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ICT and better health​care​​​

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ICT and better healthcare

A young girl is admitted to a hospital with a kidney disease. She doesn’t understand what glomerular filtration rate or BUN test is. All she sees is intimidating equipment all around her, and doctors who always seem to be in a hurry. 

All she knows is that she is terrified.

The hospital provides this girl with a device, loaded with games. These are not ordinary games. As the girl plays these games and tries to score more points, she is also being educated about her condition and her treatment plan. From a scared little girl, she has now become a well informed and empowered patient who understands what’s happening to her and takes her treatment positively.

Apart from making otherwise dry material fun and engaging, innovative uses of information and communication technologies are helping both patients and doctors work towards more effective treatment methods.

This has led to the creation of new healthcare models.

Predictive, preventative, and personalised

By 2020, the healthcare mobile app market is expected to be worth $49.1 billion.* Healthcare firms, apps, and doctors are now more equipped to determine particular health risks and encourage lifestyle choices that prevent chronic diseases. Home-care has transformed a patient’s experience for the better and reduced hospital visits, bringing down costs using mobile technology and IoT. Using Big Data, healthcare models have moved from being merely reactive to being pro-active, preventive, and personalised.

Better care with lesser costs

Smart devices give frontline staff access to essential information regardless of their location. This effectively means that the patients and their caretakers get to spend more time with each other. Healthcare provider Diabetacare currently uses a special device to monitor a patients' glucose and blood pressure levels remotely and send this data to the right experts. Mobile technologies like this allow for swift, more accurate data, reducing clinical risk and the time and money spent in travelling.

Transparent

Thanks to the Internet, patients are better informed and more involved in decisions about their treatment. This has made the patient-doctor relationship more of a partnership than ever before.

Joined up health and social care

New uses of communication technologies are helping organisations pool their resources together for a healthier future. With shared data, multiple services can use a single patient record thereby eliminating duplication of work, providing more clarity on patient history, and eventually resulting in fewer hospital admissions.

To ensure that a business makes the most of this movement in healthcare, it needs to ensure that its processes are fine-tined as well. Here are ten steps which can help.

1. Be smart about how your healthcare workers spend their time

Deploy a dynamic calendaring system, like the one available on Microsoft Office 365 that can be accessed by your team wherever they are.

2. Empower your team with the right data

Give your team access to Electronic Patient Records. Enable them to access this data securely via smartphones and tablets enabled by Vodafone’s Total Workforce Mobility solutions, so they can always have the right information at their fingertips.

3. Rationalise your data storage

Make the most of cloud-based software and services with capacities that can be raised or lowered, so that you can scale up or down as per your requirements.

4. Make it easier to access services

Invest in online appointment bookings and make it easier for patients to reach you.

5. Create personalised patient care plans

An informed patient is an empowered patient. Involve them in their own diagnosis and treatment. Deliver personalised care plans via email, on a secure website, or using a mobile app.

6. Maintain contact with service users remotely

Introduce video conferencing, calling chat function, photo sharing, and utilise existing technology as phone calls, email, and SMS.

7. Give independence back to your patients

Make it happen with remote patient monitoring, including wearable devices and IoT sensors. You can keep track of a patient’s vital functions, mood, medication intake, or even their location, and receive automated alerts should any potential issues arise.

8. Reduce your administrative burden

Use smarter data capture methods by utilising Vodafone’s Total Workforce Mobility solutions and software like Office 365. This reduces unnecessary paperwork and the risk of error while your employees are on the move.

9. Take security seriously

Ensure that your devices are equipped with the latest security precautions, like 1-click SIM deactivation and remote data-erase programmes

10. Consolidate and connect

Consolidate multiple IT systems and connect different locations to drive down your total cost of ownership with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Healthcare is not the only industry seeing a change in its working today. If you’d like to explore Total Communications Solutions and see what it can do for your industry and business, click here.

*Source: Grand View Reserach

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