What is healthcare information technology and what are its benefits?
From transportation to manufacturing to education, information technology is influencing virtually every industry today. The healthcare industry has experienced a significant transformation brought in by information technology. From electronically checking in patients and updating their medical records to digitally forwarding blood test results to patients, information technology is transforming the healthcare industry by leaps and bounds. Experts estimate that by the end of 2024, the healthcare information technology market could reach USD 390.7 bn.
This post looks at how information technology and healthcare go hand-in-hand to benefit both medical professionals as well as patients.
Read more: 7 Major Impacts of Technology in Healthcare
What is Healthcare Information Technology (HIT)?
While information technology refers to the usage of computers and telecommunications and other systems to store, retrieve and share information, HIT, refers to the secure use of technology to manage health-related information.
The most common examples of healthcare information technology are e-prescriptions, electronic health records (EHRs), and other tech tools that help patients meet health goals such as managing blood sugar levels or quitting smoking. Information technology has paved the way for more accurate EHRs/ EMRs that help patients gain quick and easy access to various healthcare facilities. Additionally, it has given patients more control over their health through various mobile apps and information platforms.
Healthcare information technology’s primary purpose is to maintain privacy while improving patient care. HIT enables medical professionals to not only take better care of patients but also improve their communication with patients.
A few examples of Health IT are:
- Computerized disease registries
- Consumer health IT applications
- Electronic prescribing
- Electronic medical record systems such as EMRs, EHRs, and PHRs
What is the significance of healthcare information technology?
The goal of using information technology in healthcare is to enhance the overall health of the people by improving the quality of care provided to the patients.
Healthcare information technology is significant because it:
- Helps in delivering more accurate, actionable, and accessible information related to a patient’s health that can be customized to meet the individual’s needs.
- Allows better and faster decisions related to health risks that affect an individual as well as the public.
- Supports communication between patients and healthcare professionals and helps in decision-making.
- Helps build networks of social support for both patients as well as healthcare professionals.
- Improves awareness among patients as well as the general public about health-related matters that can lead to positive outcomes.
Uses of information technology in healthcare
Information technology is being used in numerous ways to improve patient safety, healthcare delivery, and communication between healthcare providers and patients. One of the most remarkable applications of HIT is patient records and data management.
Previously, paper charts were used to maintain patients’ records that were easily lost, misinterpreted, or damaged. IT has helped healthcare professionals track patient’s records easily and securely. A medical professional can add pharmacy records, X-rays, test results, and even vital signs to the virtual chart that is easy to read, share, and check against other records.
Also, an entirely new discipline known as nursing informatics has been formed by combining IT and clinical care. This discipline combines the practice of nursing with IT management and helping people with a passion for science and data in the service of medical patients and improving healthcare. With increased demand in technology, this field is gaining more popularity day by day.
According to a survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it was found that nurses who use IT are more likely to spot medical errors. As less time is spent on documenting patient care, nurses can get more time to spend on patient care. Also, as more and more people are getting insured and seeking quality care, the demand for information technology that can help track patients’ records accurately and improve healthcare is only going to grow.
As the HIT field expands, it will create more jobs for IT professionals in hospital settings. From medical transcriptionists, medical coding specialists, clinical IT consultants, and healthcare system analysts, roles in the field of healthcare are growing every year. Apart from creating jobs, IT will stay relevant for hospital administrators and policymakers to increase their volume, speed, and quality of service in the care centers.
Read more: How digital tools are reshaping healthcare
4 future trends in healthcare to watch out for!
1. Telehealth will gain more popularity
As more and more doctors, specialists, and health systems are providing telehealth services, it will gain more prominence in near future. For example, a senior citizen recovering from post-acute care could avail of on-camera consultation without the need for traveling. Regardless of the user’s condition or age or familiarity with the concept, telehealth will gain wider adoption soon.
2. Virtual Reality (VR) will be widely used in patient care
- Virtual Reality can help memory care patients visit vacation spots, access street views of their childhood homes and parks virtually.
- VR is already helping surgeons visualize potential issues before complex surgeries. With more advancements in VR coming up, it could improve procedural intervention by overlaying imaging data and relevant information.
- Vivid imagery using VR is being used in hospitals to distract patients undergoing treatments or those experiencing discomfort.
- VR can be used to educate or explain treatment to a patient.
- VR can help people gain a new perspective on illness. For instance, VR headsets with special software can help people understand what it’s like for people with Alzheimer’s and build empathy.
3. Artificial Intelligence will improve diagnosis and other processes
AI tools such as chatbots and wearables are helping patients take better control of their own care. Artificial Intelligence is being used to maximize hospital efficiency, develop personalized drugs, create treatment protocols, to perform patient monitoring, and care administration. Using complex machine learning algorithms, AI helps emulate human intelligence in analyzing and comprehending complex medical data.
Leading healthcare institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and the UK’s NHS have developed their own AI algorithms to analyze vast amounts of healthcare information that can lead to far-reaching changes in the fields of disease prevention and early diagnosis.
4. 5G will boost network speeds
5G has the potential to significantly improve healthcare delivery by boosting network speed and capacity while reducing latency. This will be crucial for transmitting large medical images, supporting telehealth initiatives and remote patient monitoring tools, and facilitating the complex uses of AI, AR, and VR technologies. 5G technology will also facilitate faster downloads and communication on tablets and other mobile devices used in healthcare that allows the growth and adoption of mobility in healthcare.
