Stuck between a rock and a hard place, over the last several months, healthcare organizations have made investments in cutting edge tech despite the job COVID was doing on their finances. Fortunately, these investments may have set the stage for future growth as well, according to a new research study.
Research firm Frost & Sullivan recently conducted a study of digital hospitals, which it describes as facilities addressing limitations of traditional delivery models using emerging advanced technologies.
The researchers found that digital hospitals are using a wide range of tools, including hospital navigation, intelligent imaging platforms, medical robots and remote patient monitoring to improve upon these models. Among the biggest areas of demand for digital hospitals are, not surprisingly, those which make the hospitals more flexible and data-driven.
For example, Frost & Sullivan expects to see hospitals invest more heavily in smart patient tracking systems to manage patient flow, treatment progress, and discharge. Not only do these technologies streamline hospital operations, they have the potential to improve patients’ satisfaction.
Another technology researchers expect to see hospitals adopt is AI-driven supply chain management tools, which can help determine the best transportation methods, frequency and routes to move both products and caregivers to the rapidly expanding number of locations where they will be needed.
The research firm also expects to see digital hospitals do a better job of smashing departmental silos and making data available to the right local healthcare team at the right moment.
Frost & Sullivan’s announcement is far from the only one noting that some of the stuff hospitals are using to survive COVID may also play a big part in their future.
For example, a study completed by HIT vendor Olive notes that robotic process automation is making some noise in hospital transformation circles. (They do themselves make RPA tools but they’re not wrong about this.)
More broadly speaking, digital hospital transformation efforts seem to be on track or even speeding up as providers integrate what they’ve learned during the recent COVID surge.
In fact, according to the Dell Technologies 2020 Digital Transformation Index, 43% of healthcare respondents said that they’d successfully accelerated their transformation strategies for remote patient care and diagnosis. Meanwhile, 55% said that they had successfully implemented or were in the process of implementing emerging technologies like robotics or VR to offer safe remote care options.
The bottom line here appears to be that despite having to make some big decisions under fire, at least some hospitals may have been successful at both treating COVID and creating an infrastructure that will help foster their growth.