How e-commerce adoption benefits B2B healthcare providers and device makers
The healthcare and life sciences industry is expanding at an exponential rate. The complexity and regulatory nature of the industry have made it imperative that technology catches up with its pace and offers solutions to meet this expansion. This need is being felt more acutely at the moment with the COVID-19 pandemic on the loose. As the pandemic spreads its poison and puts the B2B healthcare and life sciences e-commerce market into a state of flux, it forces large and small organizations to cope with a range of problems that include difficult purchase decisions, supply chain disruptions, and fulfillment and delivery issues. This calls for a technological solution tailored to suit the B2B healthcare and life sciences industry.
With over 17 years of experience in delivering customized technological solutions including developing e-commerce platforms for B2B clients, we provide B2B e-commerce web application development services for manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and so on. Also, our mobile app development services specialize in the designing and development of custom B2B e-commerce apps.
Case Study: Fingent’s solution for our client Bonanza – Streamlining Online Listing and Inventory Management
In this article, we will explore five specific ways in which B2B e-commerce is that solution and how it will transform healthcare and life sciences.
Immediate and lasting impact on the B2B e-commerce market
In the present scenario, especially from a healthcare and life sciences manufacturing and supply perspective, the impact is immediate throughout the entire supply chain. Manufacturing companies are unable to keep up with the demand, and distributors are rushing to create workflows in an attempt to mitigate customer complaints. Distributors are being forced to claw their way to the front of the line to obtain supplies from manufacturers, stock up on products, and take care of their customers.
Healthcare and life sciences organizations typically have disaster preparedness plans, but dealing with such an unprecedented disaster is another ball game altogether. The question has shifted from purchasing to inventory, from buying to stocking. It makes it challenging to find the space to hold extra products that these industries may need and that causes anxiety to all parties within the supply chain.
B2B e-commerce offers irresistible opportunities for purchasers and medical suppliers
B2B e-commerce works largely on a distribution-based model where customers get their supplies from local distributors or dealers. Thus far, e-commerce has been disrupting the offline system of the B2B industry at a slow pace. However, with the spread of coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown, various industries including healthcare and life sciences are switching to online buying options to prevent human contact. This has resulted in B2B e-commerce experiencing an unprecedented boost in traffic and sales in just a matter of a few weeks.
Read More: Contactless Retail Delivery Software – How Retailers Can Revive Sales While Adhering To Social Distancing Norms
While buyers turn to an online purchase, many suppliers have adapted their strategy to foster online sales, dedicating a certain amount of their budget to digital marketing and communications. The current pandemic is imposing digitization of all B2B businesses that would help to communicate with the buyers and generate sales. Digitization of the supply chain is a crucial aspect of e-commerce because it encourages transparency and shows real-time availability of goods right from the manufacturers to the buyers. This makes it extremely important for suppliers to implement digitization in their supply chain.
The present COVID situation has forced most suppliers to work from home. Those who have already been using digital media are able to manage work remotely. However, others need to think over and plan to reform their business model to adapt to the new era of e-commerce. The pandemic might be temporary, but this trend is not going to be! This is a breakthrough that will continue far into the future. Now is the best time to be innovative, leverage the benefits of the latest digital technology, data analytics, and AI and unlock the potential of digitalization and e-commerce in B2B business. An advanced e-commerce solution built on the latest technology facilitates seamless interactions online across marketing, product discovery, sales, and post-sale service in the B2B sellers’ space.
Read More: E-commerce ERP Software
Five ways B2B e-commerce can be transformative
As B2B e-commerce forges ahead, the healthcare and life sciences industries will prove to be faster adopters than others. They can fully leverage real-time data tracking inventory and logistics between buyers and sellers. For manufacturers and distributors who sell to hospitals and nursing homes, the level of information presented to buyers in the B2B space can depend on the size of the organization or the customer that is doing the transaction. Depending on the frequency of the order, the level of sophistication of information may vary. Shifting to B2B e-commerce will prove to be a much-needed transformation.
Here are five ways that this transformation will be seen:
1. Online Shopping Drives Online Presence
E-commerce is changing the way people and end-users (such as doctors) shop for healthcare products and the way those products reach the hands of customers. Instead of visiting a pharmacy, most customers are turning to the internet to perform the functions of a regular pharmacy. Healthcare and life sciences companies use a business model that features quick delivery to a patient’s door or to hospitals and healthcare centers. Investors see promise in this revolutionary approach to medication fulfillment, demonstrating that the market has confidence in this model despite the shifting healthcare and life sciences landscape.
