You need a clear understanding of how to leverage new healthcare technology before adopting it in your practice. A MedTech device may have cutting-edge features that fits your patients’ needs, but you will struggle to reap the benefits if the end-to-end technology solution is a poor fit for your business.
Below are five questions I recommend you ask before investing in a particular piece of healthcare technology:
How will this healthcare technology solution contribute to your company?
When applied to achieve organisational goals, digital healthcare technology has several potential uses. For example, artificial intelligence can help locate treatment patterns by using a combination of machine learning and NLP (Natural Language Programming) capabilities. Several health delivery networks have successfully used prediction models for high-risk conditions such as sepsis and heart failure. Due to the nature of machine learning, these technologies should quickly spread beyond their initial applications and into novel care improvements.
Combining artificial intelligence with health records data makes it possible to identify differences in specific treatments’ effectiveness and improve outcomes. Not only that, but the system can tailor care preferences to a patient’s condition, cultural expressions, and language skills. When used in combination with call-centres, AI bots should be able to recognise emotions and provide a better experience for patients asking questions about their health or their bills.
However, it’s essential also to consider the limitations of investing in healthcare technology. Artificial intelligence can suffer from bias – minor anomalies in machine learning or erroneous assumptions introduced early in the development. To avoid this problem, it’s vital to deploy solutions that are evaluated and planned on a per-case basis. This will result in an adequately deployed system that can transform care for the better.
Does this healthcare technology align with your organisational goals?
Investing in digital healthcare technology can help deliver better care at a lower cost. To do so effectively, healthcare services providers need to have organisational goals that correctly sustain transformative technology.
The first main objectives of any such organisation should be to provide efficient, quality care. The second, to give patients the best possible care experience.
An essential part of the digital technology transformation is the ability to include personalisation so each patient receives care tailored to their needs and preferences. For example, healthcare providers can use AI to analyse EHR and insurance claims data and plan treatments that improve outcomes while lowering costs. AI has also been proven successful in analysing radiology images, tracking the side effects of medications, and flagging disease outbreaks by identifying purchasing patterns.
The digital transformation of healthcare providers doesn’t always require the latest technology. A properly developed and mature system can already transform care by using early iterations of AI to generate suggestions, reminders, and relevant recent research. Embracing a realistic vision of the services an organisation can provide will help determine the best healthcare technology needed and prioritise the required actions to develop it.
Have you chosen the right healthcare technology supplier for your business?
Once a healthcare services organisation has decided to engage in a digital transformation, it’s time to choose the correct provider to carry out the required changes.
No solution will apply equally to every care provider. It’s essential to focus on what makes a particular offer ideal for a specific set of challenges. A common requirement before making a choice is to try a demonstration of the product to be acquired. With a demo, the staff will have the chance to test the product and see how robust it is when used in day-to-day situations. This step can also help the organisation establish quality standards and plan any future administrative and operational costs. Such a product should ideally be tested by a multidisciplinary team with representatives from all involved areas.
Another recommendation is to check for references from other customers that have successfully implemented the solutions. One way to do this is to read case studies covering the digital transformations of particular organisations. Finally, it’s also necessary to assess if the technology is or will be subject to regulatory requirements and make sure the vendor will provide support for the entire duration of a contract.
Can you sustain digital transformation to accommodate the healthcare technology solution?
To ensure that the new technologies are going to be used effectively and safely throughout their life, the healthcare provider should plan and allocate an adequate budget. This budget should cover the capital investment and replacement of equipment and training and recurrent costs for consumables and administration. An organisation will generally also require a person, unit, or department capable of continuously reviewing the digital transformation. This presence will create an environment that is friendly to new technologies and can evaluate their impact continually.
For larger institutions, it can be beneficial to have more than one team focused on different key aspects of AI. For example, a group of people can centre on electronic healthcare records to determine the effectiveness of treatments and carry out clinical research. At the same time, another can create a technology infrastructure that will allow the organisation to evaluate the changes’ impact and make complex clinical decisions. These teams’ creation would allow for the digital transformation to sustain a multi-year focus, implementing the most critical technologies for a particular healthcare strategy.
Do you have a strategy for training staff on healthcare technology?
An essential part of adopting any transformative technology is to use small iterative steps. It’s not uncommon for a newly acquired AI system to deal with health records data that is actually of uneven or poor quality. Physicians might have been, for example, using incorrect fields or not documenting certain pieces of crucial data. Any healthcare provider will have to address these issues before they can fully implement an AI system.
When organisations roll out technology changes, it’s common to expect a period where their value needs to be demonstrated. It usually falls in the hands of management to take specific steps to actively develop the new technologies, for example, by providing reassurance and encouragement to staff when incorporating a remote patient monitoring system.
The rollout of these technologies will most likely also happen alongside changes in training and possibly new job descriptions. These might include equipment users, engineers, and support staff. Finally, it will also be beneficial to have a suitable reporting structure to monitor the organisational goals’ performance and progress.
Fluffy Spider can help you implement a healthcare technology solution
Fluffy Spider Technologies is at the forefront of the digitisation of health. We create commercially viable software solutions to integrate conversational AI with healthcare systems.
We can guide you on choosing the right healthcare technology for your business; our team of passionate experts would be more than happy to talk to you.