5 Important Healthcare Technology Trends to Follow in 2021

Important Healthcare Technology Trends to Follow

Technology in healthcare supports the patient experience and improves workflows. Healthcare digitalization began before the pandemic. But, behavioral changes and COVID-related issues paved the way for transformation.

According to Rock Health’s 2021 digital health funding report, venture capitalists invested $14.7 billion into the digital health space in the first half of 2021. By comparison, investments were $14.6 billion in 2020 and $7.7 billion in 2019.

Technology helps leaders achieve cost savings and patient-centric goals. Explore the features and benefits of five important healthcare technology trends.

To learn more about Cox Prosight, visit us at Booth #6036, during the HIMSS21 Conference or online at https://www.coxprosight.com
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1. Using Real-Time Location Services to Improve Experiences

Real-time location services (RTLS) use devices and software to trace the movement of assets and people. Sensors can watch environments and give data-based insights.

Unlike older location tools, real-time services work inside medical facilities. Their use lets staff find the exact location and statuses of devices and people. In return, RTLS enhances patient safety and reduces equipment rental or purchase costs.

Health systems often start by using real-time location services to track assets. Doing so reduces the time spent looking for equipment. It also helps providers get patient treatment faster than manual methods.

Moreover, real-time patient devices enhance healthcare experiences:

  • Wayfinding tools assist patients and medical staff.
  • Digital dashboards share patient data with providers.
  • Asset tracking lessens wait time for treatment and diagnostics.
  • Room-based sensors get people into beds quicker.
[Cox Prosight is an IoT enabled solution from Cox Communications designed to help hospitals improve operational efficiency, staff safety, clinical workflows and patient engagement. This powerful solution furthers Cox’s commitment to reinventing the health care journey to a more personalized, frictionless and overall better patient experience.

To learn more about Cox Prosight, visit us at Booth #6036, during the HIMSS21 Conference or online at https://www.coxprosight.com
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2. Connecting Telehealth to the Digital Healthcare Journey

Telehealth refers to various virtual health services, such as video or telephone-based meetings. Due to COVID-19, the use of telehealth skyrocketed. Accenture reports that its use “has stabilized at levels 38 times higher than before the pandemic.”

Telehealth use remains high because people demand the services. Plus, insurance providers and government regulations are changing to support telehealth options.

But, healthcare systems still face challenges when adding telehealth to current workflows. For telehealth to benefit patients and doctors, integrated systems must consist of:

  • Prescription platforms
  • Electronic health records (EHR)
  • IoT wearables
  • Digital referral methods

Going forward, healthcare providers will go beyond providing basic telehealth services. The focus will be on connecting telehealth systems and medical services to create a hybrid form of care.

3. Leveraging Real-Time Health Tracking

Real-time health tracking consists of wearables and mobile apps, such as Apple Watches. According to Gartner, “worldwide end-user spending on wearable devices will total $81.5 billion in 2021, an 18.1% increase from $69 billion in 2020.” High-demand devices include:

  • Smartwatches
  • Ear-worn
  • Smart clothing
  • Wristbands
  • Head-mounted displays
  • Smart patches

As this consumer market grows and amasses large amounts of data, accessing insights is crucial. To this end, health systems need technology that achieves interoperability goals. Being able to glean insights from consumer devices supports organizational and patient goals.

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) systems and data improve patient engagement and outcomes. Using consumer-facing tools means doctors spend less time educating clients on technology usage. It frees up their time to focus on achieving specific results.

4. Embracing Cloud-Based Healthcare Workflows

Cloud-based tools let health providers access data and programs from any internet-connected device. Unlike on-site data centers, cloud-based platforms don’t need an extensive IT or hardware budget. Instead, leaders can focus on other patient-facing objectives without worrying about data storage.

Additional benefits of moving toward cloud-based workflows include:

  • The ability to share electronic health records (EHRs) among various providers and institutions. It eliminates redundancy and ensures access to timely patient data.
  • Enhanced support for large datasets, such as radiology images, genomic data offloading, and EHR. It reduces on-site storage system costs.
  • Improved methods for analyzing and monitoring diagnosis, price, and treatment data. It provides leaders with performance data while bettering patient experiences.

5. Deriving Medical Insights From Big Data

Increasingly leaders task IT teams with turning information into insights. But, organizations are overwhelmed with data. Workforce management tools, consumer wearables, EHRs, and practice management systems all collect information.

While many tools gather data, developing insights and finding patterns is time-consuming. The benefit of real-time information systems is the ability to act quickly and proactively. After all, informed decision-making is crucial to the success of health organizations. Yet, any disconnect between data generation and analysis reduces the method’s effectiveness.

Fortunately, healthcare platforms use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate these processes. Healthcare organizations benefit from automation because:

  • Data analysts spend less time on operational and time-consuming tasks.
  • There are fewer data entry errors that skew results.
  • It can detect supply chain, equipment, or scheduling issues before problems arise.

Healthcare Technology Trends: Discover Smart Capabilities

Healthcare systems aim for connected, intelligence-driven services and facilities. Indeed, technology enables them to forge a path forward. Providers lacking interoperability and integrations will fall behind tech-forward facilities.

Moreover, 87% of healthcare executives “agree that their organization’s business and technology strategies are becoming inseparable.” Therefore, developing and implementing a technology plan lets health leaders invest strategically.

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