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The year of Digital Business Reinvention: A Healthcare Perspective

Unmesh Deshpande
CTO, Kingsway Hospitals

What has been there till now?

The advancement for healthcare establishments is more focused on delivering medical assistance and care to the patients, clinical process optimization, clinical research, logistics for the hospitals, Laboratory automation, integrated PACS, and a central system called HIS, HMIS, or HIMS.

So, what has 2020 taught us?

The year 2020 has been a severe teacher across industries. The importance of managing the business from remote locations has demanded ubiquity for all the services. BCP and DR processes and policies need a severe approach. The last year has taught us that IT is now is a significant business enabler. The year has transformed IT from a cost centre to a profit centre.

Then, what is there in 2021 for healthcare?

We foresee a paradigm shift in the leadership thought processes. The definitions of intelligence and automation will be more precise, resulting in removing robotic processes driven in the workforce’s minds and planting intelligence. These automated processes will now reside in the software systems. The journey definitions of reaching a true AI will be clearer. IoT devices will play the roles of “eyes & ears.” The IoT will translate all the sensed data in a structured manner. This data will be the foundation to have meaningful datasets.

CDSS (Clinical Decision Support Systems) will emerge as a necessity rather than a brownie scoring point. Data analytics will become a key focus area. The healthcare industry worldwide is experiencing a crucial and remarkable change. The emergence of disruptive modernization and its adoption will take the forefront seat in the priority list. New and emerging technology areas such as AI, Cognitive computing, IoT, Cloud enablement, and 3 D printed implants will go under rapid maturity process. It will be due to this paradigm shift these technologies will be more than necessary than before. The standardization of EMR and EHR will continue to enhance. This standardization will lay the foundation for universal, interoperable, and location-independent healthcare.

The technological advances and achievements would be a pivotal helper to become more and more system and process-driven. There will be a unique health template for each patient, thus Personalizing the Healthcare will be the prime objective. There would be specific challenges to the availability of skilled and semi-skilled healthcare workers as the demands will increase significantly due to changing social demographics and rapidly evolving technologies. This shift would challenge healthcare organizations to be more efficient, inculcate the technology-driven work-culture, and consider employee engagement in a much more rigorous manner. The key “mantra” would enhance the workforce’s intellectual level to enable them to adopt the change willfully to be adept at performing.

Many healthcare establishments have already embraced the new digital technologies to create new value in the industry.

The disruptive and rapidly changing technology landscape in which global healthcare leaders and their patients will find themselves best understood within what we call the “Many to Many” (M2M) Economy model. The M2M economy has some unique ingredients.

    Creation of the business model, which is unified and uniform

  • Keeping healthcare as the focus will have four unique elements.
  • Well-orchestrated business processes
  • Contextual
  • Cognitive
  • Symbiotic
  • The M2M model will be predominantly Digital. Innovations like CT Machines, MRI Equipment, X-ray, 2D Echo getting interfaced with the HIS will be the defacto standard. This digitalization will be one of the main drivers for the technology enhancement in PACS (Picture Archiving Communications System). Being “Filmless” is the need of the hour and will also be a necessity.

For healthcare going fully digital will be an evolution process – from Digitization → Digital transformation → Digital reinvention. The journey of a patient within any tertiary care centre will be paperless. The interfaces to commonly available platforms such as WhatsApp, SMS, Email will be playing the critical role of the information carrier.

How to gear up for reinvention?

To successfully reinvent, healthcare players need to adapt to a new strategic focus with six levers, including:

Pursue a new focus Building new expertise Define new rules of working
Spawning new digitally transformed business models Design and implement predictive analysis tools. Talent creation to sustain and grow the highly Digitized Hospital.
Adoption to digital creativity to enhance UX Adoption of AI and Cognitive computing Infusion of innovation in the minds and the organizational culture
Nurturing efficiencies to monetize values Software development for IoT and other device interfaces Trust and faith of the workforce to think, agile work approach, and fearless experimentation.
Technology-driven risk assessment to prevent revenue losses. Agile operating environments that support individual health management needs
Redesign, redevelop, reinvent Adoption to digital drivers Riding the winds of change
Funding a change may not always be the option for most organizations. So, reuse, revisit, and redeploy. Experiment first rollout later needs to be adopted for the least turnaround time (TAT) Envision the options and possibilities.
Use of digital tools to further optimize the existing processes, operations, and efficiencies. Invest in the devices that are future-ready with support for investment protection. Create pilots.
Create new platforms as a foundation for the future. Augment digital capabilities.
Be holistic during the reinvention.
Have a better orchestration.

To conclude, digital reinvention is imperative for the healthcare sector in 2021. It is far reaching to note that the domain will have to undergo significant changes in the wake of digital transformation to remain agile, by reinventing itself. The adoption of digital drivers on the cards is also a need to holistically change the entire focus towards reinvention with a new direction, perspective, and expertise. The pivot in healthcare is here and early players stand to leverage by adopting a new strategic focus.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this feature article are of the author. This is not meant to be an advisory to purchase or invest in products, services or solutions of a particular type or, those promoted and sold by a particular company, their legal subsidiary in India or their channel partners. No warranty or any other liability is either expressed or implied.
Reproduction or Copying in part or whole is not permitted unless approved by author.

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