How Fingent can help you
At Fingent, we offer healthcare information technology consulting that will help identify your organization’s specific needs and provide apt solutions for improving patient care delivery and enhancing the productivity of healthcare professionals. We also develop technology solutions for healthcare payer organizations and insurance carriers that help them make better decisions and improve their visibility in the competitive market.
We aim to deliver value through our healthcare application platforms and customize solutions according to your business objective. Contact us to know more about how your business can benefit from our healthcare IT consulting services.
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How 5G Will Drive Enterprises to Invest More in Cloud
5G or the fifth generation of cellular networking technology is poised to create a breakthrough for enterprises, especially ones that rely on cloud and IoT. This is due to the ability of 5G to receive and transmit large volumes of data; approximately 10 times more than the capacity of the incumbent 4G-LTE network. For industries on the verge of transformation, 5G is expected to help them leverage the advantages of technologies like cloud, robotics, AI, IoT, and analytics.
It’s getting hard to imagine a single day without cloud technology. Right from putting your files into Dropbox to streaming the latest shows on Netflix to working remotely from home, cloud computing is impacting our lives. In this blog, we take a look at what effects 5G will rollout on cloud computing and why enterprises need to invest more in the new wireless revolution.
The Positive Effects Of 5G On Cloud
5G is capable to bring in 10 Gbps of capacity which is 10 times more than that of what 4G networks bring in today. 5G thus brings down the cost of a mobile network and thereby improves network efficiency. Its delivery latency is 50 times lower than that of 4G. While the current 4G LTE offers 5-12 megabits per second of speed at its peak, 5G users are expected to witness a speed of about 200 GB per second. The speed increase of 5G as compared to the 4G LTE is significant. This massive speed difference between 4G and 5G proves that 5G will enable the connected devices to communicate in speeds that are of high magnitude than before. All these facts denote that businesses will be adopting 5G as their primary network, not just as a backup.
Why Your Enterprise Needs 5G
With 5G technology, enterprises can utilize mobile cloud applications for streamlining their workflows as well as their offerings to customers. Businesses that use unified communication services can leverage the improved speed and service reliability features of 5G.
A large number of enterprises are now making significant investments in cloud-based mobile applications which offer them the advantages of reduced operational costs, increased time-to-market, improved workforce productivity, increased customer satisfaction, and so on.
3 Ways 5G Will Grow Enterprise Investment In Cloud
5G is a viable option for enterprises to connect to various cloud providers in a cost-effective manner because of its wide bandwidth availability and improved security features, enhanced via network slicing and edge computing technologies.
1. Enabling Digital Transformation
Cloud has become the foundation for enterprises keen on digitally transforming their operations. The growing numbers of cloud-native platform providers such as Salesforce, AWS, and Microsoft Azure allow enterprises to move their current on-premises workloads to the cloud. This is where 5G can support enterprises to connect cost-effectively to these cloud platforms.
2. Preventing Bandwidth Restrictions
According to GlobalData, a third of 924 enterprises have deployed over 1000 IoT connected devices, most of which offer features such as smart grid and location tracking that utilize sensors. A large number of these sensors reach their maximum capacity while working with the already installed wireless technologies. For instance, most WiFi units have access points that support only up to 250 devices. Another concern is the interference of other devices as well as networks with the WiFi. This bandwidth limitation issue of enterprises can be addressed by using 5G features such as service-based architecture, network slicing, and so on.
3. 5G Offers Increased Mobility
Enterprises are increasingly using cloud-based applications from mobile devices via public cellular networks. Most of these applications have rich data. When enterprises use 5G, their enterprise mobility solutions can easily manage devices, ensuring great user experience as well as end-to-end security. 5G provides solutions to the concerns of security, reliability, and bandwidth, in addition to bridging the gap between cloud and mobility.
5G Use Cases: Motivating Enterprises to Maximize Cloud Investments
Bandwidth and latency are important for enterprises. 5G enhances the network for enterprises in the following ways:
An Alternative To Fiber
Enterprises can make use of 5G that offers fiber-like bandwidth and latency features. It takes a shorter deployment time as cables are not required. 5G can thus be a great alternative to fiber utilized for the enterprise data network. 5G can also be used as the primary connectivity for businesses in branch networks, especially in rural areas where fiber deployment is difficult.
Working With Existing SD-WAN Solutions
Many enterprises require quality WAN services for increased throughput. This is possible through 5G network slicing. Through logical partitioning of networks and creation of new environments via a fixed or mobile-based capability, and by ensuring security, networks can be purpose-built for enterprises. These networks can be deployed with existing SD-WAN solutions or fixed networks to become more responsive to applications as well as the environments they work on.
Private Wireless Networks
Several enterprises are using sensors and remote equipment in private wireless networks, which are highly customized. These networks require a highly secure environment. The dedicated network offered by 5G is aimed at reducing cyber threats. A private 5G network can ensure high security, reliability, and improved bandwidth.
5G: What To Expect in 2020
According to a recent forecast by Gartner, worldwide 5G wireless network infrastructure revenue is expected to reach $4.2 billion by the year 2020. 5G is increasingly enabling new service-based models and use cases, bringing about a new wave of innovation. Recent research showed that service providers can benefit up to $619 billion globally by the year 2026.
In a nutshell, 5G will be completely resetting the experience of cloud computing through mobile devices. Fingent offers custom cloud application development services for businesses across the globe. To know more about how you can leverage 5G on the cloud, call us right away and talk to our strategists!