Who remembers the classic gumball machines?
You inserted a quarter, and a random colored ball of delight dropped down.
Uncertainty was accepted then, but not in the case of diagnosis deducing artificial intelligence.
Sorry that was a mouthful (no pun intended), but their complexities necessitate special language.
The medical field is known for its slow adoption of emerging technologies. Why?
I’ll seek to answer that question and offer solutions in the following sections.
What Is Healthcare Technology?
Just what is “healthtech” as it’s commonly referred to?
Builtin.com defines healthcare technology as, “the use of technologies developed for the purpose of improving any and all aspects of the healthcare system.”
Some AI-based examples:
- App-based treatments
- Chatbot diagnoses
- Wearable device feedback
- Robotic-assisted surgery
- Predictive modeling from algorithms
Focusing on quality and efficiency, these IT tools and software are designed for three main purposes.
- Enhance overall quality of care
- Provide new insights to physicians
- Promote productivity in organizations
Somewhere along the line, this well intended approach has hit a snag. What initially looked like widespread acceptance has morphed into resistance from the industry.
And the people behind this push are the primary decision makers, doctors.
Before building that out more, let’s study the perspective of the patients themselves.
The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) found that patients exhibit more eagerness towards technology-based healthcare options than medical professionals. They did so because of an improved sense of autonomy in choosing where and how to receive care.
Viewing this with an eye on solutions, it’s recommended that all parties be involved in rolling out new software or tools.
Relay to your patients the benefits created from an improved workflow or precision diagnosing. Also get feedback from front line staff on glitches or questions surrounding the new tools.
Performing these two acts will increase the likelihood of success and return on your financial investment.
Now that I’ve defined what it is, I’ll reveal the root causes of disconnection.
Physician Resistance to Healthcare Technology
Ambitious healthcare technology companies create high-quality products, but have sometimes neglected to really study their customers…physicians.
Electronic health records (EHR) are a prime example. Put forth as “time-saving” and “user friendly,” they potentially can create a large data entry burden.
I’m not saying data analytics shouldn’t be utilized in the medical world. My wife works in hospital leadership, and her department of Quality and Safety revolves around insights gleaned from data.
But doctors are experiencing workflow disruption, as these tools don’t always fit existing decision making frameworks.
- Physician burnout
- Publicized mistakes
- Overall frustration
Even beyond disruption to workflow, there’s a more important reason for hesitation.
When life or death decisions present themselves, timely information and action is needed.
- Ongoing monitoring
- Ample staffing
- Support collecting and analyzing data
But business minded board members may want results right away, regardless of buy-in from those that use the tech. And when tools with long, complicated on-boarding are implemented across an organization, things can get missed.
And for the patients affected by this process gap, a “sorry, our mistake” just won’t cut it.
Despite this friction, healthcare technology trends continue an upward trajectory. Huh?
Allow me to explain.
How Technology Will Change the Future of Healthcare
Certain sectors have found tremendous benefits from emerging technology in healthcare.
- Mental health
Patient portals facilitate more timely patient communication, and free up phone lines for prospective patients.
Virtual reality and robots have fueled efficiency in the operating room. Extra hands, even metal ones, come in handy for long and exhausting procedures.
During times of duress, telemedicine offers those dealing with mental health issues a partner in overcoming.
And advanced diagnostics help detect deadly diseases like cancer earlier and with more accuracy.
You may have heard the term Internet of Things (IoT). Its performance has led 60% of worldwide healthcare providers to incorporate it at their facilities.
Factoring in this report, the aforementioned reluctance from medical providers seems unfounded.
But as technology improves, so do the nefarious intentions of criminals. Research suggests IoT cyber attacks could potentially constitute 25% of all healthcare incidents.
- In 2020, 83% of medical imaging devices were susceptible to hackers. This marks a 27% increase from two years prior!
Combating these statistics is possible through designating more IT budget for top-tier internet security.
Marketers have fully embraced tools that allow them to better serve their clients in the medical field.
Healthcare content writing in particular can supercharge the online marketing of private practices and hospitals.
Healthcare Technology and Elijah Wordsmith
Medical providers have been burned by health tech companies who make bold promises but don’t always deliver.
They’re now highly reluctant to engage, creating a major problem.
Tech that truly improves patient outcomes, workflow efficiency, and saves practices money may be lumped in with all the rest.
To re-establish trust, start with low up front investments like healthcare digital marketing and the technology behind it. Both parties can then move towards healing from this split, and find mutual success.
Elijah Wordsmith content writing is a wonderful way to pass along news of tools/software you’re rolling out. Whether it’s a blog or social media post, your online followers and even staff will view them more positively.
My personal guarantee is to deliver on any promises I make, and work to attract more patients to your facility. Integrity is at the heart of this guarantee, and permeates my entire business.
Schedule a discovery call and let’s unlock the power of health tech together!