Overview

Technology makes healthcare transformation possible

Digital innovations are quickly helping to transform modern industries. Healthcare providers from hospital and health systems are applying these tools to advance the health of people and populations, reduce costs and improve experiences.

Healthcare providers now have more technology options to support evidence-based care, and they can leverage new systems of engagement that improve care experiences for patients and providers. That technology is part of an evolution in the industry that’s moving toward better integration and collaboration between healthcare disciplines as well as value-based care.

The future of healthcare is going to focus on taking patient-centered care models to the next level. Healthcare delivery is moving away from quantity, or fee-per-service approaches toward value-based care that provides incentives for good health outcomes. Healthcare organizations will need better data management, increased interoperability, and better ways to measure outcomes so they can reduce healthcare costs, identify opportunities to improve and build an organization that delivers a high-quality experience for the people they serve. 

Patient-centered care

Why we need transformation in healthcare

The healthcare sector faces challenges — including stringent regulation, privacy concerns and steeply rising costs — yet healthcare professionals are already seeing how the benefits of the digital revolution are profoundly transforming the industry. These changes include:

  • Clinical information technology (IT) moving toward more centralized and connected enterprise IT infrastructures that support efforts to improve data management, interoperability and clinical systems integration.
  • Clinical devices becoming more connected, which can help medical professionals work faster and more efficiently so they can spend more time with patients and reduce healthcare costs.

 

Beyond these changes, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics tools are disruptive innovations that have the potential to rapidly scan and manage huge volumes of healthcare data, which could allow care teams to retrieve medical histories more quickly than before. 

Uniting clinical and enterprise IT networks will help lead to increased healthcare interoperability and ultimately give healthcare organizations more tools that help their teams spend more time on patient-centric tasks and less time on routine administration.

Disruptive innovation

Digital transformation in healthcare

In healthcare, the evolution of how and when professionals use technology has had three stages – digitization, disruption and transformation. Digitization involved setting up digital capabilities that support routine healthcare processes or services. CT scans and MRIs are examples of how digitization has changed healthcare services, and digital tools like automated billing have changed administrative processes. Ultimately, digitization has made it easier for data to be stored, accessed and shared.

Disruption involves newer technologies, such as artificial intelligence, mobile technology, analytics and cloud, which are changing the ways in which people, organizations and governments interact. These disruptive innovations are providing an unprecedented level of connection between people and leading the world to become more consumer-centric. As healthcare evolves, more health system integration will bring together digital functions or processes across enterprises that used to be separate. Advancements in EMRs and other technologies are also helping to achieve medical interoperability among payers, providers and other healthcare organizations.

Digital transformation in healthcare is ongoing and will involve a fundamental reimagining of the way payers, healthcare providers and others operate and engage with patients, consumers and stakeholders. Once a series of segmented activities, healthcare is evolving into an integrated ecosystem in which healthcare professionals can effectively address their challenges on a larger scale while maintaining a patient-centered focus and delivering value-based care.

Reducing healthcare costs

Healthcare transformation and value-based care

To successfully make the shift to value-based care, healthcare organizations need more precise and accurate information as well as better data management. The good news is that there are more opportunities to use healthcare technology and data to support decision-making thanks to the vast amount of medical, genomic, population health and performance data available.

Analytics and AI solutions could be used to analyze and collect relevant information from this wealth of information to help healthcare providers, hospital and health system leaders, and caregivers discover and apply learnings in innovative ways. AI and interoperable systems could ultimately help organizations find meaningful insights that help them provide more value to the patients they serve.

Solutions

IBM Watson Health and transformation

IBM® Watson Health™ is creating solutions to help enable a smarter, more connected healthcare system that can assist healthcare providers to deliver better care by empowering people to make better choices. In addition to the company’s investment in healthcare technology research and innovation, IBM healthcare solutions enable organizations to achieve greater efficiency within their operations, collaborate to help improve outcomes, and integrate with new partners for a more sustainable, personalized and patient-centered system focused on value.