Executives often think of technology as a tool they need but that is the responsibility of someone else. Given the shifts in conditions and practice of the healthcare industry, effective navigation of strategy requires an understanding of the paths by which an organization might achieve its goals. Here are five areas of technology that are growing in prominence and offer great potential benefits to providers.
One problem facing healthcare is the replication of expertise at the local level. The historical approach has been that hospitals, HMOs, and care networks needed their own specialists in virtually every area that patients might need. However, that becomes expensive, particularly when the demand may not be very heavy. Or it may be that experts that certain groups of patients may not be able to regularly travel to an office. Telemedicine offers the chance for specialists to examine tests and records and for doctors and nurses to check more regularly with patients through remote systems.
IBM’s Watson system has demonstrated it can more accurately diagnose cancers than oncologists because of its ability to apply massive amounts of journal literature and clinical data. Artificial intelligence in the future of healthcare has given the ability to weigh more information than a human brain can. Eventually, software will “learn” common procedures and analyze which clinical protocols are most effective, helping to improve disease management through data analysis. The technology will also help improve other areas such as marketing, resources planning, and supply purchases.
Although often associated with digital currencies, the basic concept of blockchain is that records of transactions (which can be any process) are stored with every participant organization. Activity can be quickly verified to ensure valid actions without regular and expensive human intervention. The technology could improve the accuracy of electronic healthcare records across all organizations making changes to them.
Internet of things
The embedding of Internet capabilities into medical and consumer wearable devices will open new possibilities in both health management and resource control. Data from patients can be relayed to systems that can monitor vital signs, track history, and alert professionals should exceptional conditions warrant intervention. Equipment in hospitals can be tracked, with personnel knowing where it is at all times. The knowledge will help create more efficient use of physical resources.
Rather than apply general techniques and protocols to all patients with only a given condition in common, precision medicine offers the ability to customize treatments with an eye to categories of patients based on genetic makeup, environment, demographics, and other factors. Such adaptations will help render more effective and efficient responses to chronic conditions and diseases.
Are you interested in finding a rewarding and lucrative healthcare career that fits your individual strengths and interests? Find out how education can help you adapt to the changing healthcare landscape. American Sentinel University is an innovative, accredited provider of nursing and healthcare management degrees, including an MBA Healthcare and MSN in Nursing Informatics.