With more and more people turning to the internet to access products and medical care, the healthcare and life sciences industries have been increasingly concerned with the quality of their online presence. According to an online medical marketplace, 50% of their customers are referred by their primary provider or by hospital staff, and 20% are referred by family or friends. This highlights the need for the healthcare and life sciences industries to increase their online presence and maintain it.
2. Helps explore new possibilities while cutting costs and time
Shifting to an online B2B e-commerce process can help businesses recover 25-30 percent of their investment. Some of the more mature players might even see higher returns of their business through online orders.
Migrating more orders online frees up time for sales reps. They can concentrate on introducing new products and capitalize on opportunities for new business. This allows industry leaders to use their time and ability to explore new channels of business and revenue streams. This can also help expand their client base and move into new markets.
B2B e-commerce enables the healthcare and life sciences companies to see where the business is coming from, where the segments are online and where they are offline. It also gives them the ability to offer variable discounts with certain customers, on certain products, or even just one customer. It will make drug prices more transparent and market-oriented.
Read more: Odoo E-commerce – 5 Reasons to Integrate Your E-commerce Application with Odoo ERP
3. Transforms Logistics Operations
Synchronization of logistic operations is critical for the success of any business. Enterprise customers generally look for reliability, speed, traceability, and convenience in delivery along with effective product returns, and exchange policy of damaged products.
Technology solutions for B2B e-commerce provide orchestration with an application that is to be hosted on an e-commerce website. The open standard in these applications facilitates information exchange that allows real-time visibility for seamless integration across supply chain stakeholders. E-commerce offerings can provide credibility and trust for transactions between companies involved in the supply chain.
4. Enables Customer Personalization
B2B e-commerce enables customer personalization. Enterprise customers want personalized solutions. B2B e-commerce provides a customer portal with content organized around the parameters of their past purchase history and price optimization algorithms that are adjusted on the basis of the relationship. E-commerce offerings are simple, flexible, and convenient. B2B players can use a comprehensive suite of tools that are available to help their customers navigate the site. Certain platforms incorporate live online support to assist with any queries or issues which can improve conversion levels and facilitate buying decisions.
5. Sheer Momentum
Many medical device companies are already selling products online to enterprise customers. The healthcare and life sciences market is ripe for disruption. Medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies will continue to deliver to wholesalers and distributors, but e-commerce allows them to embark on direct-to-patient delivery. Logistics is ready to respond with tailored services for various products. B2B e-commerce is set to propel healthcare and life sciences forward in the extremely near future.
Ultimately, healthcare and life sciences e-commerce will facilitate the redistribution of stakeholders’ offline enterprise transformation and reconstruct all the links of the value chain. Realizing the benefits of B2B e-commerce, many healthcare and life sciences companies are becoming believers.
E-commerce can effectively optimize operating processes, reduce costs, manage resource allocations, and address the increasingly diversified consumer healthcare demands. The healthcare and life sciences companies must understand that due to the conditions of accelerated technology change, it has become critical for enterprises to become more skilled in deciding their future course and be firm in taking action. If you need help with this, we at Fingent are here to help you take that next step. Get in touch with us and just let us know what you need.
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How Face Recognition Apps Are Defining The Future Of Competitive Industries?
There has been a lot of talk about Face Recognition Apps recently. It has received accolades for its use in enhancing security as well as flak over privacy concerns. Speculations aside, there is no denying that face recognition software has revolutionized the way we perceive technology. It is no longer a faraway concept as it finds a place in our pockets through mobile technology.
In this blog, we will look at the technology behind face recognition software, what makes it tick and how it has found application across industries.
What Is A Face Recognition App?
Face recognition is a biometric technology that creates a face print of an individual by mapping out his or her facial features mathematically. This face print is stored and used to compare a digital image of a person verifying their identity.
This mapping is done by identifying 80 nodal points on a human face. These nodal points are used to measure different variables of the face. The width of the forehead, the length of the nose, the shape of the eyes – these measurements are captured on a digital image of the person’s face and stored as a face print. Deep learning algorithms are then used to identify a person in comparison with the face print.
