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10 Problems that Healthcare Technology can Solve for a Healthier World

Summary: Digital health solutions have improved & revolutionized healthcare. Driven by a combination of rapid development of technology and medical science, market demand, government policy, and financial pressures, the evolution toward new healthcare models is already underway. Explore this article to learn more about its evolving role in the healthcare industry.

I heard about the ‘smart ambulance’ yesterday, and it is exactly what it claims to be. There’s been quite a buzz around 5G technology in the market, and fortunately, healthcare is one of its essential use cases.

The whole concept of a smart ambulance is that you can connect with multiple entities – ECG machines, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, everything – to start the diagnosis right when the patient is wheeled inside the ambulance. All the critical parameters are sent back to the centralized command – the hospital.

This will do wonders for humans. Undoubtedly, transformation in the healthcare industry is moving from a buzzword to an imperative for health systems.
connected ambulance

How is digital healthcare changing the face of the medical industry?

Take this, for instance: In May 2019, a woman was on a sweet little vacation at the World of Illusions in Edinburgh. Everything was normal until she took a photograph with a thermal imaging camera at one of the tourist attractions. To her surprise, she found a yellow lump around her left breast that needed immediate attention. When she returned to her home in Berkshire, she visited a doctor who confirmed that she had early-stage breast cancer.

No symptoms, nothing. She could have lost her breast or her life if the detection had remained unnoticed. However, a thermal imaging camera saved her life.

Revenue in the global digital health market is estimated to reach $145.80 billion in 2022. The current market growth is 11.94% p.a.statista

Hospitals and health systems have introduced digital technologies in their functional areas over the last two decades. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered the healthcare industry’s status quo, and virtual health and home care became the model not only a necessity but also a preference.

However, the transition was not as abrupt as it appeared. The pandemic accelerated several trends, including shifting consumer preferences, rapidly evolving technologies, newer talent models, and clinical innovation.

Faced with these trends, as hospitals and health systems work to adapt their businesses, a well-defined approach to digital technologies will most likely be at the heart of this transformation strategy.

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How to Solve Healthcare Problems with Technology?

Technology can help you stay ahead of the curve and lend a hand in placing you among the top technological healthcare providers. We have tried to list some of the most addressed problems the new advanced healthcare system can solve using technology for a better and healthier world:
seven healthcare problems that technology can solve

Problem 1: No Remote Access

Healthcare is associated with in-person consultations. This problem obligates the patients to run to the nearest healthcare center for treatment.

The COVID outbreak and lockdowns made it even worse. The contagion effect of the virus restrained people within the four walls of their homes. So, what do they do if they need to see a doctor and have an emergency? The need for remote access or virtual consultations is the need of the hour, which needs to be taken care of to stay one step ahead in the technology adoption race.

Solution : Invest in healthcare mobile and web applications

Mobile app developers continue to grow these remote-oriented platforms’ flexibility and performance abilities. This creates a reliable experience for medical experts to provide quality care and advice to patients from miles away.

With mobile healthcare solutions, telemedicine aims to raise the level of healthcare with wearables and smartphones to track health. The use of technology in healthcare has accelerated the development of products that experiment with technology such as holography, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, augmented and virtual reality.

Problem 2: Siloes in the Healthcare World

Healthcare professionals are disconnected and working in silos. A missing platform can bring the healthcare industry to a single page, where they can discuss their learning, share knowledge, and create notes.

Things could get better if there were a single platform exclusively for the healthcare sector. Everyone can learn from everyone, leading to a better understanding, diagnosis, and treatment.

Solution : Social Networking App for Healthcare Professionals

Building a social networking app exclusively for healthcare professionals can solve the problem. Something like what Net Solutions did by creating “The OCR” (The On Call Room) — the mobile social platform for healthcare professionals.

The app covers the following:

  • The latest development in the healthcare industry
  • Ability to share photos, PDFs, PPTs, excel sheets, and videos
  • Ability to post new statuses and ability to like and comment and ask questions
  • Ability to share patient data among healthcare professionals

OCR case study
The solution is viable and helps create a healthier and better world by enabling collaboration and communication in the sector. Sharing knowledge can help solve health problems together while promoting inclusivity.

Problem 3: Issues with Medicare and Medicaid Reimbursement

Medicare and Medicaid are government healthcare programs that provide healthcare coverage to patients. Their repayment structures vary significantly and need to maintain an orchestrated management process. The procedures for filing and receiving Medicare and Medicaid are very different and are an extra task on the to-do list of healthcare professionals. The regulations also need them to store and record patient records in a particular format for the services rendered.

