The healthcare sector is well known for being in a state of constant flux. Innovations in technology, research, and policies – both locally and nationally – mean that healthcare providers must constantly adapt. The healthcare industry presents unique and numerous challenges for businesses and transformation in recent years has arguably been more noticeable than ever before.
Changes in the provision of healthcare and the nature of the care provided have revolutionised the industry, and will continue to do so. The changes may seem intimidating at first and can leave some healthcare businesses feeling left behind; however, healthcare business transformation can be simple, effective, and positive for patients, care givers and business owners.
Let’s look at some of the key recent transformations in the healthcare industry.
The most rapid area of growth in the healthcare industry has undoubtedly been in the use of technology. The digital age has been criticised for creating a sense of distance and reducing the amount of face-to-face time we enjoy with one another; equally, it has been praised for bringing people together who may otherwise be separated by distance or ill health. Patients who find it difficult to travel, for example, can now communicate remotely with conference calls, or they can receive their results and diagnosis directly to a mobile device. Healthcare business transformation can begin immediately by simply providing a website or email address, or can be as extensive as 24-hour online chat, robotic surgeons, and so-called ‘smart’ hospitals.
As the sector is rapidly changing, more and more businesses and professionals within the healthcare industry are seeking expert advice. The financial challenges of the industry, along with the pressure to keep up with changes in technology and research, can be difficult to meet alone. Discussions with knowledgeable and experienced consultants are now becoming more commonplace, enabling healthcare businesses to identify and adapt to challenges before they become a problem.
The digital transformation of the healthcare industry has resulted in a more empowered patient. Devices such as wearable pedometers, which monitor steps, heart rate and more, have enabled people to keep a close eye on their health and activity levels. Nutrition-based apps can help to monitor eating for weight loss purposes, or for achieving balance in the diet. It is now possible to send the results directly to doctors and healthcare professionals; as a result, patients have a greater sense of control and accountability. Monitoring their health can be easily incorporated into their daily routine, and they can take steps to make changes and see visible results. This engages them with their own well being and will reduce the pressure on healthcare providers in the long term, as the general population is healthier and more accountable.
The transformation of the healthcare industry is ongoing, which has been especially apparent in the last few years. With the advent of new technology that empowers the patient to monitor their own health, healthcare is becoming more accessible. Businesses have been able – and will continue – to adapt to this transformation with the help of experienced consultants and by taking a genuine interest in new technology and research. The future has never been brighter for businesses in the healthcare industry.