How the healthcare industry is making its journey from digitisation to digitalisation

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the healthcare industry to make its journey from digitisation to digitalisation, which will help stakeholders make informed business decisions.
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The healthcare industry has been booming at a significant pace. The occurrence of the pandemic indeed disrupted our lives but came as a blessing in disguise for the segment as COVID-19 pushed its growth and the sector witnessed various technological advancements.

The effect of the pandemic

The ever-evolving situations and the ongoing pandemic eventually helped healthcare providers cover their journey from digitisation to digitalisation. While the former encompasses the conversion of data and processes into the digital format, the latter ensures optimal utilisation of the converted data, predicts trends, and helps make informed decisions to bring back the lost business and gain revenues.

Digitalisation is no longer an option but has rather become the need of the hour. During the pandemic, virtual consultations were at an all-time high.

To optimally utilise the available resources and reduce the burden on the present workforce, healthcare organisations realized the need to adopt new technologies and digitalise their work.

To achieve the same, organisations dedicated to the upscaling of the healthcare industry and offering state-of-the-art digital solutions are contributing to creating a cohesive and well-knit healthcare system at a pan-India level so as to help the patients in having easy and quick access to high-end medical assistance and services at affordable pricing.

These digitally innovative solutions help in new product development, cost reduction, along with enhanced consumer interaction and engagement, and thereby have been playing a pivotal role in revolutionising and elevating the healthcare industry.

Digitalisation of the healthcare industry

The medical segment and healthcare sector have been able to initiate their journey of digitalisation by the foray of high-end tech solutions. These technological advancements have changed the face of the medical industry and have disrupted the healthcare sector by offering tech-savvy solutions to deal with the existing issues, the primary being putting an end to the communication gap between patients, medical professionals, and pharma companies.

Digitalisation has paved the way for digital healthcare in India and the sector is indeed flourishing. According to IBEF’s reports, the healthcare sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22 percent from 2016-2022 and it will hit the $372 billion mark by the end of 2022.

One of the major reasons for this exponential growth will be the adoption of state-of-the-art digital solutions to fulfill the rising and changing requirements and preferences of the consumers.

This study further depicts that India is at the verge of digital health revolution and many touchless services have emerged as a game changer here. They are helping to bridge the gap between the physicians and patients along with pharma companies.

This amalgamation of technology with healthcare is reducing the physical and communication divide and is contributing majorly in improving patient care services and is helping to ensure increased access to these services at an affordable cost.

The significant rise in digital innovations has further pushed the healthcare companies and medical device manufacturers to explore the relevant opportunities and embrace the digital transformation so as to introduce new products and services to ensure improved patient care and smooth communication between doctors, patients and pharma companies.

Here are some of the major innovations enabling the same.

Remote detailing technologies

Various state-of-the-art remote detailing solutions have been introduced that enable interaction between pharma companies and doctors via the power of the virtual space. Such digital platforms facilitate smooth and real-time communication between pharma companies and medical professionals.

It is the customer who benefits from such virtual interactions as the concerned parties discuss about the recent innovations in the pharmaceuticals and medical industry and the plausible solutions that can offer instant relief for the ongoing conditions and extend high-end medical services to the patients.

AI-enabled devices for screening of patients

Digitalisation has paved the way for the emergence of technologically advanced solutions that help in the risk stratification of patients. Such non-invasive devices screen the patients in the waiting room itself and provide a risk score thereby making it easy for the healthcare professionals to undertake timely treatment according to the prevailing health conditions of the patients by early identification and diagnosis.

Leveraging the power of AI, these equipment provide pre-admission risk strat to the physicians so that they are aware about the potential health conditions and risks of the patients and prep up for the appropriate diagnosis.

AI-based applications converting prescriptions into videos

Passé are the days when handwritten doctor’s prescription was non-readable for the common man and could be decoded only by the pharmacists. Now, there are various AI-enabled application available in the market that help convert the doctor's prescriptions into personalised high-quality videos.

Such technologies not only enable touchless communication and correct usage of the medicines but also clarify the doubts of the patients in real-time. Understanding that even a slight change in the medicine dosage could increase disease complications or cost the patient’s their lives and owing to time constraints, professionals can’t explain the entire dosage process, such solutions act as a boon in making the prescriptions easy to understand via personalised videos.

Online CPD courses

Additionally, online CPD courses have also given an opportunity to medical professionals to upskill themselves and be well versed with the recent trends in the industry so as to extend high-end medical services to patients.

Various professional certificate programmes like Medexel and Leap to the Future, dedicated to medicolegal and digital marketing sectors, have been specially curated so that the medical professionals and practicing doctors can understand the changing world of healthcare and educate themselves about the same.

The larger picture

Even though the industry faces various roadblocks in the path of digitalisation ranging from introducing the concept of digital data collection to managing all the data at one place; the broader picture is that the healthcare market has become flexible and agile, all thanks to digital adoption which has been possible due to the advanced technology solutions providers.

Imbibing cutting-edge technological advancements has become critical for the sector to keep abreast with the ever-evolving world. Digitalisation has indeed revolutionised the operations of the healthcare industry in India.

It is anticipated that it will contribute majorly for the segment’s growth in the coming times and advanced digital contactless solutions will play a key role in the same.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)