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Digitally Transforming Healthcare – One Business at a Time

GaryThome

 

healthcaredigital-100741567-large.jpgDigital transformation in the healthcare industry is having a tremendous impact on patient care. Patients can now access their medical records or see test results anytime, day or night. Telemedicine is giving consumers more flexibility to consult a variety of doctors, while saving time and money. Wearables are letting people monitor a slew of medical information, such as heartbeat, weight, calories burned, active minutes—even sun exposure. And the internet of medical things (IoMT) can take that data and transmit it to a medical professional in real time, improving patient care.

Digitally transform – while keeping everything running

Yet with all these new and exciting technologies, some experts believe that the healthcare industry is still lagging other industries in terms of digital transformation. Healthcare companies face many of the same issues that others face – limited resources and legacy IT. Add to that privacy concerns, data sovereignty, and government regulations, and you probably could make a reasonable case for why the healthcare industry has struggled.

EMIS Health, UK’s leading software and service provider, is bucking this trend and moving steadily toward a successful digital transformation. Founded almost 30 years ago, the company’s data centers store 40 million patient records that can be securely accessed by 60,000 doctors at any one time. With 10,000 organizations using their healthcare software, they are also the only service provider that works in all major healthcare sectors.

EMIS Health’s digital transformation goal is to continually improve efficiency, service, and patient care. To achieve that goal, they need to deliver new services and functionality as quickly and efficiently as possible. They also needed more flexibility, automation, and a way to optimize their use of DevOps to innovate faster than their competitors. For example, developing an application that allows patients to easily view test results or check to ensure their child’s immunizations are up to date.

Build a better foundation by modernizing infrastructure

Modern infrastructure is important for EMIS Health to achieve this goal. When EMIS Health heard about composable infrastructure, they believed it could serve as an ideal platform to meet their on-premises private cloud needs. Composable infrastructure incorporates compute, storage, and network fabric together as a single pool of resources that can be instantly configured according to specific needs of each application. Everything is defined in software and controlled programmatically through a unified API, which allows a single line of code to optimize the needs of each application.

EMIS Health is currently testing composable infrastructure to provide the flexibility they need to easily and quickly rebuild infrastructure when they need it. They are expecting that composable infrastructure will give their DevOps teams the agility to rapidly scale out infrastructure and deploy new services.

Automated processes will also free up IT staff to improve services, as they will no longer have to spend time dealing with incidents and infrastructure issues. Improved efficiency will mean that EMIS Health can save money and offer even better service to customers.

The best of both worlds with hybrid IT

As part of their digital transformation strategy, EMIS Health is also looking into the possibility of using public cloud for certain research and analysis projects. One example is a proposed healthcare data analytics application, which would aggregate data from multiple systems hosted by different organizations. This type of research could help all healthcare organizations analyze and report data that may play a vital role in improving public health.

By combining on-premise, private cloud with public cloud, many companies are finding that they can run their business more efficiently. Using hybrid IT, businesses are also delivering a new variety of services to their customers and expanding their capabilities to provide better services though analytics.

Needed: Better hybrid IT management

So what’s next for EMIS Health on their digital transformation journey? In this era of more and more hybrid IT deployments, customers are looking for a better way to manage their resources. Using public cloud, private cloud, and on-premises IT, silos of information are created, making it difficult to share information and move applications from one IT model to another.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) is one company that is looking at this challenge,  recently announcing HPE OneSphere, the industry’s first multi-cloud management solution. Through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) portal, HPE OneSphere gives customers access to a pool of IT resources that spans the public cloud services they subscribe to, as well as their on-premises environments. Using this new tool, organizations are able to seamlessly compose, operate, and optimize all workloads across on-premises, private, hosted, and public clouds. HPE OneSphere also provides dashboards based on different user roles that offer business analytics. HPE OneSphere is designed for IT operations, developers, and business executives seeking to build clouds, deploy applications, and gain insights faster.

Don’t let infrastructure hold you back

The healthcare industry is in a tremendous state of flux due to changes in technology, regulations, and scientific discoveries. Additionally, customers want more information and convenience in order to have better control of their healthcare. Businesses that can adapt to these changes quickly while delivering more to their customers will thrive in this new and rapidly changing world. Businesses that can’t adapt won’t survive.

