Healthcare organisations in the modern age are frequently implementing new IT solutions to provide better healthcare. These solutions range from those that are intended to bring improvements to the management department to those that directly assist doctors when providing healthcare.
Let’s explore the role of IT in healthcare and what are the ways IT can advocate changes towards building a network of smart hospitals.
Blockchain technology is not only for cryptocurrencies. In fact, by now, it has been implemented in numerous industries and for various purposes. In layman’s terms, blockchain enables peer-to-peer communication and it stores data in data blocks which are kept in a digital ledger.
Hospitals are already considering the implementation of this tech when tracking, recording, and storing patients’ data. Since blockchain technology renders the data unalterable and easily shareable over the network, hospitals don’t have to worry about breaching their patients’ confidentiality.
Blockchain technology is a perfect solution for the emerging problem of large-scale patient data sharing in the healthcare system. It can also bring transparency in how health care organisations share information between themselves.
Chatbots In Patient Care
Just a couple of years ago, telling somebody that we will be able to schedule doctor appointments and find out more information about our medical history by chatting with an AI powered chatbot was borderline insane. Today, it is a reality, accepted by many hospitals around the globe.
What’s even more surprising is that some of the best chatbot platforms like SnatchBot are free and easy to operate. This technology is accessible and easy to use for everyone, even those with no technical background whatsoever.
Here are just some of ways in which chatbots can improve healthcare:
- Patients can engage with chatbots to learn more about health in general, and they can be set to remind them to take their pills;
- Chatbots can be used to provide different types of health support (medication advice, prescription refills, test results, appointment scheduling, and so on), thus increasing patient engagement;
- They can be used to extend the service to patients, provide personalised care, and increase patient loyalty and retention;
- Post-discharge chatbots are particularly useful to extend healthcare to the patient’s home;
- Follow-up medical care chatbots are known to significantly decrease the readmission rate for hospitals.
Smart Hospital Information System
The ultimate role of IT in the health care sector would be to streamline information exchange, reduce friction and overcome challenges in the management sector and improve patient-hospital communication. Thanks to the developments in the field of business software development, hospitals can now use software specifically designed to help the staff when managing clinical, administrative and financial aspects of a hospital.
This system is popularly called HIS. It brings hospitals closer to the lucrative “Smart” title by improving medical care and patient safety, increasing the efficiency of overall medical care, reducing readmissions and waiting times, and cutting down expenses.
IoT In Hospitals & Healthcare
IoT has a lot to offer to hospitals and healthcare systems. By enabling patients to check their progress and the effects medical treatment has on their bodies, hospitals can engage their patients and reduce the readmission rates.
IoT technology is the first that offers real-time patient data to care givers, and this alone can significantly increase the efficiency and accuracy of the care provided. Not to mention how this real-time data stream can significantly improve decision making and diagnostics.
With sensors placed on the patient’s body via wearable devices, doctors can remotely track their condition and progress. Thanks to IoT, doctors can now take better care of their patients, recognise specific patterns in symptoms and act to prevent serious conditions from developing. This practice does not only benefit patients, but hospitals in general, simply because it reduces healthcare costs.
Hospitals can also prosper by leveraging the power of big data and analytics. Imagine all this data generated by patient wearables, sensors in the hospital’s inventory, patient rooms, admission desks, etc. All of this data can be used to improve care, discover patterns, power lifesaving research, increased efficiency in inventory management, and so on.
But, in order to get a hold of big data, hospitals will have to become smarter. This includes using chatbots, HIS, and all the other things that we have mentioned here. With these systems in place, hospitals will be able to generate digital assets which can be used to power better and smarter healthcare, optimise workflow, and all that at a lower cost.
As you can see, there is a lot of space for IT in health care. The hospitals are already on their way towards implementing these new solutions. So, don’t get surprised if the next time you want to contact your doctor a chatbot pops out to greet you with a hartley “Hello! I just want to offer you with a custom tailored service”.
Vladimir is a co-founder and SEO manager at Podroom Creative with a M.A. in English language and literature from the University of Belgrade. His main interests are computer technologies and I am a big gaming enthusiast, especially for World of Warcraft, which he has been playing since the very start. When he is not playing games, reading epic fantasy (or looking for the newest pizza place), he drools over the latest Apple technology. The Internet is his life, and he loves finding interesting facts and using them when someone least expects it.