This technology has been used in various ways from automatic photo tagging by apps like Facebook for authentication and identification by Apple’s iPhone X. The way in which Apple has used this technology is interesting. Face ID technology, which allows users to unlock their phones using the stored face print, is designed with 3-D modeling. The software compares over 30,000 variables to fine-tune recognition capabilities. This face print or Face ID can be used as authentication for purchases done with Apple Pay and other Apple stores. Amazon Rekognition, Google Cloud Vision API and other image analysis APIs can be now used to add facial recognition capabilities to other applications.
The inclusion of technologies like augmented reality, mixed reality and more have made face recognition software a powerful force. At Fingent, we developed a mixed reality application using Microsoft Hololens. This application helps in the identification of a person and also links the face print to the biodata of the person. It will also be able to capture images and compute similarities between the captured image and all the other images in a secure database.
The Role of Face Recognition Apps in Safety and Protection
According to a Javelin Strategy and Research study, identity fraud hit a record high with 15.4 million U.S. Victims in 2016 and an increase of 16 percent from previous years. In a connected world where such vulnerabilities exist, face recognition software is proving to be an invaluable asset. The software is helping law enforcement and corporate to put a name to the faces of criminals who have been playing havoc with stolen identities. Some applications of face recognition software in ensuring safety are:
- Identity validation at ATMs and prevention of identity theft with photo IDs.
- Face recognition surveillance systems in schools to protect students from expelled students or parents who have been flagged as dangerous.
- Equipping law enforcement personnel with identification of criminals and contextual data to warn them of dangerous persons before they approach offenders.
- Automated facial recognition (known as AFR) helps in forensic investigations by identifying individuals on surveillance cameras and videos, as well as in recognition of dead/unconscious individuals at crime scenes.
- Protecting retailers from shoplifters by warning security personnel of known criminals with a record. It also helps them avoid potential violence in the store by warning them when dangerous criminals or disgruntled former employees enter.
How Various Industries Can Benefit from Face Recognition Apps
Apart from ensuring safety and prevention of identity theft, face recognition software has many commercial applications as well. Many organizations across industries are recognizing the vast potential of face recognition apps and exploring different ways to capitalize on its features. Let us look at the Healthcare and Retail industries as an example.
Healthcare is constantly making giant strides with technology and facial recognition is contributing in unexpected ways. Researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in the United States have come up with a face recognition system, which can diagnose a rare genetic disease called DiGeorge syndrome. People with this syndrome exhibit particular facial anomalies, which give them characteristic expressions that can be detected by facial recognition software. Despite the many challenges associated with effective detection, the team has developed software with an accuracy of 96.6%.
Another example of face detection software being used in healthcare is the facial recognition app developed by Listerine. This app enables a blind person to detect when somebody is smiling at them, by setting off vibrations when the face recognition app detects a smile. This helps the blind respond better in social situations, thus contributing to their quality of life.
Speaking about the further possibilities that technology can bring to healthcare, Christoffer Nellaker, of the Medical Research Foundation’s Functional Genomics Unit at Oxford says: “A doctor should in the future, anywhere in the world, be able to take a smartphone picture of a patient and run the computer analysis to quickly find out which genetic disorder the person might have”. This is already coming true with the help of face recognition.
Related Reading: Check out how modern healthcare is revolutionizing with automation.
Retailers have been using augmented reality to improve the customer experience for a while now. The retail giant Sephora has gone one step further and added a live 3D facial recognition feature to its Virtual Artist application. This enables a more accurate facial tracking and rendering, allowing users to virtually try on Sephora’s various products while they are moving in real time. Parham Aarabi, CEO of ModiFace, which is the developer of this function for Sephora says: “We believe the ability to see yourself with products can impact sales online … and thus the integration on Sephora will, based on our expectation, result in increased conversions and user engagement.” The goal with this move is to enable customers to try on their products in a fun and more interactive way. The accuracy enabled by this technology will go a long way in enhancing the customer’s experience and boosting sales.
By using face recognition software in making educated guesses about a potential customer’s gender, age, etc., big retail giants are optimizing their ad campaigns to specific target audiences. Such advertisements are more effective as they help deliver a targeted message that has a powerful effect on consumers. An example is the “Because I’m a Girl” campaign rolled out by children’s charity Plan the UK. The charity created bus billboards, which would scan the viewer’s face and display an ad depending on the viewer’s gender. This was done to highlight the plight of women who are denied rights based on their sex. Brands like Virgin Mobile, Nike and others have also used face recognition software to create a more immersive ad experience for their customers.
Implementing Face Recognition Technology
Face recognition software is closer to home than we think, and it is apt to look at ways in which your company can capitalize on its capabilities. Talk to us and let’s discuss how.
