Digital Transformation in Healthcare: Did the pandemic accelerate it?

Category: Business, HealthCare, Others

“Technology is not to be feared; it is only to be understood.” – Carolina Varela Rodríguez

Covid 19 continues to pose multiple challenges in the field of healthcare and the medical fraternity is struggling with the emerging trends in transforming healthcare through the digital revolution. Healthcare experts have come up with innovative ways of treating patients with the help of well-defined strategies that would deliver the much-needed succour and reinstate the confidence in people by allaying their fears. Let’s look at some of the state-of-the-art technologies that have pioneered a paradigm shift in the areas of healthcare and medicine.

Telehealth

Telehealth is a game changer, that enables active monitoring of patients by monitoring their medical condition remotely and prescribing medicines based on the evaluation carried out. Remote diagnosis & monitoring of health conditions of patients helps in improving clinical workflows & medical practice efficiency through effective patient engagement with easier accessibility. Examples of Telehealth include monitoring of vitals, blood pressure, ECG of patients and treating them remotely with the help of medicines. Continuous monitoring of health conditions with the help of digital monitoring through mobiles, computers helps in identifying any changes in critical health parameters and provides the necessary treatment and clinical support through digital imaging and telecare. Digital enablement has made healthcare more accessible and patients can get the required medical advice at ease with enhanced healthcare experience through synchronous care and otherwise.

Digital Clinical Workspaces

Digital Clinical Workspaces have made pathbreaking changes in the delivery of healthcare. This technology in healthcare helps in providing advanced and personalised care with better efficiency and turn around time. Digital workspace helps in creating a robust electronic health record about patient medical history along with their personal information. The mobility solution helps in streamlining the longer clinical workflows and helps in spending quality time with the patients that reduces the risk of readmission. Anytime, anywhere access to patients track record and medical history helps in providing seamless healthcare solutions with clinical precision. This also provides the impetus to embrace new digital technologies in the healthcare space.

Medical Chatbots

In order to sensitise and expedite healthcare processes during pandemic, Medical Chatbots have been introduced. Medical Chatbots are powered by Artificial intelligence that helps the patients in connecting with the insurance companies and healthcare providers. It also helps in resolution of queries and concerns raised by the patients by making the relevant healthcare information available to all the stakeholders concerned. Such health bots also provide real time assistance on diagnosis of symptoms and recommended treatments with therapeutic information. This also helps in quicker information sharing and accelerates the pace of decision making during a pandemic.

Data Analytical Capability

Healthcare companies need to upscale their data analytical capability in order to be future ready, in the event of any unforeseen, pandemic. Analysis of large volumes of medical data could provide pathbreaking details into identifying any patterns relating to pandemics and endemics that can offer predictive insights about tracing of contacts, medical readiness and outcomes. Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning techniques need to be imbibed for faster and accurate diagnosis of diseases and providing immediate assistance in the areas of pharmaceutical initiation, medical research and development of medicinal treatments for the control of outbreak.

Conclusion

We at Newlineinfo are committed to the wellbeing of our staff and continuously strive to provide the health care support and medical assistance required for tiding over this crisis situation with minimal impact to all our stakeholders.

Digital Accessibility Impacting HealthCare

Category: ADA Compliance, HealthCare

“XYZ Health is an online health management portal offered to its subscribers by XYZ Health Insurance Company. A subscriber must register in the portal in order to avail various programs and benefits.

Scenario 1: A subscriber with low vision tried to register using the registration screen of the portal. The registration screen has a white background with light gray fonts making it difficult for the subscriber to read the text. The screen does not allow the text to be zoomed to a larger size thereby making it difficult for the subscriber to read the text and enter their personal information for registration.

Scenario 2: Upon logging in to the portal, there are helpful videos on a variety of wellness topics. A subscriber with hearing impairment wants to watch these wellness videos. However, the videos do not offer closed captioning or transcription thereby making the subscriber not benefiting from the wellness videos on the portal.”

The two scenarios listed above are among many real-world scenarios that individuals with disabilities can encounter when dealing with healthcare. From scheduling doctor visits, filling out medical history details, reading statement of benefits, accessing wellness content, etc., healthcare companies and providers needs to understand the importance of accessibility and how it impacts the population of individuals with disabilities.

Section 508 of The Rehabilitation Act requires federal government agencies to make all of its electronic information and technology fully usable by individuals with disabilities. This means that websites, software, multimedia files, documents, etc. must meet specific accessibility requirements to comply with the law. However, there are no regulations for non-federal entities such as hospitals, doctors, healthcare facilities, insurance companies to adhere to Section 508 standards. Not having a digital accessibility plan and non-adherence to these accessibility standards may open the door for penalties due to discrimination, loss of government funding, lawsuits, loss of customer base, etc.

In addition to Section 508, there is another law pertaining to digital accessibility. Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prohibits health programs or facilities that receive federal funds from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. In doing so, it incorporates existing federal civil rights laws, such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and applies them to federally funded health care and health insurance programs.

Digital accessibility makes huge sense from a business perspective. If a business cannot offer accessible products and services, the business may lose those customers to their competitors who are more accessible friendly entities. People with disabilities usually have higher healthcare needs than the average person. These individuals must have fair and equal access to your website, portals, mobile application and other digital services, just like everyone else.

Are your products and services Section 508 ready? Come talk to us and learn how Newlineinfo Corp can help assess your organization for Section 508 and Section 1557 compliance.

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