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Study: Majority of healthcare orgs are laggards to DX

Such technologies being impacted in by digital transformation range from genomics to telemedicine; and to 3D bio-printing. There are an array of new technologies that are revolutionizing healthcare services. Despite technological innovation and increased interest in what these types of technologies can deliver, new research finds that only 11 percent of U.S. healthcare organizations are early adopters to such technologies.

New technologies

With genomics, increased computer processing power is unlocking the true potential of human DNA analysis. This is paving the way for personalized testing and treatment. the impact of this could be to improve patient outcomes for a range of diseases. With telemedicine, mobile technology is starting to be used to reduce the pressures upon healthcare systems. Remote technology helps to remove the need for some patients to travel to see a healthcare professional. 3D bioprinting allows surgeons to recreate some body parts, which is aiding patient recovery. An example is with 3D printed bone.

Slow digital adoption

In terms of the slow take-up of these types of digital health technologies, this is based on new research from Unisys, a company which provides global security solutions. Unisys have undertaken research with HIMSS, which polled 220 Information Technology decision makers based at U.S. hospitals and health systems.

The survey questioned healthcare professionals and asked them to rank their organization based on how the healthcare body was leveraging digital and mobile technologies, specifically designed to improve the patient experience. Other factors assessed were the application of technology to lower the cost of care delivery and to improve clinician efficiencies.

The research revealed that 64 percent of healthcare IT professionals admit to being behind the digital transformation curve in addition to the 89 prevent of firms who admitted not having a fully-formed digital health strategy in place.

The survey also found there was clinician resistance to adopting new solutions, which was cited by 51 percent of the participants. Another barrier was the interoperability of legacy systems with digital/mobile technologies (raised by 50 percent of those polled). Other factors were a lack of skilled IT staff (48 percent) and cybersecurity concerns (45 percent).

Significance of delaying digital transformation

As to the implications, Jeff R. Livingstone, Vice President and Global Head, Life Sciences and Healthcare, Unisys surmises: “These survey findings cannot be taken lightly, as we believe that being on the high end of the digital health continuum is positively correlated with reduced costs, improved efficiencies and most importantly, improved patient outcomes.”

He adds: “The survey also demonstrates that healthcare information technology needs to adopt modern technology platforms that have interoperability, transparency and efficiency at their core. Legacy healthcare systems do not easily meet these objectives and are costly to implement and operate.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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