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Healthcare Digital Transformation: Six Trends for 2018

Jim McKeen
December 12, 2017

Healthcare Digital Transformation: Six Trends for 2018

Healthcare Digital Transformation. A few years ago, John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco Systems, famously advised fellow executives to “Disrupt, or get disrupted.” Chambers was clear that executives needed to transform their business or some other company would replace them. Unless they’re living under a rock, leaders serving all types of industries are keenly aware that long-term business success depends on successfully digitizing their business; and seizing the opportunity of our hyper-connected world. In short, digital transformation is no longer an option – it’s an imperative. Digitize or Die!

Six Trends for Digital Transformation of the Healthcare Industry

While healthcare has historically been slow to adopt technology, the industry is about to witness significant changes over the next several years. Consider the following six key trends for digitally transforming your healthcare organization.

Cloud Computing – Key to Digital Transformation?

Cloud based platforms are integral to any digitization initiative and enable organizations to offload maintenance of complex technology ecosystems on a reasonably cost-effective basis. And for those not comfortable with a wholesale move to the cloud, hybrid cloud models can offer the scalability, flexibility and “always-on” reliability healthcare companies need while also maintaining effective IT control.

After moving commonly used applications like email and financials to the cloud, companies are beginning to move industry specific applications to the cloud. Clinical applications such as EHR’s delivered as SaaS, specialty point solutions, disaster recovery and backup are services can be moved. And as new programs like Precision Medicine and Population Health are implemented, the increased computing power, communications bandwidth and storage flexibility available in the cloud becomes even more attractive.

The Internet of Things

An article in Forbes stated that “IoT is the concept of connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other).” Almost on a daily basis, startups and established companies alike are bringing many new electronic, internet-connected device innovations to the healthcare market. Most all of these ‘things’ will assume a position in the cloud and generate huge amounts of data that can improve outcomes and lower costs.

Big Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence

It’s been said that “the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data.” The manipulation and targeted distribution of data creates new opportunities for health organizations to extract insight and value from massive amounts of data. Healthcare organizations can utilize big data, artificial intelligence and other analytic tools to facilitate clinical support, optimize reimbursement models, and manage at-risk patient populations by automatically identifying risk factors and recommending preventative treatment.

Telemedicine & Telehealth Solutions

Telemedicine and telehealth solutions surmount barriers of distance and provide access to medical, administrative, and other services otherwise not readily or consistently available – especially to rural communities. Moreover, as more physicians begin to ‘prescribe’ use of mobile applications, and as more health plans and health systems sponsor the use of telehealth applications for their members, the use of telehealth solutions will explode.

Mobile & Wearables

Nowadays, very few people don’t have a smartphone. The always on-the-go, ‘give it to me now’ nature of our society is generating greater demand for mobile health applications and support services. Add in the explosion of wearable devices that can automatically monitor blood pressure, record temperatures, measure heartbeats and connect to other devices to perform services previously relegated to others and you have endless opportunities for improving health outcomes and reducing overall cost.

Operational Efficiency & Scalability

Healthcare Digital Transformation isn’t just about buying new technologies and tools but also about developing more efficient and effective new digitally-supported ways of doing business. And revising existing operational processes to make them more automatic, flexible, efficient and effective. Adequate planning, implementation, configuration and support – along with sufficient infrastructure and support resources – are key to realizing maximize value and return on your investment in digital transformation.

It’s Time to Take Action on Your Digital Transformation

Every healthcare organization needs to undergo a Digital Transformation over the next few years and the trends listed above are important parts of a comprehensive digitization strategy. It’s not unreasonable for some healthcare organizations to have some doubt, questions and concern. Cost-effectively leveraging the above technologies and trends into specific digital solutions to digitally transform a healthcare organization is a non-trivial initiative.

We’re happy to help you get started, answer a few questions or accelerate your organization’s existing Healthcare Digital Transformation initiatives to help you be more successful and to stay ahead of your competition in 2018 and beyond. Contact us if you want to talk about some ideas.

Additional resources and case studies:

CASE STUDY: HEALTHCARE SYSTEM ELIMINATES PAPER, IMPROVES PROCESSES AND INCREASES REVENUES WITH DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

CASE STUDY: AAJ TECHNOLOGIES HELPS ALTERNATIVE HOME HEALTH CARE IMPROVE PATIENT CARE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

Jim McKeen

ABOUT Jim McKeen

Jim McKeen is the Director of Healthcare Solutions for AAJ Technologies, a full-service systems integrator that helps healthcare payer and provider organizations capitalize on the latest technologies to streamline operations, reduce costs, improve customer / patient care, and — ultimately — boost competitive advantage. Jim has over 25 years’ experience in the technology industry beginning in South Florida with NYNEX Business Systems in 1990 where he was the General Manager for one of the top performing offices in the nation. As a highly-regarded professional in the healthcare community, his customers are consistently praising his impeccable service, strategic vision and willingness to stay involved throughout each project delivery. With a solid background in HIT, Jim regularly helps organizations confidently face the unprecedented disruptions associated with Healthcare Information Technologies, Big Data, Portals, Population Health and Integration. Jim has a BA degree in Computer Science from Western Connecticut State University. He is also extremely active in the healthcare community at large, serving as an active member of ACHE, HIMSS, SFHHA, and HFMA. Jim is currently on the HIT Steering Committee for SFHHA and the Past President of the South Florida Chapter for HIMSS. Reach him at jim.mckeen@aajtech.com

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