Digital transformation in healthcare

Society is changing and adapting to digitalization in leaps and bounds, and the healthcare sector has no intention of being left behind. More and more healthcare professionals, institutions and organizations are using digital media to improve the communication of the services they provide. This is due to the advantages that have made these channels increasingly used, such as reach, immediacy, proximity, and personalization. If society demands a more humane, more digital, or more preventive healthcare, healthcare professionals must do the same.

It is appropriate to highlight some of the key points made by Kate Dion, health communications expert at 3D Communications, and Maturin Tchoumi, manager at the pharmaceutical company Roche Finland. In the talk, they discussed why the future of healthcare digitalization is so promising and how the pharmaceutical industry should contribute to the digital health revolution and growth. Below we highlight some of the ideas.

The digitization of healthcare has been with us for a long time, but the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated this process, not only in healthcare, but in all aspects of our lives. It can be argued that digital disruption connects and improves the quality of life.

The digitalization of the healthcare sector has shown that it can improve patient care services and ensure better patient continuity. This opportunity presented by the pandemic must be used as a method of learning in a way that serves the transformation of healthcare. For this to happen, all components and constituents of the healthcare system must be aligned and working toward the same goal.

Digital transformation and new technologies can facilitate the early detection of diseases and symptoms, a more exhaustive control of pathologies. In other words, to improve the quality of life of patients. Visits and monitoring that used to be strictly face-to-face are giving way to digital check-ups and phone calls that speed up the process and offer the same or better quality of service. While it is true that face-to-face care is essential in healthcare, many cases of follow-up and monitoring are favored by digital transformation as processes are streamlined and patients are more open to having this type of consultation on a more regular basis. Studies show a high level of patient satisfaction with this type of consultation, and all agree that it saves time and avoids logistical problems.

The emergence of applications for the control of various pathologies, such as diabetes, or the use of augmented reality and the metaverse for disease detection is becoming increasingly common and a clear trend for the coming years. It is estimated that the global digital health industry will reach an investment of $1 trillion by 2030. If it follows the same trend and upward curve of digitization of the sector, it will not be uncommon to extrapolate and increase the US data, where in 2019, 42% of patients claimed to use digital health follow-ups to the entire first world.

The real value of digital health lies in patient education. The digital transformation that the sector is undergoing will mean that all those patients who want to can have the same knowledge about their pathologies and clinical history as their doctors and nurses. The high flow of information that can be received will help to improve and prevent many diseases, resulting in a significant improvement in the quality of life of patients and their families. The healthcare sector will also clearly benefit from all these changes that are coming in the not-too-distant future.

All these upcoming changes need to be communicated so that patients can feel part of this growth process. Some of the goals of the digitalization of the healthcare sector:

  • Become more patient/consumer focused.
  • Increase online services.
  • Attract and retain all patients more efficiently.
  • Create a strong communication strategy that differentiates you from the competition.
  • Communicate that we, as professionals, have adapted to their needs.
  • Promote health-related information: news, advances, products, goods, and services within the reach of patients and consumers.

Finally, we look at how healthcare communication has adapted to the new needs of society, moving closer and closer to the communication and value propositions of the mass consumer sector. Today, it is more creative and uses the same tools and strategies that can be used in any other sector. However, communicating health today still requires experts who understand the scientific sector, its audiences, and its characteristics, because although the tone may change, the content must always be rigorous and scientific.

At Global, thanks to our multidisciplinary team, we help our clients in a 360º way, offering all points of view. From planning to design and execution of digital communication strategies. We develop customized strategies to achieve success and complete digital and communications integration for our clients.

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