Technology is always moving forward. It changes the way that we live our personal lives every day, and it changes the way that we work and interact with businesses. New trends in technology allow us to get things done in a more efficient and convenient way.
This technological innovation can create very significant changes in the healthcare industry. No matter who you are or where you live, the healthcare industry directly affects you and your wellbeing. As such, innovation in this industry affects us all.
The healthcare industry is generally more slow-moving than other industries when it comes to innovation. But, this is not for lack of effort. Before anything new can be integrated into a health system, it needs to undergo a lot of tests and trials to make sure that it meets the necessary standards. Not only that, but it may require other supporting technologies to be created before implementation.
As new health technologies emerge to make hospital or doctor visits better, even more technology may be necessary to help things run smoothly. For instance, many websites for health systems may have a log in so that users can access personal information. Security features to prevent those accounts from being hacked will also need to be created.
This year, we will see some new innovations alongside improvements in established technology and features that we’ve already seen in recent years. Old processes are being updated and new technology is being created to support them. Here are five innovation trends you should watch for in 2019.
- Mobile-First Networks
More and more web users now rely completely on mobile phone browsers to do their internet searches. Fewer people use desktops or laptops when they only need to do quick searches for information. So, it’s important that healthcare websites prioritize mobile versions of their websites in order to meet the patients’ needs.
Not only is a mobile-first mindset better suited for the needs of their audience, but it can also save health facilities a lot of money. One health system in California expects to save $750,000 to $1,000,000 in operational costs in the five years after switching to a mobile-first network. This frees up money to go back into the health system to create a better experience for patients.
- Electronic Medical Records
Another way that increased internet usage is changing the healthcare industry is through electronic medical records (EMRs). EMRs are electronic versions of the medical charts that are referenced by doctors and other caregivers while a patient is in the facility.
EMRs can help to regulate the kind of care that patients are receiving. There will be no miscommunication with verbal orders or difficult to read handwriting. It can also help remind caregivers when a patient needs attention, promote transparency between patients and doctors, and prevent mishaps that could result in extreme issues like overdoses or misuse of prescriptions.
When medical staff has clear-cut, easy to find, and easy to use information, it eliminates a significant amount of errors and increases the reliability of the system as a whole.
With the amount of sensitive patient information hosted through internet-accessible platforms, cybersecurity is a bigger concern than ever in the healthcare industry. While cyber attacks have been increasing every year, they are occurring at a significantly higher rate in recent years.
Not only does this negatively affect brand image and hurt the trust of patients, but it costs a lot of money. In 2018, each breached record cost $408, and thousands of them could be breached at a time.
Breaches are extremely common in the healthcare industry now. As we become more and more dependent on digital record keeping, these numbers are likely to continue climbing. Cybersecurity needs to be a priority across the entire healthcare industry.
Without innovation in cybersecurity, patients will become hesitant to accept new innovate technologies in other areas of the industry. If they don’t feel that their information is safe, they may be reluctant to go to healthcare facilities that rely on things like electronic records.
Blockchain is a popular way for healthcare systems to increase their security and efficiency. According to Digital Authority Partners, “blockchain is a decentralized list of digital records linked together by cryptography… [it] was developed to be a secure open ledger to record digital transactions…”
Blockchain is no secret: 40% of health executives rank it as one of their top 5 priorities. It has so many potential benefits. It’s good for pharma, healthcare institutions and providers, and patients.
- For pharma, it helps with bookkeeping and finding people for medical trials.
- For healthcare providers, it streamlines the process of filling out forms and getting patient consent.
- For patients, it helps communicate medical history and health analytics data to doctors and caregivers and different institutions in a secure way.
Blockchain is an all-around beneficial tool to the healthcare industry and will become more prominent in years to come.
- Alexa Skills
Alexa isn’t just for playing music or reading recipes. It can be very useful for promoting a healthy lifestyle too. Different skills can be designed to do just about any administrative task. Just in the last few months, a handful of new skills have been created to help with healthcare needs from home.
These skills help people find nearby urgent care, schedule appointments, manage health goals, refill prescriptions, send updates to care teams, and review previous test results and readings. All of these skills are meant to increase the convenience of getting medical care so that users can have the best results possible.
You can expect to see these innovative technologies in the healthcare industry this year. Some of them are totally new, and others are simply building onto the technology that’s already there. No matter which category these innovations fit in, the priority seems to be convenience and efficiency. The healthcare industry will be more streamlined in 2019 than ever before.
This article was written by Julian Gnatenco @ JGBilling a medical coding company