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The transformative impact of digital in healthcare

Healthcare providers have always been pressured to provide value for money and improve efficiency – but the coronavirus pandemic has magnified it.

With the HealthTech sector being such an important one to us, we know there are so many opportunities for digital to help providers not only meet these goals, but excel.

From system integration to enhanced patient care, used in the right way, digital can be nothing short of transformative to the sector – and here are just a handful of ways that’s possible.

Better patient data

The healthcare sector has long maintained that primary care and outpatient hospital care could be delivered digitally, in effect establishing on-demand healthcare for patients – and progress certainly has been made.

Thanks to digital advancements in areas like interoperability between health records, healthcare decision support systems and patient engagement platforms, the right HealthTech solution can bring efficiency and transparency to your organisation, whilst promoting better patient outcomes.

And more strides are being made in the mobile health sector. Remote medical care is being made more available than ever, thanks to:

  • Health records widely stored electronically to improve access
  • Health apps developed to support the remote, accurate and convenient monitoring of conditions
  • Telemedicine practices and faster patient access to test results online

While for many years, the scale of the sector’s digital transformation has been modest, the coronavirus pandemic dramatically accelerated this.

Acting as a catalyst, it was clear there was not only a need for change, but the methods to make it happen too.

Many healthcare providers have now adopted a digital-first pathway as a route to managing patient care and resources. This rapid uptake has been made possible for three reasons:

  • Existing software solutions could be adapted
  • Privacy and data protection regulations have been relaxed
  • The government mandated that care not requiring physical interaction had to be done via virtual consultation

Making patient data available on this scale not only enhances the experience for the patient, and the accessibility of your services to them – but also the quantity and quality of the data available.

Streamlined performance metrics

You might have made life easier for patients, but what can all that data be used for internally? Before even thinking about design and build, it’s vital that your whole team is clear on your digital objectives and what’s going to show whether your platform was a success.

What are you trying to get out of technology?
Do manual administrative tasks need to be reduced?
Do you need better, faster access to resources?

Once your core objectives are defined, digital solutions can be suggested, discounted and ultimately harnessed to meet those specific needs.

Fast-forward, and now things are far easier for you right at the end of the project when you’re trying to prove its ROI, as well as justify the activity and performance of your department. It doesn’t matter what area of the healthcare market you sit in; the beauty of digital innovation is that everything can be monitored based on the metrics that matter to you, without needing to go through bundles of meaningless data.

You can have custom dashboards built that cut all of that complexity out, leaving you with key, streamlined insights that clearly show how the business and its operations are performing.

Shaping a mobile future

Within healthcare, there’s a growing focus on virtual and remote clinical aid which is driving the urgent need for digital connectivity and resilient IT.

Speed of deployment is crucial to this adaptation.

Healthcare professionals must balance rapid IT transformation with networks that are secure and reliable, to meet growing demand, match complex care needs and overcome depleted funding.

Healthcare apps can actively mitigate these problems, improving efficiency and delivering real value to patients and care providers.

We’ve worked with several healthcare providers (from the NHS to IgniteData) on digital projects – but the core focus is always the same: the customer. The healthcare apps we build vary in function, but are intuitive to navigate and focused on delivering a patient-centric service.

Here are a few examples of where we’re seeing the most opportunity for mobile right now:

  • Personalised care apps: facilitates communication between patients and providers, enabling health professionals to track treatment and medication adherence.
  • Health and wellbeing apps: enables users to track a range of health-related parameters, including sleep, exercise and food intake, allowing users to monitor and improve their health and wellbeing.
  • Vital sign monitoring and electronic observation apps: empowers care providers to conduct electronic observations and record the vital signs of a patient, and for patients to monitor their vital signs on an ongoing basis.
  • Remote care monitoring: facilitates effective remote care and monitoring, assisting users in managing their symptoms, and logging vital metrics such as drug intake.
  • Social prescribing apps: enables health professionals to refer people to services to support their ongoing health and wellbeing, such as local community groups and voluntary organisations.

Healthcare solutions: where to start

In a sector as demanding and tightly regulated as healthcare, we recognise that an off-the-shelf solution won’t be sufficient – which is why we put your challenges first, and adopt a people-first approach.

We want to understand the primary needs of our clients and their core business objectives, which allows us to create a bespoke, cost-effective digital solution that benefits their organisation and patients most.

We always recommend that you start with a strong research and discovery phase (or, our Brief and Breakthrough services), to build a detailed understanding of user requirements and journeys. User research ensures that real needs are identified, and user-focused solutions are designed and developed to reflect those needs.

Once the research phase has been completed, extensive user testing is critical enabling you to identify areas of a website, app or service that are less effective to improve usability. In our workshops, we utilise user personas to ensure they share the same characteristics of your organisation’s target audience, before analysing our findings to locate any potential pain points. The next step is a prototype, to validate your concept before moving on to the Build stage.

6B is here for you

6B is leading the way when it comes to providing digital innovations that are transforming how healthcare operates today and in the future.

One organisation we worked with was still recording 70% of their data manually before we developed a bespoke digital solution. Transforming their operations digitally so that medical records could be accessed remotely and securely allowed us to save this organisation critical time and money, enabling them to focus on delivering the very best patient care.

If you have an interest or are involved in the healthcare industry, tell us what you need and we’ll come up with a digital solution that will satisfy everybody’s needs. Contact us via email project@6bdigital.com or call us on 0113 350 1290.

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