 EMIS.jpg

Using EMIS Health’s Patient Access, a physician and patient access online test results. This new service saves time and improves patient self-care. 

 Gary

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About the Author

GaryThome

Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, passionate on all things technology, operating in the data center either physically or virtually.

Comments
IhorShumakov

Gary, I am really delighted with your article! This topic is very interesting for me, and I also write articles about the influence of up-to-date technologies on the healthcare industry. Your information is very infusive for me, and I would like to share some pieces of my knowledge regarding healthcare digitalisation.

The strongest motivator for modern people to change their health behaviour is their smartphones. The digitalisation of the whole healthcare sector fostered the mHealth app development industry growth. Due to the widespread integration of mobile devices into patients’ lives, 500 million people across the globe are already using at least one health app. As of this year, 67% of people worldwide are unique mobile users. They have spent £78 billion on mobile apps, and “Health & Fitness” has been one of the top 10 most in-demand categories.

The mHealth market was valued at approximately £1.9 billion in 2017, and this number is predicted to exceed £8.5 billion by the year 2025. In general, the role of mobile health solutions in people’s lives is growing, as patients are offered closer communication with physicians and a facilitated method to monitor their health status. The market is booming and attracting more and more participants each year.

What are the reasons for the increasing usage of mobile apps in health care?

Personalisation

The mHealth approach is focused on a person’s willingness. It is meant to encourage patients to achieve better outcomes and provide real-time communication with an attending doctor. User’s health status data, shared through the app, allows a physician to explore each case more deeply and provide better treatment. 

Complex Integration 

Mobile applications facilitate the recording, storage and processing of patients’ health indicators, as well as provide advanced analytical tools while reducing paperwork by up to 60%. Users can record necessary health measurements by exporting some indicators from wearable devices and keying them into the app. Then, doctors receive this information in comprehensive statistical and analytical reports. As a result, treatment has a predictive and preventive character, contributing to informed decision making.

Patient Independence 

Most people want to reduce hospital stays because of the accompanying mental discomfort and stress. Patients can reduce the time spent in a hospital by up to 59%, as mobile applications make it possible for doctors to monitor patients’ health status remotely. Users can track some health indicators and pass this data to their doctor.

There are 58000 mHealth app publishers globally, offering over 318000 health apps, so that the global mHealth market is segmented into six categories, based on the services provided:

Wellness Service Market. Apps in this category enhance awareness of the patient's current state of health, including Diet and Nutrition, Lifestyle and Stress and Exercise and Fitness solutions. Demand is mainly concentrated within the USA and Europe, as their population is more concerned with health and self-wellness.

Prevention Services Market. These apps are designed to prescribe preventive measures for various kinds of diseases and are used by doctors. Examples include Patient Management and Monitoring Systems, Electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS) and medical calculators.

Treatment Services Market. These solutions are also intended for doctors to control a patient’s treatment process, e.g. Evidence-based Software Apps, Care Coordination Apps.

Diagnosis Service Market. Apps created to draw associations between symptoms and disease using AI-powered algorithms (Medical Diagnosis Apps).

Monitoring Services Market. Apps to track health conditions at all treatment stages, such as Patient Monitoring and Chronic Disease Management Solutions, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). 

Healthcare Systems Strengthening Solutions Market. This type of solution connects healthcare facilities in matters of managing patient’s data, e.g. electronic medical record (EMR) Systems (OpenMRS). 

Some of the biggest players in the mHealth arena are Medtronic, Inc. (U.S.), Apple, Inc. (U.S.)., Sanofi (France), Cisco, Inc. (U.S.), but there are many others. In addition, the industry is replete with start-ups that are constantly growing in number. To gain a competitive edge, industry leaders embark on a mergers and acquisitions course to expand their market share or acquire important technologies. For example, Apple teamed up with Aetna mHealth app development company to launch the Attain app that tracks user behaviour.

In conclusion, numerous pieces of research and medical reports have confirmed that people are ready to modify their habits with the help of mobile apps. The mHealth market is growing year by year, and people are becoming more engaged in leading a healthy lifestyle thanks to tech solutions. This fact opens up great potential for the healthcare industry to enhance people’s quality of life.

 

And again, thank you for this informative and useful article! I was so inspired while reading it, and this information is beneficial for my further researches in the healthcare digitalisation field. Hope to see more your valuable thoughts about the healthcare future.