How to navigate the challenges of implementing innovative tech in healthcare

By Taras Kravets

Healthcare innovation is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, according to the latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

We’re now seeing healthcare companies produce functional human organs using 3D printers as well as seeing them offer AI systems that analyze electronic health records to improve the process of making medical decisions.

According to a new survey from healthcare SaaS company HealthEdge, a software provider for payers, 62% of health plan leaders in the U.S. are investing in technology for digital transformation as the number-one way to achieve organizational goals in 2024, such as using technology to get rid of repetitive tasks and staff burnout.

However, experts say healthcare companies face challenges when implementing new technologies with the big two being the increasing costs of healthcare and medical professionals not having the time and space to learn new technologies and stay updated with advances in medical science.

So, how can healthcare companies tackle these issues?

Increasing costs of healthcare

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation states that the “the United States has one of the highest costs of healthcare in the world.”

In 2022, U.S. healthcare spending “reached $4.5 trillion, which averages to $13,493 per person. By comparison, the average cost of healthcare per person in other wealthy countries is less than half as much,” the foundation adds.

One of the reasons why it continues to increase, the foundation points out, is because of innovative healthcare technology that gets introduced, leading to more expensive procedures and products.

However, Huda Idrees, founder and CEO of Dot Health, a personal data health platform based in Canada, says the goal of innovative healthcare technologies should be about reducing costs and helping healthcare professionals become more efficient and patient-focused.

“When you look at the United States, there’s a very clear incentive to implement technology to save money,” said Idrees.

For example, governments like the United States adopted policies to promote the growth of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was partially driven by financial incentives.

Telemedicine’s expansion, spearheaded by companies like Doctors on Demand and HealthJoy, has bypassed barriers like appointments and insurance, according to a blog post by Toptal on healthcare innovation.

With virtual consultations costing as low as $45 for non-emergencies, the convenience and affordability of these platforms are driving their popularity, and as a result creating more time and space in hospitals and clinics for healthcare providers to tackle emergencies.

Employer health plans are also increasingly incorporating telemedicine, with 90% of large US employers now offering this service, up from just 7% five years ago

Ongoing education is key for medical professionals

Medical professionals often find themselves overwhelmed with their schedules and may not have the time to learn the latest technology.

However, in order to provide the best possible care to patients it’s important for healthcare professionals to stay informed about new treatments, technologies and procedures that can save lives.

“Failure to do so can lead to suboptimal care, missed opportunities for early intervention, and delayed diagnosis,” says Global Lancers, a digital transformation agency.

This is why the agency recommends that training programs must be put in place in hospitals and clinics to educate staff and patients on the use of new software or devices while giving them the proper time and space to learn.

For instance, Idrees says her company’s software can help reduce the number of tests that a patient has to do because it allows healthcare providers to look at their entire health history more accurately.

“I see that a lot can be done in the healthcare data management side,” said Idrees, which can save patients and doctors more time and money.

It would also give more doctors the time to stay informed about the latest technological advancement.

Final thoughts

The healthcare industry is experiencing an unprecedented surge in innovation, marked by advancements such as 3D-printed human organs and AI-driven clinical decision support systems.

However, as healthcare companies are trying to use and offer these technologies to enhance efficiency, they’re facing some challenges like rising healthcare costs, which is something that needs to be top of mind as they come up with new technologies.

Taras Kravets

Taras Kravets is a Senior VP at Customertimes. With a strong presence in the CRM industry, he is associated with valuable insights, including the underutilization of paid CRM features. He has a passion for enhancing customer experiences, spearheading initiatives that drive business growth.

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