The doctors must fill out the prescribed electronic forms whenever treatment is availed under Medicare to prove that the patient has received the healthcare service. The rules and regulations have made it mandatory for healthcare pros to follow the process to get paid, adding significantly to the problems.

Solution: Invest in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR System

A large hospital can generate an additional $37 million to $59 million in revenue over five years following an EHR implementation through length-of-stay (LOS) reduction, readmission rate reduction, emergency department (ED) revenue reimbursement, ambulatory revenue reimbursement, drug cost reduction – HubSpot

Healthcare reform has been one of the most disruptive political issues. Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are one of those healthcare technology trends that the industry is ready to embrace to simplify health record-keeping and Medicare and Medicaid filing.

EHRs offer an apolitical tool to control healthcare expenditure, which was expected to grow at 5.8% until 2022.
Further, this is a glimpse of what we can expect in the future.
global electronic health record market
EHR systems facilitate appropriate electronic forms for Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement from the government. It is easy for healthcare professionals to keep the patient’s health records and fill out the forms for reimbursement when the service has been provided.

Organizations do realize the value of maintaining sound EHR systems. The number speak for themselves. Take this data for example,
us ehealth market

These systems also help improve the transaction of information from the doctors to the government and vice versa. They also standardize the format of data as needed by the government to disburse claims, apart from speeding up the submission of patient files and requesting payments for the services rendered.

Also, tracking a patient’s medical history online eases the headache of maintaining paper files. This way, doctors can focus more on their core functionalities and offer effective coordinate care with other doctors to plan cohesive, personalized treatment plans.

Problem 4: Absence of Supply Management System

As patients, we never think of the logistics behind healthcare services. But they form the backbone of the industry. Efficient logistics practices ensure smooth healthcare services. However, managing these logistics is still a tricky task.

While it may sound more like a supply chain mismanagement problem, it creates troubles like mismanaged medical inventory and equipment or drug shortage at the backend. On the front end, i.e., the doctor’s end, it causes inefficiencies; on the patients’ end, frustration and danger to their health.

Traditional supply chain management is often wasteful and inefficient. It leads to money wasted on lost and damaged inventory, improper delivery of equipment or medication, and the damage caused to patients, all of which amount to massive financial losses for healthcare services.

Supply shortages, misplaced inventory, and less-than-stellar preventative measures regarding shrinkage, all play into the reality that hospitals are epicenters of wasteful operations without a proper supply management system.

Solution: Invest in Data Management Systems

To avoid heavy losses and spending unnecessarily, it’s imperative to turn to digital healthcare technology providers for a powerful and effective solution. Invest in an inventory or warehouse management system at the higher end of supply chain management.

A robust data management system powered by data analytics is not only constantly updated and operates within an easy-to-use graphic user interface (GUI) but also provides insightful and meaningful data.

This way, administrative and medical professionals can access accurate inventory numbers and current budget allocations.

Problem 5: Managing the Massive Volumes of Patient-Related Data

“Vast data are generated from healthcare providers, public and private payers, ancillary service providers such as labs and pharmacies, and healthcare consumers. The challenge is not just in storage and access but also in making this data usable.”– John Glaser, Executive Senior Advisor at Cerner

Patient-related data is one of the most overwhelming aspects of healthcare. With each new addition to the patient database, the existing data pool still becomes bigger. Consequently, it becomes even tougher to manage this data. As much as we expect the traditional infrastructure to manage and secure the data, it is only unrealistic.

The storage and retrieval of this patient data, when needed, is a challenge that the hospitals need to address. Data overload and mismanagement often lead to wrong diagnoses, compromise in data security, improper treatment, lapsed appointments, failure to keep up with the changes in progress or regression of the patient’s condition, etc. The implications can be catastrophic for both doctors and patients.

Solution: Cloud + Data Analytics Capabilities

The healthcare technology solution to this challenge lies in cloud-based data systems and mobile portals. These solutions give healthcare professionals real-time access to patient-related data like registrations, medical history, diagnoses, treatments, appointments, and more. And since the storage and retrieval are cloud-based, the records are updated in real-time and appropriately secured.
EMR Case study

The cloud-based solutions that help maintain a patient database are also handy options and data analytics capabilities.

Healthcare mobile app development and integration of these systems with apps based on iOS, Android, and other mobile platforms provide even more flexibility for doctors and other practitioners on the go throughout their workday.

Here’s an example of technology in healthcare implementation — we built the healthcare technology solution for EMR providers to improve their efficiency and outcome. EMR is a built-in decision support engine that helps healthcare staff speed up and automates diagnosing a disease. This helped not only patients but doctors and hospitals to increase reimbursements.

