Graphic demonstrating digital applications within healthcare industry
Rethinking Healthcare in the Digital Age
Many industries have been heavily impacted by digital transformation. Now healthcare is at a turning point, where organizations need to adapt to technology trends to meet the needs of their users.

Digital technology is firmly embedded in our lives. This has caused tremors throughout traditional workplaces. While digital disruption has permeated our daily lives, from the way we shop to the way we work, it is only just starting to influence how we manage health. The healthcare industry is at a turning point where it is primed for disruption. But like any other industry on the brink of digital disruption, healthcare should also be bracing itself for the paradox of hyper-connection and disconnection.

Many of us have had instances where we look up health information online. In fact, 70 percent of internet users have done this in moments of self-diagnosis. However, very few have an app downloaded on their smartphones to track their health. This all points to a disconnect between personal healthcare and personal technology. While personal technology is constantly improving, the healthcare industry is not keeping up. The healthcare industry needs to step into the digital world and meet customer demands. Healthcare institutions can reinvent their digital strategies by building modern digital platforms where their customers can engage with them in new ways.

Digital Healthcare Strategies

The world of healthcare needs to reinvent its strategy by adopting digital tools. This way, they can meet the needs of modern customers. Modern technologies have enabled people living with chronic conditions to manage their diseases. Healthcare organizations are using digital applications to manage and improve the outcomes of many diseases. Big data is an excellent tool for healthcare providers to gather information on how patients are responding to treatment and assess whether resources are being used efficiently. They can provide their patients with better care by communicating the objectives of the process. This is important in case the patient has a concern about their confidentiality which is addressed by a constant review of data security, consent, and opt-outs. Such a digitized healthcare program can improve the future of medicine by integrating medical expertise in treatment, diagnosis and end-of-life care. The remarkable digital trend we are witnessing is the shift toward personalized medicine. Technology has advanced diagnostics and the drug development pipeline. It has also improved the way healthcare providers diagnose diseases and match each patient with the right treatment.

Rethinking the Approach

Healthcare providers can offer their customers a high-end experience by providing affordable virtual care via telehealth and digital tools. However, healthcare providers must ask three questions to adapt to the new changes in technology:

1. Does virtual care help in achieving a strategic goal? The main goal is to achieve patient convenience and improved access for physicians to other complex patients via telehealth. Telemedicine reduces the use of clinical resources that increase the medical expenses for the customer.

2. How will the success of virtual care be measured? Healthcare providers need to take on A/B testing to evaluate the effectiveness and variability of these technologies.

3. Will the providers find the resources and time to test the massive list of digital tools? The solution would be to involve other players to assist in the provision of services like nurses, physician assistants, nutritionists and many more.

Mobile Technology and Health

Mobility is a game changer in the healthcare industry. Healthcare and infrastructure have been integrated so that end-to-end patient experience is now possible for providers. The healthcare provider doesn't have to rely solely on web design to attract the customer because of the new mobile touchpoint with patients. Mobile devices provide patients and physicians alike with the right information at the right time regarding the patient.

Mobile has provided a vast digital experience that has immensely changed the healthcare ecosystem by:

• Leveraging patient engagement analytics and behavioural data to personalized experiences while delivering solutions that influence the decision making of the patient.

• Deployment of the turnkey applications for connected devices across an integrated delivery network.

• Supporting patient wellness with a fleet of wearable devices like smartwatches.

The Bottomline: Adapt to Create Efficiency

The healthcare industry is being shaped by digital transformation from web design to mobile applications and everything in between. In the future, digital tools will provide a mobile, fluid and flexible platform to deliver healthcare services and boost customer experience.

One thing is for certain, OPIN understands that digital trends extend into more and more industries every day. This is why we work with many healthcare organizations to provide them with digital advancements to stay ahead of the curve. On the backbone of ambitious platforms such as Drupal, we are able to keep the online presence of healthcare organizations strong and hopeful.