The Application of Digital Solutions in Healthcare

Healthcare has experienced a digital boom in recent years, completely necessary in response to the COVID 19 pandemic, and the evident pressure of over-burdened health services.

Digital healthcare solutions can be a transformative asset to both patients and providers alike, giving people more autonomy and independence, and saving professionals a significant amount of time and money through improved processes.

Here, Managing Director Brian Boys of healthcare tech specialist Kingsfield examines how the digitisation of healthcare is already transforming the sector, made even more clear over the past three years specifically.

Impactful for patient care

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare has increasingly been digitalised – a trend only set to continue with upward trajectory, with the expectation that 90% of all jobs in the NHS in the next twenty years will require some element of digital skills.[1] This rapid digitisation has allowed for greater autonomy for patients, and not just aiding the skill of nurses. Patients are now able to self-monitor using home devices, giving them autonomy in how they share their health information and bringing a sense of independence to treatment, as well as encouraging greater proactivity when a nurse or doctor cannot be present. This is especially important in a time when many hospitals or treatment centres are facing staff shortages and budget cuts.

Tech companies understand the urgent need for products designed with accessibility in mind. By including features that ensure devices are accessible to everyone, digital healthcare solutions are more available to all, and patients can remain involved in their care. Patients are being empowered to manage their medical conditions, choosing to share information with care providers and tracking health data through apps. By monitoring patients’ health at home, it improves accessibility to better health care for patients, offering a far more convenient option – in particular, those facing difficulties in travelling to health centres. Some technology will give patients real-time data, such as being able to track their BMI and heart rates, meaning that information can be sent quickly and securely to patients without the need for doctor’s calls or in-person appointments.

Supporting NHS staff and carers

Innovation in the healthcare industry has empowered patients with home care devices made accessible to all. This self-monitoring technology is often cited as the reason for a reduction of unnecessary hospital visits, saving time and resources for NHS staff. When you consider the enormous pressure on healthcare workers, any method of time saving is invaluable for healthcare and professional staff.

Patients are now able to carry out standard check-ups and only visit the hospital or clinic when their home ‘measurements’ indicate they need to, reducing appointments. According to Luscii, some healthcare apps have saved nurses 56% of their time spent treating patients with arrythmias, as well as 58% fewer A&E visits for patients with COPD and 19% fewer outpatient consultations for pregnancy hypertension.[2] These kinds of statistics firmly demonstrate the significance of digitalisation in healthcare as a solution for improving time management above all else.

Post-COVID care

During the pandemic, there was a sudden unprecedented demand placed on our healthcare system, but digital healthcare solutions and tech played its part to ensure care was still delivered. One example is the introduction of virtual wards, which are now here to stay. Virtual wards ensured that many people could receive medical assessment, and subsequent treatment online, without needing to attend an in-person appointment. During the pandemic, this was critical to prevent the spread of COVID, but has since remained to reduce the demand on resources the NHS is currently facing.

Virtual wards prevented patients who did not require urgent medical attention or appointments from filling up over-burdened wards, relieving some of the pressure and allowing doctors more time to treat those in need of urgent care.[3] The public should expect to have more virtual, over-the-phone appointments compared to in-person check-ups and to deliver this we should expect to see improved online self-management tools and programmes continuing to be developed.

Ultimately, healthcare providers can and should embrace digitisation. In a post-pandemic world where patient demands remain higher than ever, using technology to improve day-to-day processes will save time and save lives.

 

References

[1] Care at Home – Kingsfield (kingsfieldit.com)

[2] Luscii evidence

[3] NHS England » What is a virtual ward?

The post The Application of Digital Solutions in Healthcare appeared first on .

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *