Change is the new constant of healthcare!From changing our perspective on how we can prevent, treat and manage health problems, the healthcare sector has gone through a massive evolution. Though, the change was huge in the recent decade owing to the technology advancements and COVID-19 pandemic.Even before the coronavirus outbreak, digital healthcare services were headed towards optimizing the existing old-fashioned healthcare system.
How is Technology Transforming Healthcare?Technology is the major driving force behind the up-rise of the healthcare sector while COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated the previously ongoing revolution. Technology advancements have shaped healthcare in the following ways, including;
1- Treatment AccessOne of the biggest advantages of technology in digital healthcare is improved treatment access. The availability of vast medical treatment options, access to better healthcare facilities and services like e-pharmacies are opening new doors to improved treatment options.
2- Improved Patient CareTechnology advancements have contributed to safe, efficient and improved patient care. Providing access to real-time patient data, robotic surgical treatments, advanced diagnostic options have contributed to reliable and proficient patient care.
3- Electronic Health Records (EHR)The availability of electronic patient's records is replacing the manually maintained paper record. EHR is the game-changer of medical words providing data into a central and digital health system. Moreover, EHR is reducing the mistakes in healthcare diagnosis as well as enabling healthcare providers to make predictive analysis on a patient's health based on their previous record.
4- TelemedicineTelemedicine refers to remote patient care and is one of the most effective outcomes of technology advancements in healthcare. Telemedicine is offering the best patient care in areas where patients don't have access to the best healthcare facilities or have mobility issues. Apart from this, telemedicine is also beneficial due to its cost-effectiveness.All these advancements are making the digital healthcare system a preferred choice over traditional healthcare systems.
Healthcare Startups in South AsiaHealthcare systems have gone through massive extension in recent times due to ongoing technology advancement and the South Asian region is no exception to this. The countries in the South Asian region including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are facing nearly the same challenges in the healthcare sector. Some of the major challenges include poorly developed healthcare infrastructure, unaffordability of medical help, limited access to healthcare services and unavailability of service providers. Amidst these challenges, many health care startups are regionally operating with huge success.CrediHealth is one of the renowned healthcare setups operating in India providing a vast range of health care services.
Healthwire- An Emerging Healthcare EcosystemIn our neighbouring countries, Pakistan is witnessing the boom in the healthcare sector. Among many digital healthcare startups in Pakistan, Healthwire.pk is rapidly growing and one of the top digital healthcare companies in Pakistan. This Pakistan based digital healthcare startup is serving as a one-click solution to all health-related problems despite the underdeveloped healthcare infrastructure and lack of awareness among the masses."Healthwire.pk is aimed to provide a healthcare ecosystem to cater for the changing requirements of patients and service providers. Last year, we managed to create more than 5 million patients records with over 3 million registered patients from all over the country. The startup is offering efficient and reliable healthcare services to cope with the ongoing advancements in the healthcare sector in Pakistan."-Hamza Iqbal- CEO Healthwire.pk
Digital Healthcare EcosystemSince the beginning, health care organizations have been working on an organization-centric module. Whether it was pharmaceutical companies or health care facilities, customer centricity has never been a priority in a health care system.The time is changing now and the possible consumer role in healthcare decisions is changing the landscape of organization-centric healthcare infrastructure. Seeing the not-so-distant future, the healthcare setups are seeing this paradigm shift from organization-centric to patient-centric.This shift is giving rise to a patient-centric digital healthcare ecosystem. A digital healthcare ecosystem takes in all touchpoints of the patient care system including medical, pharmaceutical, and critically important patient's data.
Key aspects of healthcare ecosystemThe digital healthcare ecosystem is covering the following aspects of in healthcare industry;
- A digital healthcare ecosystem is working on creating possibilities in home-based patient recovery, post-treatment care, management of chronic illnesses.
- Moreover, the healthcare ecosystem is contributing to the quality, safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of provided healthcare processes.
- The digital healthcare ecosystem is working on patient's empowerment.
- Further, the economic stability of improved healthcare processes is another major concern of a digital healthcare ecosystem.
Three P's of Digital Healthcare EcosystemsBased upon a patient-centric approach, a healthcare ecosystem is composed of three participants, including
1- ProviderThe first P of the digital healthcare ecosystem involves the medical healthcare service providers including healthcare facilities hospitals, pharmacies and laboratories. These providers are dealing with the increasing demands of healthcare services and face multiple challenges. Some of the common challenges faced by healthcare providers include incomplete patient data, resources limitation and existing healthcare infrastructure.In a digital healthcare ecosystem, the operational burden of healthcare service providers is the major concern that is taking away a large proportion of treatment time. The digital health care system can help to reduce this time by making patient-mediated data available to the providers.
2- PatientsThe second P of the ecosystem is the patient which is the main focus of any digital healthcare ecosystem. Unlike conventional times, patients are keen on managing their health record and want on-demand medical healthcare services. The digital healthcare ecosystem is enabling patients to have better control over their health decisions.The current digital healthcare ecosystem model is based on preventive care rather than a curative model. The digitalization and automation of digital healthcare systems are providing better control over emergency care response as well as limiting patient's dependency on healthcare service providers. Apart from this, predictive analysis is also playing a role in making patients aware of future health problems.
3- PayersPayers make the third P of a healthcare ecosystem and are mainly focused on reducing the cost of healthcare services. With the increase in healthcare cost, the accessibility of healthcare services is automatically compromised. Payers include both health insurance companies as well as the government which can make healthcare affordable by taking advantage of their position in the healthcare ecosystem.
Evolution of Digital Healthcare EcosystemConsidering all three participants of the healthcare ecosystem, the new healthcare ecosystem is increasing the interaction between service providers and consumers. Digital healthcare systems are revolutionizing in the following ways;
- Improved connection between service providers and payers to offer affordable and customizable healthcare solutions.
- The healthcare ecosystem is now focused on providing accurate healthcare services by ensuring real-time data exchange. This data exchange among providers, pharmacies and diagnostic service (core providers in digital healthcare) providers are enabling the efficient and prompt response.
- The healthcare ecosystem is utilizing resources to promote beneficial relationships among system users including, patients, doctors, pharmacies and health care insurers.
Bottom Line!The healthcare sector is going through a fast-paced revolution owing to recent technological advancements and a shift from an organization-centric to a patient-centric approach. The healthcare ecosystem is the future of digital healthcare aiming to provide consumer-oriented healthcare services.