Digital transformation in healthcare during COVID-19 pandemic
12 Mar 2021
The healthcare industry worldwide had to withstand huge stress and overcome multiple challenges in 2020. However, for most healthcare providers, the COVID-19 pandemic became more of an innovation driver than a challenge. The shift to telehealth, the introduction of multiple products and services for self-care and home-care, cooperation between healthcare providers, and innovative startups — all of these are the signs of digital transformation in healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, healthcare providers worldwide have to comply with recommendations on maintaining essential health services developed by CDC and WHO. These include several demands:
- Performing activities needed to treat the COVID-19 patients and overcome the pandemic
- Modifying their service delivery to perform non-pandemic-related healthcare duties
- Modifying their clinic space and service access to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19 by healthy patients.
The two latter points include the development of digital solutions to increase the percentage of telemedicine in daily operations, minimize the levels of bureaucracy needed to access the services, and move as many supportive, palliative therapeutic procedures outside of hospitals, as possible.
Healthcare providers used the time of turmoil to mobilize their resources and were mostly able to adequately respond to the challenges they faced. According to a McKinsey report, the use of telehealth solutions more than quadrupled - from 11% in 2019 to 49% in 2020 Telehealth has emerged as one of the leading healthcare domains. It is already worth more than 250 billion dollars and is forecast to steadily grow in the post-COVID-19 reality.
As for minimizing the levels of bureaucracy needed to access public healthcare services, many hospitals and clinics have already introduced various CRM systems and many countries have launched nationwide eHealth solutions. These tools allow the patients to book their visits over the internet to minimize the time spent waiting in the hospital corridors and the risk of contracting the coronavirus there. Besides, many such CRM and eHealth tools allow for online consultations over video streaming, so the patients can receive the needed care from the safety of their homes.
Most importantly, developing such custom telehealth platforms allows healthcare providers to provide personalized customer experiences and meet the unique needs of their patients.
For example, one Spintech customer had to update an existing health state monitoring solution to be able to face the COVID-19 challenges. Various businesses and organizations, as well as individuals, have to regularly conduct COVID-19 tests to monitor and prevent the virus spread across their workforce. Sending all the employees to some clinic means exposing them to extra danger and taking lots of time.
Instead, Spintech developed a solution allowing to deliver the testing kits to the patient’s door (or place testing stations at the employer’s site), gather the ready samples, send them to the laboratory of your choice, get the results directly to the platform via API. The software can then provide the results directly to the HR system of an organization upon request, email, or print them out for an individual and even provide printed or digital COVID-19 traveling certificates. Integration with a variety of payment gateways ensures any company worldwide can use the platform with ease.
Conclusions: Adapt to healthcare design changes
It is obvious the healthcare industry is not going back to the pre-COVID models of conduct. Contactless payments, telehealth solutions, digital booking of consultations and visits, self-care tools, and many other innovations are here to stay. However, due to the industry inertia, there still are many healthcare providers who lack the resources or skills to develop an innovative solution. Now, these providers risk being outclassed by more agile and digitally savvy competitors.
If this is what you want to avoid for your organization, Spintech is happy to help. We provide end-to-end product development or augment your internal staff with skilled software developers to help you innovate and stay ahead of the curve in these turmoil times.
With Earth’s population rapidly aging and telehealth solutions rising in popularity, acquiring customers during this crisis can provide life-long patients with high loyalty, who will advocate your services with word of mouth, the best recommendation possible. If you would like to digitally transform and empower your healthcare operations — contact Spintech, we are happy to help!