How COVID-19 is Impacting Healthcare Tech

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As of this writing, there have been a total of 6.08 million confirmed CoViD-19 cases worldwide. Even as countries are easing up on their lockdown measures, it’s difficult to catch a break as new cases are detected. 

No doubt, until a vaccine is developed, we might have to live with CoViD-19 for a long time. 

Notwithstanding the virus’ toll on human life and entire economies, the pandemic has, at the very least, encouraged innovation in the healthcare sector. It uncovered gaps and areas of improvement that medical institutions could not have noticed. 

One thing’s for sure; it also underscores the need for current healthcare systems to rationalize their use of technology. That said, let’s take a look at how healthcare technology can change or react towards the ensuing pandemic:

Use of AI and big data

The digital transformation had already taken root in the healthcare sector long before the pandemic erupted. Healthcare institutions have realized the immense value of using digital platforms for several things like tracking patients, keeping stock of hospital inventory, and streamlining other complex processes that administrators couldn’t handle on their own. 

However, such adoption of new technology hasn’t come full circle. The pandemic is bringing this issue into the light as healthcare providers look towards big data and AI in their transition to the new normal.

Screening patients

For one, AI tech can be used to screen patients suspected of having CoViD-19 or any other illness. It can also help monitor vitals and provide accurate diagnoses of every unique case. Such technology is undergoing development, but the global medical community has already generated platforms such as Buoy Health. 

On the other hand, big data offers immense value to healthcare systems. It starts with the application of contact tracing methods. Here, Big Data gathering plays a key (yet controversial) role in tracking individuals who have had contact with a CoViD-19 patient. 

At any rate, both AI and big data are crucial in the fight against CoViD-19, and the results they yield will certainly encourage hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare institutions to innovate. 

Maintaining operational efficacy

The pandemic has uncovered a lot of things about current healthcare systems. One of these is the fact that modern hospitals need to maintain efficiency when it comes to handling equipment maintenance, keeping individual patient records, and handling financial and HR-related tasks all while ensuring the safety of patients and staff. 

Organizations can navigate such challenges by either developing technology that fits their own needs or contracting third-party services such as Fortis Medical Billing to help out in medical coding and revenue management. 

For sure, using apps and tech-savvy contractors can be of great help to frontline institutions that need to tackle the pandemic and maintain their regular operations. That said, we might as well see the need for these services to increase as governments start to prioritize healthcare more.

Indeed, it might take a couple of years to develop a full-fledged vaccine. Healthcare institutions can still find ways to address gaps and value the need for better tech. That’s something that has long been overdue.

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