Digital Transformation in Healthcare


Digital Transformation in Healthcare

Leveraging digital assets to improve service delivery has become necessary in the contemporary world. Technology allows us to offer better, faster, and more precise delivery in any industry and the healthcare sector is no exception. Telehealth, or digital healthcare, provides many benefits to both users and providers and technology has found numerous applications that speed up and reduce healthcare delivery costs. Digital transformation in healthcare will improve the lives of patients, providers, and third parties, improving life and health overall in a significant way.

What Is Digital Transformation in Healthcare?

Healthcare digital transformation refers to the utilization of technology to improve healthcare delivery, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. There are numerous applications of technology in healthcare including, but not limited to, electronic health records, telemedicine, mobile health, wearables, and other digital tools that allow providers to collect and analyze patient data to improve clinical outcomes and delivery. Additionally, healthcare utilizes AI technology to analyze vast amounts of data: healthcare generates 30% of the world’s data.

Digital health transformation also provided patients with technologies such as patient portals. Portals, along with EHRs and technologies that drive up patient engagement, are linked with better clinical results, resulting in improved diagnostics time, reduced error, and better clinical outcomes.

Digital Healthcare Applications

Although we can only estimate in what ways technology will further disrupt and revolutionize the healthcare industry, we can take a closer look at how we are already relying on the digital transformation of healthcare:


Telemedicine refers to the remote delivery of care using digital communication technologies such as video conferencing, phones, or messaging. It allows patients and providers to bypass geographical limitations and to remotely connect with patients who live in underserved areas.

Electronic Health Records

EHRs are the digital version of a patient’s medical records that stores all relevant information such as patient history, previous diagnoses, or payments. EHRs help share and access information among different care providers in a secure way, streamlining the entire process and effectively improving communication, and reducing medical errors.

Wearable Health Technology

Wearables in healthcare have become one of the main assets of healthcare digital transformation. They refer to smartwatches, fitness trackers, or smart jewelry that users put on their bodies and use to track their vitals. This technology is especially effective in managing chronic conditions, promoting a healthier lifestyle (trackings steps or one’s diet), or improving preventive care.

Digital Imaging and Diagnostics

Digital imaging technologies such as X-rays or CT-scan allow clinicians to obtain images of patient’s internal organs and structures. Since these images come in a digital format, they are easily analyzed and processed by healthcare AI, resulting in faster, more precise, and more clinically accurate diagnostics.

Predictive Healthcare

Digital innovation in healthcare allowed for an abundance of healthcare data. Using data analytics, we can take a closer look at data clusters and come up with ideas on how to stop the next big health scare.

By using machine learning algorithms applied to patient history, for example, clinicians can identify patients who are at risk of developing a disease such as a heart condition and can make preventive recommendations accordingly. Relying on this aspect of digital healthcare means decreasing the burden of preventable illnesses on healthcare and improving overall health outcomes.

Challenges of Healthcare Digital Transformation

Data Privacy and Security

Protected health information has a lot of value on the black market, which is also why healthcare has been the number one target of cybercriminals for the past 12 years. When utilizing digital healthcare technology such as EHRs or patient portals, it is important to take necessary steps to ensure the safety of data. Concrete steps in securing your software include regular software updates, hardware maintenance, implementation of security protocols, and engaging a security expert.


The disconnect between medical institutions and the fragmented storing of data makes it difficult to seamlessly exchange health information. Digitalization in healthcare needs to occur with proper data storing and sharing formats in accordance with governing bodies: in Europe, we would look at the GDPR, while in the US ONC Final Rule Act dictates how to store and share protected health information.

Regulation and Compliance

Digital healthcare technologies are subject to numerous regulatory and compliance requirements, such as HIPAA and GDPR. Ensuring compliance with these regulations can be challenging for healthcare providers, especially smaller organizations that may not have the resources to invest in regulatory compliance. However, CMS provides financial incentives for medical organizations to implement these standards in their practice. While implementation is desired and attracts financial incentives, failure to comply can result in fines.


Healthcare digital strategy often has a high entry cost: initial capital investment is high, and benefits are usually reaped following a two-year mark. The cost of acquiring, implementing, and maintaining these technologies can be a barrier to adoption, especially in low-resource settings. It is important to do a proper risk assessment, highlight potential costs, and check whether your organization can stand to benefit from the implementation of digital healthcare.

Benefits of Digital Transformation in Healthcare

Improved Patient Outcomes

Digital health tools offer clinicians various means of clinical decision support. As we’ve already mentioned, we can leverage AI technology in healthcare for faster and more accurate diagnosis, while we can use medical devices for remote patient monitoring and drastically improve the lives of patients managing chronic conditions.

Increased Efficiency and Improved Bottom Line

Digital technology in healthcare can automate administrative tasks, allowing clinicians and medical staff to focus on delivering the absolute best healthcare. With the automation of tasks and reduction of medical errors, your organization will have more time and resources, resulting in an improved bottom line.

Improved Patient Engagement

Patients use digital health technologies to take a more active role in their healthcare delivery. By relying on patient portals, EHRs, wearables, or other digital health tools, patients can access and view their health information while improving communication with their care providers.


Digital transformation in healthcare will only open up new avenues for digital healthcare applications. Analysis of large aggregates of information can help stop the spread of a pandemic and machine learning algorithms can identify new opportunities for treatment and medical breakthroughs.