Date: 13-Jan-2021
Views: 1176

The Covid Handshake Between HealthCare & Digital: How Lasting Is the Impact?

Before 2020, we were sure Digital can revolutionize Healthcare. (and other industries, indeed.)

During 2020, we nailed it.

What happens after 2020 - Now?

The Covid pandemic kicked us out of our comfort zones - quite overnight.

Amid the several changes that happened around us across businesses, households, workplaces, the environment, etc, we also witnessed a huge change in the way we’re consuming healthcare.

Nearly every industry had a handshake with Digital though, Healthcare went on to marry it. And, so, in just one year-we saw the leap of Healthcare to become Healthcare IT.

Were we ever so comfortable with online consultations with doctors? Had we imagined ourselves opting for online diagnostic tests until 2019 (some 450 days ago)? So, we were awed by the shift in healthcare technologies and accessibility, and also, the heroism of the frontline health workers in fighting the disease.

The amalgamation of Healthcare and IT happened in a reverse manner too, isn't it?

The tech professionals presented an extra-ordinary interest in joining HealthCare IT. A Novartis survey revealed that 72% of tech professionals felt that healthcare fared well during the pandemic, and turned out more resilient and stable as an employer industry.

We wouldn't have discussed the success of Healthcare and Digital as profoundly in our family gatherings, chit chats, or even official meetings - just as we did throughout 2020. In fact Covid-19 accelerated the effort in adoption of digitalisation with in Physicians.

Now that 2020 is gone, and we’re transitioning into the Post-Covid markets, my question to everyone is -- how long will this association between Healthcare and IT last?

If we believe it is a hard truth that two will make a grand success, are we doing enough to make it a reality?

1. We’ve finally reached that stage where Healthcare and Technology together transform lives - patients and professionals

2. This industry is resilient enough to withstand the next pandemic. So, it inspires.

Healthcare IT - Where we Are Now?

During Covid, Healthcare turned out a priority for common people.

Mired by the cost of services - as realized during Covid treatment, and increased awareness on the importance of healthcare, people have started turning towards insurances, health plans, and hence, the medical billing scope has shot up.

The industry is struggling to cope with the increased workload, while the healthcare workers are also busy onboarding and getting one with the new tools and automated systems.

The transition looks exciting, but it also entails several such underlying challenges.

The onboarding of the existing or seasoned healthcare workers in the digital framework isn't just about their training and learning around the handling of the tool. It has to do with their mindsets and resistance to change.

The digital transformation officers have a lot to brave and drive before the actual transformation begins.

Healthcare IT - Where Are we Heading?

The rise of revolutionary technologies such as AI / ML / Data Science was always on the cards. However, Covid and the need for social distancing or advanced remote diagnostics accelerated the adoption.

We aren’t then surprised to see the rising popularity of portals and apps that connect doctors and patients in a remote framework or virtual care that connects frontline medics with the consultants in a better way.

We aren’t then surprised to see the rising popularity of portals and apps that connect doctors and patients in a remote framework or virtual care that connects frontline medics with the consultants in a better way.

However, technology is yet to promise a way to cope with rigid mindsets and resistance to change. While Covid accelerated the adoption to digital, humans are hardwired to still look for convenient ways - which could be manual.

Yet, there is a lot that other industries need to learn from Healthcare in terms of adapting to changes, showing resilience, thriving in the face of uncertainty, and creating work opportunities for many.

Are we prepared to stand against another pandemic in that sense?

Healthcare IT - Where Lays the Future?

The first step towards ensuring a lasting impact of Healthcare and IT handshake is to look at the pandemic in a reverse or and reimagine it.

In doing that, we need to retrospect and try to fit Information Technology’s role and contribution.This practice will help us identify we could have responded to the pandemic in a better way, and how IT could have helped improve the situation - across all sides of the prism.

A true adoption and leverage of technology will become possible only when mindsets and approaches change. Our flexibility to adapt to change, try new ways of doing the same thing, and trusting the unseen is the only way we thrive in adversities.

Let us not wait for destiny to decide whether we emerge successful in the face of uncertainty or not.