Digital Innovation Reimagines Healthcare Business Processes

Claudius Metze

Imagine the best possible healthcare system. Now take the business processes from our current healthcare system and reimagine them to be in line with the perfect system.

What you have just done is part of what digitization is doing today for the healthcare industry.

Reimagining healthcare’s business processes means providing new and better solutions. We need better solutions in every stage—preventive, curative, and educational—of the healthcare process, as all are affected by changes and demands that must be met. A digital network allows communication and collaboration, which in turn allows various processes to work in conjunction, complementing each other.

Reimagining healthcare business processes

Preventing diseases has always been preferred to curing them. Digital innovation and platform-based networking are making disease prevention easier. Mobile devices and sensors are motivating patients to take responsibility for their own health. These devices also make monitoring existing conditions much easier, which enables healthcare providers to act more quickly and effectively.

Networking creates an ecosystem of healthcare. Within this ecosystem, Big Data drives the digitized solutions that create better care. Professionals are more informed about relevant research and about each patient’s health. The data also reveals new insights into human health in general. Professionals are exposed to more information about our anatomy and physiology. Because of digital technology, providers can monitor progress in real time and react to deviations as they occur.

Planning and acting in real time streamlines the process. Solutions can be found and applied as they are needed. Data capture and transfer is automated with machine-to-machine communication, which reduces error rates.

With digital information sharing, professionals can also rely a bit less on direct patient experience. They can now see the data from hundreds of similar patients. Digitized solutions allow faster outsourcing of specialized diagnostics and help eliminate duplicate testing.

Through sensors with interactive technology, we can track important biological signals. This makes it far easier to predict or detect health issues. Optimizing the entire life cycle of the healthcare process, we see patients becoming more empowered. Because of networking and collaboration, patients are becoming more proactive. Patients and providers can work together to define goals and action plans to improve or maintain health.

It is now easier than ever before to tailor treatment to the patient. We can now use a patient’s individual genetic profile to define proper dosage levels. The same genetic information can help match a drug’s active ingredients. The smart data of today offers improved clinical decisions and diagnostics. It creates real-time transparency and value-added care.

Why digital transformation is needed

The world’s population is aging. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), two billion people will be 60 or older by 2050. And chronic diseases are on the rise. The WHO says that by 2020, chronic disease will cause almost three quarters of all deaths worldwide.

But the good news is that digital innovation in healthcare can make up the difference.

Today, only one out of four healthcare providers has a comprehensive strategy for digital transformation. But the numbers are growing dramatically. With digital processing, by 2020 we will be able to sequence human genomes for only pennies. With your genome mapped, a healthcare provider can monitor your health and discover some diseases before you show symptoms.

In Kenya, cervical cancer is the leading cause of death in women. Ineffective cancer screening is a big part of the problem. But with digital platform innovation, Heidelberg University Hospital has begun a program to simplify and accelerate cancer screening.

A digital healthcare network creates a gateway to all stakeholders. The ecosystem spreads information system-wide. Physical assets, care teams, and the patient’s agenda can be planned simultaneously. These communities act out of mutually shared challenges and solutions.

Reimagining healthcare business processes is one of three core areas that a comprehensive plan should cover. As processes are how things get done, this is perhaps the most important area. The transition to digital is based on two objectives for your business processes: improved patient outcomes and reduced costs.

Business processes in healthcare have historically been linear and one-dimensional. With the advent of the digital transformation, these processes are expanding and interconnecting.

Companies that have adopted a digital platform are winning health battles, and they are winning compared to companies that have been slow to adopt digital innovation. The core platform connects to all of the components of the ecosystem. It is the center from which all of your information and solutions develop.

The smartest health care professionals have already embraced digital innovation and cloud computing. These companies are quickly growing shareholder and stakeholder value. They are executing a digital strategy and increasing their scope of operation. Platform-based healthcare professionals are interconnected and collaborating in the cloud.

To learn more about digital transformation in the healthcare industry, click here.

Claudius Metze

About Claudius Metze

Claudius Metze is a senior solution architect within the Healthcare Industry Business Unit within SAP. He is responsible for clinical innovations and digital transformation for Healthcare providers.