COVID-19’s largest impact was probably felt in the healthcare industry. Whether it was the hospitals, clinics, or care facilities, the influx of enhanced safety guidelines and rising infection rates caused a strain not just on the care providers but their infrastructure as well. With the pandemic becoming endemic, the healthcare situation has not improved with the Straits Times reporting in an article on Feb 22 that “Flu season, colleagues quitting, more people getting infected by the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and insufficient rest – all these have put healthcare workers under strain”.
This highlights the importance for the healthcare sector to seriously look into ways to accelerate digitalisation and look towards automation and process improvements to ease the strain on their workforce. According to Gartner, Sixty-three percent of healthcare providers have faced severe disruptions due to reasons including internal organizational changes, cost pressure, regulation and compliance, funding or shifting consumer demands. In short, only fit organisations will thrive as the demands on healthcare increase.
As organisations look into becoming “fit”, it is inevitable to start considering the implementation and adoption of virtual care solutions such as telehealth and remote patient monitoring. Digitising data and assets to use big data to form trend analysis and predict potential spikes in health issues within the community may also become critical to pre-empt future pandemics. However, all these require strong network infrastructure support not only in the deployment and connectivity requirements for such solutions but also to ensure high standards of cyber security, especially for sensitive patient information.
What to expect as a provider of healthcare today
Healthcare faces an unprecedented challenge of increasing demand since 2020. Many countries, including Singapore, are putting plans in place to transform healthcare using technology. Below is a summary of some of the key trends that healthcare providers should take note of in 2022 and beyond, alongside a look at new and existing technologies that can help reduce risk, provide better experiences, and boost efficiency to improve the way we approach caregiving.
Tech Trends that are shaping the future of healthcare
Redefined care delivery
Centralised digital centres to enable decision making, continuous clinical monitoring and targeted treatments
Digital patient experience
Digital and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for on-demand interaction to improve patient experience.
Robotic process automation (RPA) and AI e.g. in the identification of diseases or in staff scheduling, can allow caregivers to spend more time providing care and less time documenting it.
Digital supply chains, automation, robotics, and next-generation interoperability to reduce paperwork
Healing and well-being designs
Emphasis on the importance of the hospital environment in healing
Three Key Focus Areas for Technology
Three Key Focus Areas for Technology
Enabling Healthcare of the future with technology? Easy.
With more solutions going digital, it is important that the underlying network is both agile and flexible to support increased digital functions and unpredictable network traffic spikes. For example in the case of a surge in requests via telehealth channels. Infrastructure supported by software defined networking can enable on demand solutions for bandwidth and cyber security to allow for real-time responses to fluctuating demand.
With more patient data being collected, organisations will need a comprehensive cybersecurity solution to protect their healthcare network and patient information against cyber-attacks. Instead of managing such solutions in house, healthcare providers can consider outsourcing to a Managed Services provider to help mitigate their risk.
Individual branch management becomes more complex with the growing number of digital functions required for each outlet. With a Managed SDWAN solution, IT managers can add a new branch connection securely to the corporate network in minutes instead of days.
Unified corporate policy changes can also be implemented from a central control across all branches in a few clicks to ensure up to date network and security protocols.
IoT and Edge Cloud are closely linked with enhancing care delivery, whether it’s wearable technology, health alert devices or in applications such as assistive technology and robotics.
Organisations will find an increasing number of sensors being required to monitor patient health, hygiene, and other environmental factors that impact patient care. The challenge will be in managing and maintaining all the sensors on a common platform for ease of deployment.
There will also be a growing need for an analytics solution that can provide real-time responsiveness without the organization needing to maintain an on-premise server solution to handle the influx of data analytics required to power real-time decision making.
SPTel’s IoT-a-a-S solution is well poised to help address these concerns. This end-to-end solution comes with the IoT gateway, device management platform, backhaul and edge cloud resource to aid in computing.
The SPTel Professional Services team is also available to help you in your LoRaWAN deployment to support sensor connectivity.
To view our full suite of IoT solutions as well as case studies, request for our IoT playbook.
High speed and reliable Internet will be critical for supporting smart e-appointment scheduling to achieve the most efficient planning of patient visits. Reducing wait times and congestion within care facilities.
To keep patients and visitors happy during their time in the care facility, organisations can provide them with the best in entertainment via WiFi in patient rooms and common areas such as waiting rooms and cafeterias.
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Digital transformation and Leveraging IoT for Smart Healthcare
Healthway Medical Group
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