Improving lives with digital transformation in healthcare

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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.

Isabelle Lurquin
Isabelle Lurquin has over 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications B2B market in key accounts and sales management, indirect sales, business development and marketing. Her career in International Telecommunication, includes management  positions at France Cable & Radio (satellite business), Transpac (data & voice networks, messaging and contact centers), Global One and Orange Business Services. 
 
Isabelle has been working for Orange Business Services Emerging Markets & Indirect region since September 2011. This region includes the geographies of Middle East, Turkey and Africa, as well as the indirect business with SITA, the Orange Business Services’ channel to the Air Transport Industry. Today, Isabelle leads the Sales, Marketing & Communication and the Solutions functions which includes pre-sales, business development and  consulting. 
 
Prior to 2011, Isabelle spent 6 years in the Orange Large Accounts Division as Director of International Business Development. Her team supported 80 of the largest Orange multinational clients in their efforts with worldwide expansion and drove the Division’s international revenue growth. During the course of her international career, Isabelle has gained a specific knowledge of Asian and European markets and, since 2011, of the Middle East and Africa markets.
 
A French national, Isabelle holds master degrees in International Politics (International Politics Institute, Paris) and International Business Management from La Sorbonne University, Paris and speaks French, English and Spanish.
 
Isabelle likes to be involved in philanthropic activities such as coaching  underprivileged young students and helping young professionals to come onboard in the business world.  She has also been involved in humanitarians programs in Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin.