Technology Oct 26, 2021

Digital Transformation in Healthcare 2021

In the post-pandemic 2021 business milieu, the term "digital transformation" is no longer perceived as futuristic and mysteriously complicated. Digital transformation has seeped into organizations and business culture and has become a new norm. According to Gartner, for almost 90% of managers, digitalization is a primal goal. 

The healthcare industry had no choice but to remodel the majority of their mundane practices as well as organization approaches. The digital transformation in healthcare allowed medical professionals to quickly find new solutions like telemedicine and remote monitoring despite the rampaging pandemic. 

It is important to acknowledge that, despite the fact digital transformation in healthcare is indisputably a global trend, it can not progress evenly in all the places around the globe. The following factors govern the implementation of digital transformation in medicine and often can hinder its progress:

  • Budget issues
  • Weak digital strategy or lack of one at all
  • Institution's organization and anatomy
  • Insufficient knowledge and skills to implement new methods 
  • Lack of support from employees and patients
  • Data safety policies in the concrete region

According to the Harvard Business Review, the problem with digital transformation, in general, is that organizations provide instruments and possibilities for digital services. But if professionals are not precisely in tune with the new digital turn yet, they simply will not be using these 'possibilities' (or will resist till the last moment). 

Rather than simply putting out their alien instruments and technologies, organizations need to restructure the system and help professionals adapt to the ways.

Technology Impact on Healthcare Industry

The digital transformation in the healthcare industry sounds innovative, progressive and complex. But what exactly is the goal of this reformation? Is it about finding new solutions and healthcare methods, or rather about reducing cost? It is about both of these things! And many more.

We analyzed and gathered all the benefits that digital innovation healthcare can ensure today:

  • Implementation of patient-oriented approach, tailored to the niche needs of each individual
  • Optimization of human resources, cost, and time
  • Constant, rigorous monitoring even outside the medical facility
  • Optimization of medical records and new possibilities for the analysis of patient’s data
  • Unloading the workflow for staff and doctors
  • Ensuring that healthcare is accessible even in the most rural hard-to-reach areas.

Big Data in Healthcare

What exactly is Big Data? When we are talking about healthcare, Big Data is a massive chunk of digitized information about patients, their medical records, hospitals, organizations' policies, medications, doctors, treatments. Actually, calling it a 'chunk' is inaccurate: Big Data is not just a massive USB stick. Big Data constantly expands, evolves, offering more parameters for the analysis and predictions. 

So what role does Big Data play in the healthcare industry digital transformation? Overall, a data-driven approach offers more than positive outcomes. It can prevent pandemics and save lives. Here we gathered key points of how Big Data benefits healthcare:

  • EHRs — are digitized (electronic) medical records, also called PHR systems — personal health records. How can medical records magically become better when they are simply transformed into digital form? Electronic medical records offer limitless opportunities for analysis and prevention of diseases, focusing on your individual case. All the possible factors are considered: allergies, lab results, genetic disease, and family history.
  • Planning and management — this point deserves a separate article, as digitalization offers a myriad of new solutions for optimizing facilities workflow. From staff scheduling to monitoring check-ups, Big Data finds new, more time and cost-effective solutions.
  • Security — today, medical records could be more valuable than a credit card number due to the amount of information. It would be presumptuous to state that big data is immune to cybercrimes and data breaches. Yet, encryption technologies and firewalls are a solid guarantee against cyber thefts.


Perhaps, telemedicine is the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about digital transformation in healthcare 2021. Cementing its status and crashing misconceptions during the infamous pandemic, it continues to evolve and integrate into healthcare services. 

Telemedicine is a term that includes many different services, but, essentially it is a remote consultation between patient and doctor. Still relevant in post-pandemic, optimizes both time and cost, making healthcare accessible for everyone. Yet, online consultations are not the only service within telemedicine. Telehealth ensures the following opportunities:

  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Remote check-ups
  • Managing patients at risk
  • Prescription refills
  • Scheduling appointments


Before describing the new possibilities IoT brings to the digital transformation in medicine, let us introduce you to this new field of study with a fun, intriguing name: the Internet of Things. In short, this system allows creating an ultimate network, where every device (not only your phone but your car, your house, your smartwatch) is connected to the internet. 

The IoT market in healthcare is predicted to reach USD 176.82 Billion by 2026. When we place IoT in the healthcare setting, we would most likely talk about remote patient monitoring and smart sensors. Here are innovative solutions IoT bring into healthcare today:

  1. Remote monitoring

The golden rule of medicine is: prevention is better than dealing with consequences. Modern smart sensors allow you to register all the possible types of vital activity: from blood pressure to sugar levels. 

  1. Diabetes monitoring

In case you are not familiar with issues of glucose monitoring: it is extremely complex. Diabetes is the case where the recurrent test may be insufficient, as you have to report sugar levels exclusively at the time of the test. In case of fluctuating levels, too many tests are needed. IoT can ensure continuous automatic sugar level monitoring, which is a major game-changer in diabetes treatment. 

  1. Cardiac monitoring

The same applies to cardiac monitoring: modern sensors allow patients 24/7 monitoring of heart rate and blood pressure, eliminating the issue of fluctuating levels. Smart sensors can alert both patients and doctors when levels deviate from the norm. Moreover, gathered data can be analyzed and used for more individually tailored treatments. 

  1. Mental health monitoring

Recording mood changes and fluctuations in the mental state is incredibly difficult. Firstly, it is hard to do remotely. Secondly, patients do not always accurately report their mood changes. IoT enables the registration of mood fluctuations through the monitoring of vital signs. 

  1. Asthma management

When it comes to inflammatory diseases, preventing attacks is nearly impossible. Nevertheless, IoT-connected inhalers can register the environment and frequency of the episode. Gathered individual data can be analyzed to determine what triggered the attack. Moreover, IoT informs patients when they forget the device at home or not using it properly.

  1. Gastrointestinal tract monitoring

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD sounds scary and feels even worse. Because of the modern sensors, one of the terrifying regular procedures is just a scary tale from the past. Innovative pill-sized ingestible sensors make this procedure effortless, painless, and completely non-invasive. These tiny mechanisms can inspect your gastrointestinal tract, measure PH and locate the internal bleeding. One just might call it magic, but it is an accessible, real science. 

....And the list goes on. To further explore the topic of IoT and digital transformation in the healthcare market, we will now talk about the healthcare trends.

5 Trends in Healthcare Industry

Radical times like pandemics, with all the struggle and hard consequences, also bring change. If we were to look for the positive outcomes of the infamous pandemic, one of the biggest would be the rising acceptance of digital and remote technologies. Thus, the pandemic was a major catalyst for the medical digital transformation. 

After the pandemic, the revolution in healthcare is not stagnating. On the contrary, it is gaining traction. Machine learning and AI are integrating into healthcare, boosting the market and changing the industry forever. Let's analyze top trends that are gathering speed in the digital transformation in healthcare market:

  • On-Demand Healthcare
  • Virtual Reality
  • Predictive Healthcare
  • Big Data
  • AI
  • IoT
  • Telehealth
  • Blockchain
  • 3D Printing
  • EHR adoption

We have already elaborated on some of these technologies. Let’s explore further market trends and the fascinating possibilities of VR and AI.

On-Demand Healthcare

We learned during the pandemic that planning without any flexibility is not something actually possible in the real world. Living a slow life today is a luxury: everyone has an extremely busy schedule. That is why the digital transformation health industry has to offer new solutions that meet modern needs. 

Online platforms provide quick medical consultations with the needed specialist without a middle man. Not only this saves time both for patients and doctors, but it also makes healthcare more accessible.

Predictive Healthcare

We already mentioned that the ultimate goal in healthcare should be to avert the disease instead of curing the consequences: prevent the damage instead of fixing what is left. Already mentioned technologies like AI, Big Data, and the Internet of Things allow not only to notify about the early symptoms but also to develop personalized recommendations for a healthier lifestyle.

Treating Patients With Virtual Reality

No, Virtual Reality is not just fun big glasses to play with at a friend's party. VR generates an accurate, immersive 3-D experience that can be used for a myriad of purposes in healthcare:

  • Pain Management: VR can be useful in pain treatment. For instance, it is widely used to distract children from painful medical procedures.
  • Physical Therapy: an immersive experience offered by VR was reported to speed up the recovery. Gamification of physical therapy correlates with faster, better outcomes and allows to provide more personalized care.
  • Education: VR revolutionized how medical students learn and practice. One of the most incredible possibilities of VR in education is the ability, through simulation, to experience what a patient is feeling.

The Wonders of Artificial Intelligence

AI has unlimited yet-to-discover possibilities. Here are ways Artificial Intelligence is being used in the digital transformation in medicine. 

  • Decreasing human error. Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US. Out of error-eliminating AI capacities, the most important one is eliminating errors in diagnosis. Tailored-to-the-case algorithms combined with deep learning provide more specific results than a team of seasoned medical professionals. 
  • Treatments and vaccine development. Drug development is an extremely costly process. Did you know that only 10% of drugs are released for the market? Researchers need to test and throw aside thousands of compounds to find the applicable one for the certain protein compound. AI-equipped robots can search and analyze enormous databases to research an assigned parameter and present ready-to-use hypotheses to test.
  • Early diagnosis. Early diagnosis for many diseases plays a major role in the recovery process. For instance, AI technologies used in screening and blood work tests diagnose various cancer types in the earliest stages.
  • Elderly care. The aging population and a constant shortage of care professionals are among the top reasons for the digital transformation in healthcare market. AI offers various new solutions to meet the urgent need for elderly care: from companion robots to advanced telemedicine with IoT.

Digitalization in healthcare: Wrapping Up

In this article, we unraveled what drives digital transformation in healthcare. Today the medical industry is shaped by Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Telehealth. Overall, digitalization is not about innovation and complicated CRM's. Digitalization is about optimizing technologies that are accessible today.

As Vas Narasimhan, ​​American physician and the CEO of Novartis said:

“We are on the verge of a digital revolution across every aspect of the healthcare sector, from the lab bench to the patient’s bedside.” 

Healthcare and digital transformation are all about offering a nuanced, personalized approach. We at DataXDev believe dedication and transparent communication brings the best results. We value individual approach and partnership: almost 20 years of experience and 88% of returning customers speak for themselves.

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