The potential of technology to revolutionize healthcare is enormous and for many individuals it can be life-saving.
Listening to Dr Hossam Ghoneim, Senior Advisor to the CEO of Dr Samir Abbas Hospital, Jeddah, speak about digital transformation in the healthcare sector at our event in Dubai today made me think about the impact that technology has on healthcare. It is not only improving diagnoses, providing innovative treatment options and creating a more connected doctor-patient relationship. It is also empowering us to look after our own health – and bringing accessible and affordable medical technologies to developing countries. The latter, for me, highlights a very meaningful bridge between people and technology.
Healthcare is undoubtedly driving global IT spend as digital transformation grabs the attention of health organizations. The worldwide eHealth market is forecast to hit $308 billion by 2022, according to analyst firm Grand View Research. The diagnostics field is expected to see the fastest growth, due to the increasing number of patients with at least one chronic condition. In the US alone, treating chronic diseases accounts for 86 per cent of the country’s healthcare costs, according to the
Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion (CDC). It is when you read statistics like this you realize the real benefits that telemonitoring, for example, can provide and how the savings it generates can help areas of medical care that really need it.
The master plan
I think the success stories in health digital transformation can create valuable blueprints for other health institutions around the world moving forward. Take Dr Samir Abbas Hospital, which has deployed a state-of-the-art IT infrastructure. It has taken the innovative step of integrating the hospital’s information solution with the patient’s personal infotainment system to streamline and simplify data retrieval.
The personal infotainment terminals that Orange Business Services has implemented provide patients with entertainment and connectivity along with access to the hospital intranet and staff alerts. Medical records can be viewed at the bedside and staff can update findings following nurse and physician visits.
Technology isn’t just centered around medicine. It can also enhance the patient experience, help ease their life while at hospital and reassure families. Dr Samir Abbas Hospital has also deployed tamper-proof RFID ankle bands for babies to track the location of infants within the hospital. The system has been designed to eliminate risks of abduction or baby swapping.
You may be surprised to find that Orange has been involved in these transformation developments at Dr Samir Abbas Hospital, as you probably don’t associate us with health. In fact, we are making huge investments in the sector. A few years ago, we set up a dedicated unit, Orange Healthcare, within Orange Business Services to provide reliable and effective solutions that can help both patients and healthcare professionals. Some of the services we are working on include the remote monitoring of specific medical devices, home support for dependent individuals, optimized disease management by the patient and many more.
Future of digital healthcare
Technology is set to totally transform the healthcare landscape. Analyst firm Gartner, for example, believes that by 2019, wearable devices together with Internet of Things (IoT) platforms will monitor at least 30 per cent of hip and knee replacements. At the same time, 30 per cent of all nurse call systems will have been replaced by real-time communication and collaboration systems. These advances alone are just three years away!
The future of healthcare is reliant on information and technology to create more personalized healthcare plans, open up access to innovative treatments and procedures and provide quality care, whilst controlling costs.
The World Health Organization estimates the minimum spend per year needed to provide basic, lifesaving services is just $44. Yet still many have little or no access to adequate healthcare. I believe the digital transformation of healthcare will pave the way for health equality and improve the health of us all. Health after all is a basic human right.
If you would like to find out more about digital transformation in healthcare or learn more about Orange Healthcare please click here.