A Day in the Future of Healthcare

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August 13, 2021

Healthcare quality and experience rely on frictionless information exchange. Learn why a performing connected strategy matters for patients and clinicians.

Healthcare has undergone decades of change in a matter of months.

The need to quickly transform patient services and reorganize care delivery has pushed the boundaries of most healthcare organizations and redefined care as we know it. The new normal looks much more hybrid and care is becoming more and more connected, with patients and healthcare professionals relying on frictionless information exchange.

The need for patients to have a seamless digitally enabled experience across their pathway has become a fundamental pillar of delivering care, rather than a nice-to-have. Healthcare professionals are realizing the benefits of collaboration and context-relevant access to information in terms of quality of care delivered and work experience, easing the burden on clinicians and nurses.

Healthcare organizations that have successfully navigated their way through the pandemic have been able to drive fast-paced digital transformation during a time of unprecedented uncertainty. These enterprises have leveraged their key digital infrastructural capabilities to ensure resilience and scale innovation. Innovative technologies such as chatbots, artificial intelligence, advanced connectivity of medical devices, IoT, edge computing, and cloud will be key to supporting business models that can prepare healthcare organizations for the future of healthcare.

A Day in the Future Life of a Patient

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The day has finally arrived. Ami will undergo her planned surgery and she is a bit nervous. While Leonard drives her to the hospital, she checks her phone again. A push notification reminds her of when she needs to check in, the name of her ward, and the assigned surgeon. At the lobby, she receives a warm welcome — they were waiting for her to arrive. The receptionist directs her to the assigned room, where a nurse will help her prepare for the surgery. Using the wayfinding ward navigation feature with her smartphone, Ami easily locates her room and shares her location with Leonard.

The surgery goes well. Ami wakes up in her room and Leonard is by her side. They log into the guest portal and they can immediately connect to the Wi-Fi and surf the web, access the infotainment services, watch their favorite Netflix series, and check emails. Through the mobile app, Ami can access a chatbot that answers basic questions, such as guest visiting times and meals of the day and includes post-op questionnaires for patient reported outcome measurements.

Three days after being discharged, Ami notices that her wound is getting worse. She sends a picture of it to the surgeon via chat and receives some immediate tips, as well as a scheduled video call for the next morning. In a couple of weeks Ami has almost completely recovered and she is back in the office. She receives a notification reminding her to book a follow-up at the hospital through the app.

A Day in the Future Life of a Doctor

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Joy is a doctor at a major children's hospital and has just started her morning shift. Her first visit in the ward is with a seven-year-old boy, Kai, and his family. Before entering the ward, she checks the system with her phone and finds some notes shared by another doctor. The past few nights have been difficult for Kai and his symptoms are worsening, so Joy decides to perform an MRI scan.

After checking the results of the scan and the patient's health history, Joy would like to ask her mentor and head of the ward, Dr. Chizimu, for a second opinion before putting Kai on new treatment. Dr. Chizimu is working remotely today, so Joy shares with her Kai's MRI scan on the medical imaging platform via the secure network for hospital workers. While waiting for a response, she receives an urgent notification from the alert messenger system on her smartwatch: one of her patients is having a potentially life-threatening seizure. The bedside monitoring system sends an alarm to her and to the nurses reachable through the network. Joy quickly looks at the geolocation snapshot on her smartphone to locate the room and runs to the patient. Thanks to her immediate intervention, and the help from the nurses, the patient is safe and well.

After lunch, Joy is notified that a new patient has been assigned a room. Her name is Josephine, and her medical condition requires some specific health monitoring systems and medical equipment. Joy quickly sends instructions to the nurses through the hospital communication system. Using the internal network and location solution on their phones, the nurses locate what is needed and — as Joy enters the room a few minutes later — everything is set up as per her instructions. Joy smiles at Josephine and her family and sits on the bed to explain what the issue is and to answer all of their questions.

The Foundational Technology Pillars of the Future of Healthcare

Healthcare organizations such as the Cantabrian Health Service are increasingly exploring opportunities to support connected health strategies that can optimize care pathways and redefine the delivery of care, from admission to follow-up and beyond, such as teleconsultation, tele expertise, and EMR integration.

Organizations looking to scale innovation-driven technologies in a complex healthcare scenario and across multiple personas should invest in three main pillars:

  • A connected, seamless, digitally enabled patient experience: Ad hoc connectivity, wayfinding technologies, ubiquitous access to hospital portals, and mobile-first communication supporting digital services that are seamlessly integrated across the patients' pathway and follow the needs of patients at every step of their journey, from admission to follow-up and continuous monitoring.
  • Transformed workforce and care delivery: A 24 x 7 collaboration platform and mobile notification, in the cloud and enabling access to information, patient monitoring, seamless communication, and secure sharing of data within and outside the care facility walls.
  • Enhanced efficiency, safety, security, and privacy: A scalable, flexible, and highly reliable network infrastructure supporting APIs to securely connect IoT and connected medical devices to the system, facilitating asset tracking, alert prompting, and equipment monitoring. An intelligent network able to prioritize and secure critical data exchanges, driving automation, operational efficiency, patient safety, and greater quality of care.

Forward-looking healthcare executives will be able to leverage technology investments to support use cases that align to business needs and priorities. This alignment will support the right experience for both patients and caregivers, increase clinical efficiency and compliance, and enable the healthcare workforce to spend more time with patients, driving greater impact on clinical outcomes and patient value.

Learn more on Healthcare solutions: https://www.al-enterprise.com/en/industries/healthcare

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Silvia Piai

Research Director for IDC Health Insights in Europe

Silvia Piai is Research Director for IDC Health Insights in Europe.  In her role she provides strategic advice to end users and vendors operating in Healthcare and Life Sciences. In particular, she helps Healthcare and Life Sciences organizations understanding how technologies are disrupting and transforming traditional business models, accelerating the transition toward the value-based paradigm.

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