Automation has transformed nearly every industry from finance to transportation making manufacturing easier, delivery efficient, documentation and calculations simpler and allowing more people to live a good life. More choices and low costs are the hallmarks of all the benefits that have come about from automation. Healthcare, however, has followed the course slowly and perhaps, most differently.
The U.S has one of the most expensive health care systems in the world, and it has led people to assume that it must be perfect as well. Simply put, people believe that more expensive healthcare would lead to better health or life expectancy. Which is not really the case. On the contrary, the healthcare industry until now did not incorporate process integration automation the way automobile and computer production did. The most that happened in health care until now was physicians embracing new diagnostic or treatment technologies. Currently, however, the scene in the health industry is changing. New innovations and the consumer’s demand for a more engaging and connected experience are pushing the industry to implement accelerated changes. According to Economist’s article, digital technologies are the ‘new wonder drug’ in health care. These techniques include mobile apps, wearable sensors, predictive diagnostics and Telemedicine amongst others. It’s due to automation that these innovative, accessible, efficient and cheaper forms of health care have come into being. Traditional innovators of health care like hospitals, pharmaceutical firms, and medical technology companies are now realizing the benefits of automation and investing in it fast. Some of these benefits are cost related such as labor savings while others include improved service quality and consistency, reduced waste, increased outcome predictability and better data-driven insights. Higher accessibility and increased patient capacity are also major plus points. Majority of CEOs in health industry mention cost reduction and efficiency as their top two financial priorities, and with the industry always on the lookout to cut costs and reduce waste, automation presents itself as an essential strategy to improve performance.
This is why telemedicine is taking strong roots as an alternative to drudged hospitalization processes and developing quality telehealth apps. Telemedicine is about providing healthcare to patients especially but not only in remote places through electronic means. While the concept has been around for the last fifty years on a small scale, it’s just in the last few years that it has gained fast momentum. Today, thanks to advanced gadgets, high-speed internet, and precision tools, telemedicine has become an integrated service which is used in hospitals, homes, private clinics, and other healthcare centers. While early telemedicine used telegraphs, radio, and telephone, video calling, voice messaging and live chats have taken over today. Relief and support are provided to patients almost instantaneously through these means, and their efficiency means that many lives lost to time delays can now be saved. Automation has not just transformed Telemedicine, but it has actually made it much more affordable and mainstream.
With advancement in technology, tech-enabled procedures are also becoming cheaper. Like for instance, it was almost impossible to gather large amounts of data for predictive diagnosis due to time consumption, effort, and accessibility but it is possible today due to data being digitized and algorithms that can make sense of it all. Automation is what makes advanced telemedicine possible today. Secondly, people too have begun to finally open up and place their trust in the concept of Telemedicine on a large because they already tried several automated services like banking, shopping, investing, note keeping and budgeting. Video chats, payments gateways, and mobile access is highly popular now because of its efficiency and security. People learn languages, take exams and get degrees over the internet and through popular video chat apps like Skype, so it makes sense that they also see their doctor through it now. Lastly, the ‘burden’ on the healthcare industry itself is quite visible – it’s not surprising to find overbooked medical professionals and full occupancy of hospital beds. The modern ‘patient’s’ need for more convenience in their daily life has driven them to utilize automation in healthcare with open arms. The 24/7 access to medical staff over the press of the button means that longer does a family have to drive their 3-year-old child or a senior to the ER in the middle of the night for a minor concern. The connected patient of today despises the fact that he should waste time in the waiting to get their vitals checked or follow-up with their physician.
This high demand for prompt ‘care’ was the final thrust that made telemedicine important enough for companies to consider investing in. And they have been doing it very successfully for the last few years. Telemedicine is giving firms, hospitals and private medical professional a much-needed edge in the highly competitive field where staying independent and profitable have always been a struggle.
About the author:
Rachael Everly loves to write on the topics related to business leadership, finance, technology and education. Her passion and flare for writing got her to write for topics that interest her such as recent technological trends and how they shape the business world. Her thought-provoking writing style has made her work to be recognized on well-known websites. She has been featured on some of the top blogs such as Inman, Forbes, Escape Artist and many others currently associated with Equip Sells It, a heavy machinery and equipment dealer in Sanford, Florida for their blogging operations. Follow her on Twitter @RachaelEverly, become friends on Facebook and connect with her on Linkedin for further updates.