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The Healthcare sector is booming at a faster rate and the necessity to manage patient care and innovate medicines has increased synonymously. With the rise in such needs, newer technologies are being adopted in the industry. One such major change that might take place in the future is the use of Big Data and Analytics in the Healthcare sector.
According to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report sponsored by Seagate Technology, it is found that big data is projected to grow faster in healthcare than in sectors like manufacturing, financial services or media. It is estimated that the healthcare data will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36 percent through 2025.
Market research have shown that the global big data in the healthcare market is expected to reach $34.27 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 22.07%. Globally, the big data analytics segment are expected to be worth more than $68.03 billion by 2024, driven largely by continued North American investments in electronic health records, practice management tools, and workforce management solutions.
Here are 5 ways in which Big Data can help and change the entire scenario of the Healthcare sector.
1. Health Tracking
Big Data and Analytics along with the Internet of Things (IoT), is revolutionizing the way one can track various user statistics and vitals. Apart from the basic wearables that can detect the patient’s sleep, heart rate, exercise, distance walked, etc. there are new medical innovations that can monitor the patient’s blood pressure, pulse Oximeters, glucose monitors, and more. The continuous monitoring of the body vitals along with the sensor data collection will allow healthcare organizations to keep people out of the hospital since they can identify potential health issue and provide care before the situation goes worse.
2. Reducing Cost
Big Data can be a great way to save costs for hospitals that either over or under book staff members. Predictive analysis can help resolve this issue by predicting the admission rates and help with staff allocation. This will reduce the Rate of Investment incurred by hospitals and in fact help utilize their investment to the max. The insurance industry can save money by backing wearables and health trackers to ensure that patients do not spend time in the hospital. It can save wait times for patients since the hospital will have adequate staff and beds available as per the analysis all the time. Predictive analytics also helps cut costs by reducing the rate of hospital readmissions.
According to a recent report by the Society of Actuaries, 47% of healthcare organizations are already using predictive analytics. It is also noted that over 57% of healthcare sectors believe that predictive analytics will save organizations 25 percent or more in annual costs over the next five years.
Healthcare & Big Data Facts: McKinsey & Company report states that after 20 years of steady increases, healthcare expenses now represent 17.6% of GDP, ie. nearly $600 billion more than the expected benchmark for the U.S. size and wealth.
3. Assisting High-Risk Patients
If all the hospital records are digitized, it will be the perfect data that can be accessed to understand the pattern of many patients. It can identify the patients approaching the hospital repeatedly and identify their chronic issues. Such understanding will help in giving such patients better care and provide an insight into corrective measures to reduce their frequent visits. It is a great way to keep a list and check on high-risk patients and offer them customized care.
4. Preventing Human Errors
A lot many times it has been noted that the professionals tend to either prescribe a wrong medicine or dispatch a different medication by mistake. Such errors, in general, can be reduced since Big Data can be leveraged to analyze user data and the prescribed medication. It can corroborate the data and flag potential out of place prescription to reduce mistakes and save lives. Such software can be a great tool for physicians who cater to many patients in a day.
Healthcare & Big Data Facts: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services prevented more than $210.7 million in healthcare fraud in one year using predictive analytics.
5. Advancement in Healthcare Sector
Apart from the current scenario, Big Data can be a great benefit for advancement in science and technology. For Healthcare, Artificial Intelligence, such as IBM’s Watson can be used to surf through numerous data within seconds to find solutions for various diseases. Such advancement is already in progress and will continue to grow with the amount of research collected by Big Data. It will not only be able to provide accurate solutions, but also offer customized solutions for unique problems. The availability of predictive analysis will assist patients traveling to a particular geographical location by studying similar patients in that area.
Healthcare & Big Data Facts: Effective use of big data could add $300 million per year to the healthcare industry.
Thus, to sum up, Big Data increases the ability of the healthcare sectors to:
- Predict Epidemics
- Cure Disease
- Improve Quality of Life
- Increase Preventable Care
- Begin Early Preventive Care
- Spot Warning Signs Sooner
Numerous studies and researches prove that technology has tremendously transformed the healthcare sectors. Professor and researcher Ronda Hughes too explains in her research how big data is improving health services.
Improving health outcomes with big data | Source : TEDxUofSC
Although most part of Big Data generated is not fully utilized currently due to limitations of the toolset and funds, it is definitely the future. Invest in the future and use Big Data Analytics to be a part of an evolving Healthcare Industry by seeking an experienced company such as ours to assist you.
