According to a recent Deloitte study, patients drive seismic change within healthcare. The “consumerization” of healthcare is a broad term that describes a patient-centric care model that is pervasive in all regions and socioeconomic classes.
SaaS apps are crucial to healthcare transformation. However, IoT sensors can also be used by caregivers to track patient progress at home. Edge computing and wireless technologies such as 5G can also deliver the next-generation features like connected ambulances, which allow first responders to close contact with doctors at the emergency room.
The right technology can allow for the sharing of expertise between facilities. Remote participation during surgery (or real-time teaching) will enable students from far away to have a feeling of starting in the middle of the action, almost standing alongside the surgeon while the operation is going on.
Before the global pandemic outbreak, investment in digital infrastructure was made for such actions. However, this trend has intensified in recent months. Patients demand personalized and better care. JPMorgan Chase’s study shows that U.S. patients who live in the USA are experiencing increases in out-of-pocket spending, and they expect better care from the medical community. They are looking for value for their capital.
Patients are witnessing transformation at work in their day-to-day lives. Organizations of all sizes and industries invest heavily in service improvement to meet consumer demand. Gartner Inc. reports, “Worldwide I.T. expenditure is projected to reach $3.9 trillion in 2021. This figure represents a 6.2% increase over 2020.”
Healthcare does not exist in isolation. When patients have a personal interaction with a business, they often wonder why they cannot get the same experience elsewhere. Deloitte points out that healthcare organizations need to personalize each encounter to offer a unique and personalized experience.
The Chance to Make Healthcare More Equitable
According to another Deloitte report earlier, the advisory firm found that U.S., Better patient experiences result in better financial results for hospitals. The U.S. has a strong case for upgrading its hospital infrastructure.
Doctors can use the cloud to easily access their data thanks to 5G and edge computing. I have already mentioned that communications can be fast and reliable when combined with edge computing and a private mobile network. Healthcare providers have increased capacity and processing capabilities. The speed of processing increases, the latency is lessened, and it is more reliable.
Doctors can use these technologies to consult with patients remotely. It’s almost like they’re in the same hospital. Doctors can monitor the progress of patients remotely using IoT devices. This feature is excellent for those who live in rural areas and need to monitor their health.
There’s a real chance to make healthcare affordable for people whose lives cannot afford regular visits to a hospital for routine evaluations. Home patients will require care to ensure that they have the proper devices and that family members aren’t competing to use them. Privacy of patients is also essential. They have the right not to share their health information with anyone except their family.
Infrastructure will be needed in other areas. Good news! As I previously mentioned, the U.S. is currently setting up a public-private MPN to provide first responders and public safety officials with dedicated coverage.
How a 5G Network can Help
Our journey is not over yet, but we need to have stable and reliable communications for us to make progress. Communications technology must not have high latency. This means that transmissions should be uninterrupted without pauses, blips, or hiccups. All communications must be seamless and in near real-time, even if one doctor is consulting another.
A 5G standalone network allows for a new set of technological possibilities that were not possible before. Multi-access edge computing, or MEC, was added to this mix to allow greater computing power and faster response times. This is ideal if you have use cases that require large amounts and real-time decisions, such as A.I. and remote-controlled robotics.
5G is a standalone network that allows network slicing. The hospital could use specific sections to 5G applications like remote monitoring and diagnosis. This will give them vast control over the reliability, security, and overall management.
A Fork In The Road
The healthcare industry is rapidly changing. It is also likely to be unavoidable due to its cost efficiency. A recent study found that A.I. and other technology can lower the annual U.S. health care costs by $150 billion in 2026.
Many of these savings will change healthcare from a reactive to a proactive approach. The focus will be on health management and not disease treatment. This will lead to fewer hospitalizations and fewer doctor visits.
Others may argue that we are at the end of the road. Either we keep going the way we have, or we can use technology for better lives for Americans and a more enjoyable patient experience. From my perspective, healthcare seems to be the next frontier. I have seen this transformation in the business world.
As 5G and Edge Computing provide a solid foundation for technology that will transform healthcare, we can create a better medical system that is more reliable, more cost-effective, and more satisfying for both patients and caregivers.