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Healthcare Insight

The pace of technology-led change is unlikely to slow down anytime soon. Technology will continue to be a key driver in the healthcare transformation and will inspire new business models that will change the way employees’ communicate with patients and deliver services in the future.

A study called Humans and Machines, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Ricoh shows that 92.5% of healthcare executives said they have become more reliant on technology during the last 3 years.

Challenges

Challenges remain in integrating technology to improve patient care, service and administration. Healthcare, biotech and pharmaceutical executives said their top two when dealing with technology are:

1. It is evolving more quickly than the internal processes that support it
2. Systems are not connected to each other in the business

But technology-led changes are unlikely to mean that robots and computers will replace the human elements of patient care in the future, with respondents saying human intuition is most needed when diagnosing patients (36%) and developing new treatments or medicines (32%).

In contrast, technology can enhance core healthcare processes. Just 8% think human imagination or intuition is needed for the management of patient records.

Benefits

  • The majority of healthcare executives (70 per cent) agree technology has made their employees more creative in terms of developing new healthcare services, medicines and products.
  • By integrating information management systems in a hospital, medical staff can access patient records more easily, get instant access to test results, and send prescriptions directly to pharmacists, making healthcare delivery faster and more efficient.

Future

  • Innovative processes will ensure critical information is captured, integrated within the organisation, and can be easily accessed 24 hours a day.
  • Automated processes will support the standardisation of documentation, enhance information sharing, reduce administration costs and improve patient confidentiality.

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