It is National Health It Week! This week, Ambra team members will be sharing some of the unique insights they’ve gained since working in #HealthIT.
I remember the first time my primary care physician walked into the room for my annual physical holding a laptop. It struck me as strange for her to be typing out my vitals, but it also seemed so practical that I wondered why it hadn’t been done before.
Fast-forward a few years later to college, I went to an urgent care for the first time. It was 11:00pm and while sitting in the waiting room I wondered, “What did people do before this?”
Thankfully, many before me shared the thought of “Why are we still doing healthcare this way?” and acted, producing companies such as One Medical, Capsule, and Oscar Health that are revolutionizing the primary care, pharmaceutical, and health insurance experience.
Those innovative solutions are no longer confined to a handful of start-ups. The habits of the 21st-century consumer are starting to affect the entire healthcare landscape. Is there any better evidence than Walmart’s recently launched Health Center? The center offers services from primary care, dental, optometry, counseling, laboratory tests, X-rays, hearing, wellness education to behavioral health.
In the age of Amazon Prime and Uber Eats, traditional processes in healthcare — getting a call to hear back about your lab results or waiting 3-5 business days to pick up a CD with your images — seem painfully antiquated. Twenty-first-century healthcare requires methods that mirror the technology and accessibility consumers experience day-to-day.
Mayo Clinic and Google have recently taken a step towards bridging this gap with a partnership to leverage health data with advanced analysis and computing. While this step shows positive forward momentum in combining healthcare with modern advanced technology, it is only scratching the surface. Seeking greater synthesis between healthcare and technology is not just for the sake of being technologically advanced, it is essential for addressing modern healthcare needs. The combination of virtual reality for surgery preparation and training is answering the 20,000 surgeon deficit needed to treat an aging population. Several years ago, VR technology lacked the precision needed to be used for teaching. Now, the use of VR can cut the time it takes to train a student in half.
Adopting and improving technology will be crucial in adjusting to the changing patient and physician demographics. In order to leverage future advances in technology, the healthcare industry must operate on 21st century standards. At a time where the cloud currently powers countless aspects of our digital lives, providers must adopt cloud-based strategies in order to gain the universal access needed for more efficient and holistic patient care.
Without knowing the next “Why are we doing things this way?” question in healthcare, the best preemptive response is to prepare. What else the 21st century is going to bring is uncertain, but normalizing the cloud in healthcare is an inevitable part of the process.