcare/insights/how-blockchain-could-transform-healthcare-systems.html
  3. https://www.healthit.gov/faq/what-are-advantages-electronic-health-records
  4. https://econsultancy.com/internet-of-things-healthcare/
  5. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/461479/BIS-15-544-digital-health-in-the-uk-an-industry-study-for-the-Office-of-Life-Sciences.pdf
  6. https://econsultancy.com/internet-of-things-healthcare/
  7. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/461479/BIS-15-544-digital-health-in-the-uk-an-industry-study-for-the-Office-of-Life-Sciences.pdf
  8. https://novatiosolutions.com/10-common-applications-artificial-intelligence-healthcare/
  9. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/18-hidden-costs-in-ehr-purchase-and-implementation.html
  10. https://leasingsolutions.bnpparibas.co.uk/financing-digital-technology-in-the-healthcare-sector/
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