Adopt Technological Innovations for Healthcare Solutions to Minimize Costs
Healthcare costs are a cause of concern globally. According to the World Health Organization, healthcare costs are rising by 4.6% every year. This implies by 2020 the world spending on healthcare is likely to reach a whopping 10 trillion USD which is more than half the GDP of the US!
The reasons for high expenses in the healthcare industry are administrative expenses, inefficient care delivery, unnecessary expenses, expenses associated with labor, etc.
Technological innovations are playing a major role in different aspects of the healthcare industry. Today, there are apps available to doctors and patients simplifying doctor-patient interaction. Patients can get appointments with doctors through apps. Doctors have access to patient details through apps and portals.
But technology has impacted in much greater ways with a primary focus being on minimizing healthcare costs.
Prevention is Better than Cure
A lot of research has been carried out on prevention of diseases so that an individual does not have to bear the expense of its cure. Awareness is being created about the importance of health and how to remain healthy.
Individuals are being encouraged to proactively take care of their health to prevent the occurrence of diseases. Health tracking is done using devices such as Fitbit and Smartwatches, etc. These help in collecting vital data about the patient such as heart rate, levels of adipose tissue, muscular strength, etc.
This enables the exercise instructor to determine the exercise regimen and diet for the patient.
When the health is being monitored regularly and the corrective measure is taken, the health of the individual is maintained reducing the healthcare expenses.
Moving from Paper to Paperless
Most healthcare facilities have shifted from patient records on paper to electronic healthcare records (EHR). As per the University of Michigan, this has reduced healthcare costs by 3%.
Besides reducing costs, the digitalization of medical records has streamlined the process of accessing data for healthcare providers. They are now able to retrieve the medical history of the patient more easily.
Automating Various Medical Processes
Various routine processes have been automated in the healthcare field, minimizing costs and improving efficiency.
Artificial Intelligence is helping automate physician’s time spent filling the health records of patients. Additionally, administrative tasks such as appointment booking, and reminders are also digitized using AI. Automation of administrative tasks helps the doctors save their time which can be used for the treatment of patients.
Labor is considered one of the major cost factors in healthcare. More than 50% of the operating costs and nearly 90% of the variable costs are attributed to labor. AI can be leveraged for predicting demand for labor and addressing the current needs, reducing the personnel costs by 40%!
Insurance claims processing is a time-consuming process for healthcare personnel as well as insurance companies. Digitizing the process has the potential to reduce costs by 90% besides reducing the time taken for the process.
Digital Marketing has become the best way to connect with buyers for any kind of product or service.
With increased costs of the services provided by healthcare providers, patients are doing their research to find more economical options. They are finding these healthcare solutions online. It is expected that many are likely to change their healthcare providers.
Because of this, healthcare providers have to market their services to have a strong online presence which is possible through targeted digital marketing.
Artificial Intelligence has already made a thrust in the healthcare field automating various processes.
AI and Machine Learning algorithms can be used for identifying and diagnosing various health problems accurately.
AI can analyze test results of a patient’s EHR (Electronic Health Record) and diagnose the medical problem and suggest methods of treatment to the doctor.
AI and ML find applications in fields such as radiology, pathology, etc. These technologies are used today to detect abnormalities in MRI, CAT scans, etc.
These technologies help to improve the quality and cost of treatment.
IoMT comprises an interconnected system of medical devices, sensors, software applications, and healthcare IT systems. This network of systems helps in testing, monitoring, and diagnostics.
IoMT system entails sticking plasters on the body of a patient to enable remote monitoring of blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, etc. These sensors transmit data to the doctor, and he can take action in case of any abnormality.
Hence, IoMT helps in preventing diseases and curing them at the initial stages minimizing expenses incurred by the patient.
Big Data helps reduce healthcare costs in many ways.
For example, Big Data can help co-manage drug therapies by identifying drug interactions, side-effects of drugs, etc. in real-time. This reduces healthcare costs by reducing the number of emergency and doctor visits, hospitalizations, etc.
Blockchain has revolutionized the healthcare industry in more ways than one. It has transformed how patient data is shared, how patients pay for medical care, it secures drug transactions, and provides security to data against breaches.
The digital currency transactions have become popular in recent times.
Numerous technological innovations can transform the healthcare sector. Implementing these technologies may be expensive. However, in the long run, if the benefits they provide are weighed against the cost of implementation, they prove to be worthwhile.
Moreover, these technologies enhance the accuracy of the systems and reduce the cost of various processes resulting in overall savings for the healthcare providers.
Another aspect to be borne in mind is that adapting to technological innovations for healthcare solutions is the only way ahead!