To know how we built an EMR with a built-in decision support engine and unique workflows, read the case study –
net solutions emr case study

Problem 6: Inefficiencies and Errors in Data Sharing

In an age where medical science has made noteworthy advancements, inefficiencies and healthcare errors are still persistent because of the healthcare industry’s traditional technology for management.

This is not just a hurdle in medical science; it causes regression because of the waste it generates. Not only do patients pay the price in the form of inconvenience and health, but we also see a rise in administrative expenses and litigation owing to these inefficiencies and errors.

One specific area of concern is the exchange of patient data in case of patient transfer from one department or hospital to another. Patient record sharing, when done the traditional way, is time-consuming and inefficient and exposes patient information to a breach.

An incomplete or inefficient exchange of this data can be dangerous in patients needing urgent or complicated treatment.

Solution: Blockchain-Based Database

To deliver a holistic and satisfactory patient experience, different parties involved in healthcare – doctors, scheme providers, insurance providers, doctors, and patients – should be able to exchange information among themselves securely.

Using cloud-based data management systems can be one stable solution to solving the inefficiencies caused by the traditional pen-and-paper way of managing data. The most up-and-coming solution to this healthcare management problem is using a blockchain-based database to store and share patient records. This healthcare technology trend can eliminate insecurity, thus maintaining the privacy and integrity of patient information.

Problem 7: Lack of Online Pharmaceutical Stores

The increase in eCommerce stores across the web has changed people’s shopping habits, and they want anything and everything available online. However, the lack of online medicinal stores is a problem that makes the industry lag compared to other sectors. Because the medicines sold online should be prescription-based, a lack of e-stores can disrupt the market and bring consumers convenience.

Solution: Setting up Prescription-based Online Medical Stores

The launch of an online pharmaceutical store should be on your list. There is a huge potential in the online market. However, you might not disrupt the market as Amazon (stereotyped for disruptions) has recently launched Amazon Pharmacy — which offers home delivery for prescription-based medicines.


What you need to get started:

  • An eCommerce platform to get started — Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, etc.
  • Developers — for designing and creating a website and mobile app
  • Delivery management system — for streamlining last-mile deliveries

Problem 8: No early warning healthcare devices

Diseases like cancer, as well as events like aneurysms and strokes, frequently catch doctors off guard. It is often too late to do much, and many patients die not because they cannot be saved but because it is too late to save them.

We need more devices that can remotely monitor patients with chronic or long-term conditions, track their medication orders, and their location admitted to hospitals and wearable mHealth devices that can send information to caregivers. Medical devices converted to IoMT technology include infusion pumps that connect to analytics dashboards and hospital beds outfitted with sensors that measure patients’ vital signs.

The new smoking is sitting, and lifestyle diseases are on the rise. Lifestyle diseases include cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and kidney disease. IoMT can manage the risk of suffering from all of these.

Solution: Introduce the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a collection of medical devices and applications communicating with healthcare information technology systems via online computer networks. Medical devices with Wi-Fi enable the machine-to-machine communication that is the foundation of IoMT. IoMT devices communicate with cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services, where captured data is stored and analyzed.

iot in healthcare
The medical technology (Medtech) industry designs and manufactures many products, including pregnancy testing kits, surgical instruments, artificial joints, and MRI scanners. The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) – a connected infrastructure of health systems and services – is being created as technology allows these devices to generate, collect, analyze, and transmit data.

The IoMT and its relationship with Medtech are critical in assisting healthcare organizations in achieving better patient outcomes, lowering rising healthcare costs, improving efficiency, and implementing new methods of engaging and empowering patients. If Medtech can harness IoMT, the pace and scale of healthcare transformation will be exponential.

Sleep and wake patterns, blood pressure, nutrition markers, and other factors can all be used to develop an early detection system for specific health conditions. When a risk is identified, a notification can be sent to the patient and their physician requesting additional testing.
benefits of the iomt

Problem 9: Dearth of mHealth applications

No direct access to the patient’s health. The offline healthcare systems are not sustainable, and many people cannot afford primary healthcare and rely on the ER for routine checkups.

Health professionals lack the time and devices to provide direct care to every patient. Every dedicated healthcare professional must look for solutions to this. Given that the United States has some of the most expensive healthcare services globally, many apps are being developed to calculate treatment costs. Being uninsured is the same as being denied access to healthcare services.

Insurance companies, pharmaceutical corporations, and healthcare service networks will all benefit from the system. Patients are at the bottom of the pyramid but are the foundation of the entire industry.

Solution: Launch mHealth applications to aid users

People need constant access to healthcare services, so mHealth apps are becoming more popular, and transparency is critical. mHealth applications commoditize healthcare services to the point where anyone with a credit card can instantly pay for a much-needed consultation. The distance barrier is low, and they can see doctors outside their state. It is similar to Uber for healthcare.