Related Reading: Find out how big companies are using the power of Big Data to enhance customer experience.
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They say the only thing that is constant in this world is change. It applies to every single aspect of our lives, including the health and well being. Thinking from an industrial perspective, the healthcare landscape is constantly evolving from one level to the next and it only increases the need for IT systems to be more scalable, flexible, adaptable and secure. But technology too is an ever changing concept, needing regular and constant updates to remain fresh and competitive, not to mention the ever-changing regulatory requirements as well. So as you can see, it is a continuously changing scenario, which makes it all the more important for organizations to make sure they have the most leading edge software to keep pace with the environment.
Organizations need to build technologies that have the ability to adapt and change, while sticking to compliance regulations. As mentioned before, their focus should be on flexibility and scalability of their IT platforms. In other words, they need to develop future ready IT systems that are safe and secure.
Dr. Andrew Litt, Chief Medical Officer at Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences says, “ The only way hospitals will thrive is if there’s useful, timely and relevant information that is securely delivered along the care continuum.”
Thankfully, the IT field is making its improved contributions as well for the healthcare sector and now it is up to the organizations to narrow down and adopt the most appropriate one. To help them in this regard and to enable them to get the most out of their systems, here are 5 pointers to look for while choosing a future ready healthcare platform:
- Scalability and adaptability – This is one of the most important factors to consider to make your systems future-proof. The market for healthcare applications is one which is very volatile, with regulation coming in quite frequently and with little notice. In such a scenario, it is important to have systems that are flexible and can adapt to changes easily. For example, when the new office takes charge with the 2016 presidential elections in the U.S, there may be new regulations to comply with, or when an organization launches a new product or a new healthcare plan, there might be a need for the existing healthcare applications to scale out or adapt to new norms. To support all these kinds of dynamics, organizations need to look for open architecture systems that enable quick and easy integration of new additions in business as well as simplified processes of upgrades.
- Ease of adoption – For all the reasons that the business environment is dynamic, it also means an existing healthcare application system has to be adaptable. At the same time, it might also need additional integrations or deployment of specific components. Organizations need solutions that can make way for these and enable such additions in a streamlined and seamless manner. In situations where an existing system is being replaced by an organization, the new solution has to be smoothly deployed, without wasting time on installation, training and the like. For this purpose, cloud integrated solutions may be leveraged as they support fast and easy enforcement with no need for onsite installation and are also highly scalable.
- Automation – As organizations are striving to keep up with the growing demand for improved quality of care, they also need to keep a check on the costs. As a matter of fact, they are faced with the challenge of reducing the costs without compromising on the quality of care. For this purpose, healthcare applications must support full-fledged automation of most if not all important functions, so as to eliminate manual processes that take up a lot of time and effort. It can also make sure that there are no compliance issues. Organizations can do completely away with the error-prone, time-intensive and inefficient manual data entry processes. Moreover, with the automation of the financial systems as well, processes like billing, collection of cash and the like can also be simplified.
- Interactivity – Most healthcare, as well as banking organizations, are starting to embrace retail-centric models of technology to manage their affairs. This means that users of the system, that is, the consumers in case of retail solutions and patients in case of healthcare solutions, can interact with the system empowering them to take care of their own issues. This is quite a huge deal for healthcare, as member portals like these give patients the freedom and accessibility to view their own health records, or health plan benefits and the like. It also lets them perform self-service transactions and open enrollment activities on their own online. It also lets them interact with doctors and providers regarding personal healthcare. Organizations need to look for solutions that have the capability to connect with such member portals and make their users self-sufficient.
- Real-time information – This is an extension of the previous point on member portals. People nowadays need speed and transparency more than anything, and it is only going to become even more so in future. Patients need real-time information at their fingertips about their appointments like billing, coverage, and details of the doctor through a secure online portal. Hence, at any cost, a healthcare application needs to be in the direction of real-time. The most appropriate way to ensure this is by tightening the connectivity between the administrative system of an organization and its member portals. Such kind of connectivity again calls for an open architecture of all platforms involved. Such integration also gives patients an overview of their billing, payment and other details in real time.
All of these point towards an age where people can proactively manage their healthcare by themselves as well by their providers. As an organization gears up for this phenomenon, it might be useful to keep the above points in mind and make their healthcare platforms future proof, so as to gain maximum efficiency.