1. / Digital shift in the medical space

Digital shift in the medical space

December 7, 2021

 

Sean Narayanan, CEO, Apexon in an interaction with Express Healthcare talks about a shift in healthcare industry from traditional processes to digital solutions

How have hospitals, emergency medical services firms etc. shifted their focus from traditional or manual processes to digital solutions?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an increase in the adoption of digital solutions in the healthcare sector and these changes are here to stay in the post-pandemic world. Providers and hospitals are embracing new technologies like AI, ML and Robotic Automation.

Some of the solutions using these technologies include automation in physician credential validation, authorisation (with insurance companies), eligibility validation, and actionable intelligence solutions to improve physician productivity.
Apexon has implemented over 100 bots for automation and has invested in Blockchain solutions in healthcare processes.

What are the benefits the healthcare sector has been seeing with the adoption of digital solutions?
With the ease of retrieving patient data, digital technology has helped maintain a single repository of a patient’s medical history that can be accessed and reviewed for better and quicker care. It has made healthcare an improved and efficient experience for patients.

Patients, physicians, and payers are adopting patient engagement platforms as a core element in managing and optimizing patient experience. These platforms with chat solutions provide access to appointments, medical records, case management, accessibility to insurance cards, virtual doctor appointments, 24/7 nurse support lines and claims and payment support. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of these digital solutions.

With the help of Apexon’s digital solution for clinical trials, we are helping pharmaceutical companies speed up processes to bring drugs to the approval stage. COVID-19 vaccine development and approval was the fastest in history, with digital transformation technology being a key enabler in accelerating that timeline.

In today’s scenario, has the patient experience improved with technology?
Virtual doctor visits have become prevalent, thereby cutting down time and making access to healthcare easier. Digital patient engagement platforms have improved healthcare distribution and access, as well as communication and collaboration between patients and providers.

These platforms provide the consistency and reliability that manual processes cannot match. Solutions like app-based scheduling have significantly reduced or even eliminated long patient wait times, improving the quality of experience. Health exchange APIs are making data exchange more efficient, leading to better care coordination among providers, and enabling easier access to patient health records.

What are the challenges faced with digital transformation in healthcare? Especially with cyber-attacks on patient data being the biggest threat.
Data management and cybersecurity have always been a challenge across all industries. Healthcare providers have systems that manage enormous amounts of sensitive electronic medical records, combined with practice management and financial systems that add to its complexity.

There is rightly an increased focus on security, and we feel that patient data today is still more secure than it used to be. Healthcare organizations are making significant investments in protecting their digital assets, including patient records.

What is the role of digital solutions in sustainable healthcare practices?
Digital transformation through telehealth reduces costs and saves communities from avoidable pollution with virtual consultations and by reducing travel. Electronic Health Records have reduced paper dependency to a large extent. Digital solutions have led to institutions achieving efficiencies in their supply chain, safe management of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and minimization of waste.

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