As the population ages, so will the demands on the healthcare system. In the face of a projected physician shortage by 2032, technologies such as mHealth will help to mitigate the impact.

Here are some examples of mobile applications that provide medical assistance or health applications that store medical data:

  • tracking activity
  • working out and exercising
  • nutrition
  • pill and medication reminders
  • personal medical data storage, recording, and sharing apps for therapists;
  • chronic disease management apps;
  • applications in clinical practice
  • applications that allow patients to communicate with medical centers or clinics

mhealth applications

Problem 10: Slow pace with modern solutions

Our knowledge is limited. We need to learn more about the mechanisms underlying the various diseases caused by viral infections. A small change in human DNA can help prevent a variety of ailments.

Solution: Genome Editing Technology (GET)

With the invention of gene editing technology, modern technology has resulted in a true breakthrough in genetic engineering. It will help treat cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It is a field of study that seeks to modify the genes of living organisms to enhance our understanding of gene function and develop methods to treat genetic or acquired diseases.

What is the Future of Technology in Healthcare — Bright!

There’s no denying that the healthcare industry has come a long way as technology continues to prominence in this industry. Healthcare technology continues to advance in the right direction, from dealing with data overload across various institutions to connecting doctors and patients from opposite ends of the globe via mobile apps.

We may presently be viewing just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what mobile apps, cloud-based services, and other digital assets have to offer to healthcare professionals. Digital transformation in healthcare is expected to be seen more prominently in the coming times and will bring exciting opportunities in the industry for doctors and patients.

Let us bind technology and healthcare together!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 01

    How safe is telehealth?

    Data security is a primary concern these days. It’s understandable for patients to be concerned about their information being stolen or shared with the government. However, the opposite is true. Telehealth is just as safe as being in the hospital.

    Encryption tools prevent app and network owners from accessing any data exchanged between the patient and their physician. The communication is secure and cannot be eavesdropped on.

  • 02

    What impact does AI have on healthcare?

    AI technology assists healthcare professionals in diagnosing patients by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. It can also detect anomalous outcomes. AI also aids decision-making, clearly assisting physicians in determining the next clinical pathway.

    AI is making inroads into automated immunohistochemical measurement systems, and specificity levels of >85% have been reported with this automated diagnosis. Artificial intelligence is also used in digital tissue-based diagnosis.

  • 03

    What type of technology is used in healthcare?

    Healthcare technology refers to any technology designed to assist healthcare organizations, such as medical devices, IT systems, algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and blockchain.

  • 04

    What is the difference between mHealth and Telehealth?

    The main distinction is that mHealth is only available through mobile devices. While telehealth can be delivered via mobile platforms, it refers to remote care provided via electronic information and telecommunications technologies.

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Arshpreet Kaur

About the Author

Designation: Lead Business Analyst
Forte: Resource Management and In-depth, data-driven competition analysis
Likes: Agile workplaces
Dislikes: Slackers and Slow workers
Claim to Fame: Increased team Productivity with Agile methods
Biggest Tech Blunder: I am a perfectionist, so nothing
Wannabe: Neuralink user so I can be more productive

Leave a Comment

Chaitra Pavate

8:39 AM, Aug 19, 2019

This article gives the overall information about the current issues and trends in Healthcare. The article lights on the problems being faced by every common individual throughout the country. Though there are solutions which are being implemented recently, are not effective and efficient. This article gives the idea on where in healthcare, one should focus on.

Vinish Garg

11:32 AM, Feb 05, 2019

The healthcare solution does not lie in the technology, sorry. Technology certainly helps us implement what we plan, and the biggest issue in healthcare is *integration* of so many information systems, for the holistic patients journey who interact with the healthcare sub-systems for different reasons, at different times, and for different context.

For example, a relatively bigger hospital has systems in pharmacy, radiology, reimbursements, nursing, travel, utilities, and of course diagnosis and treatment. The catch is how these are integrated that inspire confidence in the patients that:

Their information is safe and secure and centralized for easy and timely access across departments, people, and time-zone
Their information is readable and understandable by patients and their folks or family for what is going on, where, why..

Software Engineer

2:12 AM, Feb 05, 2019

These are not the big problems now a days as this article looks like it is been generated from some old data. There is now much advancement in the medical technology . As you mention "The pen-and-paper approach is still followed largely around the world" but not in reality this approach is no longer exist in such a country that you mentioned in your article.

Billoh

9:01 PM, Oct 01, 2018

Thank you for the help, I found them to be very resourceful.

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