Jens Koegler, Healthcare Industry Director EMEA
Though COVID has impacted every aspect of our lives, it’s impossible not to be drawn to the healthcare sector when thinking about the real, unrelenting pressures. The mere mention of the pandemic conjures up images or everything from scientists in hazmat suits to exhausted nurses and wards so busy it makes the historical A&E Saturday night scenario look like a quiet GP waiting room.
all of that, and when we are inevitably through this harrowing period in
history, we are likely to look back on 2020/21 as an inflection point for the
sector. The pandemic has catapulted use of technology in a way that simply
would not have been possible otherwise, evidenced in the clinical trials
process for the vaccine.
COVID required to catalyse change
systems across Europe have been heading towards digital transformation for the
last decade but it has been a slow process. For example, the German Government
introduced a new category of care delivery with the Digital Health Care Act,
passed at the end of 2019, which introduced digital health applications as a
means of providing care and of treating patients and as an instrument for
physicians and psychotherapists. But it has taken the COVID-19 pandemic to
catalyse the adoption of many digital healthcare applications such as
telehealth and remote monitoring.
Germany’s contact tracking app,
Corona Warn, has seen about 17.5 million downloads. The UK equivalent has been
downloaded by over 19 million people. While we wish many more people would
embrace the technology and contribute to faster contact tracking, this is still
a stark result given the privacy concerns that continue to exist. Even more
impressive is that 99% of GP practices now offer video consultations, up from
3% in early 2020. This speed, scale and seismic shift to technology in healthcare is a
subject covered in our latest report with MIT Technology Review Insights: ‘Digital acceleration in the time
where the healthcare specific insights are also summarised here.
The world’s biggest technology test case
A full 89% of
healthcare leaders in the MIT Technology Review study are accelerating their
digital transformation. This is to ensure the sector is equipped for the
challenges of today while enabling them to become future-ready. What we have
seen is the world’s biggest test case for technology within the healthcare
sector – one that technologists have been calling for for some time – that has
been passed with flying colours.
healthcare respondents (98%) say they hope to continue to invest in the
adaptable technologies required to achieve digital transformation. Almost half
(44%) anticipate increases as a result of the pandemic. While this is pleasing
to see, technology never has been – or will be – about throwing money at the
problem. Indeed, what is equally as important is how technology can help
healthcare organisations optimise infrastructure to gain sufficient
efficiencies that free up budget for digital innovation. The MIT study found
more than half (58%) of healthcare organisations surveyed cited efficiency as
key to success, expecting to allocate more than 25% of their IT budgets to
infrastructure efficiency, particularly in automation (40%) and adopting a
multi-cloud strategy (38%).
Agility, visibility & flexibility
Technology Review study reveals that modernising applications and cloud
adoption go hand in hand. Legacy healthcare application development and
delivery models are costly and ill-equipped to support cloud-native and other
modern apps so it should come as no surprise to see that 39% of healthcare
respondents have accelerated adoption of a cloud-based platform to support
modern application development as a result of the pandemic. This is a number
that will continue to rise because a growing number of cloud services are now
available to power applications that can improve patient engagement (e.g.
scheduling), and boost caregiver and staff productivity (e.g. business billing
and human resources apps).
advent of cloud technology will usher in some major changes to healthcare, one
unfortunate consistency is the threat of cybercrime. Global organisations saw a
148% spike in ransomware attacks early in the pandemic and as a result, 52% of
healthcare leaders indicate they are allocating a “significant” share of their
IT budgets to security and threat management. Future ready healthcare
organisations recognise that growing telehealth practices and distributed
workforces widen potential attack surfaces and have moved to strengthen their
security postures with zero-trust, least-privilege policies and controls across
on-premises, cloud, and endpoint devices.
telehealth practices have increased significantly, filling a much-needed gap in
serving healthy populations. A key challenge for business and IT leaders around
digital experience is centered on providing the physical equipment necessary to
be productive remotely (55%). Those with the most flexible and
employee-friendly digital platforms were best positioned for success.
Collaborative tools and platforms such as the digital workspace unifying device
management and identity are becoming essential to care providers, telehealth
practices, and serving a host of new distributed workers as IT enables
real-time patient-caregiver engagement and information sharing while allowing
users to choose their preferred platforms—all keys to business agility.
Better care for patients
organisations that can achieve all this will reach something of a panacea – the
ability to possess a digital foundation supporting any cloud, any app, and any
device. It will enable them to better respond to change, improve operational
efficiency and ultimately, deliver better care for patients.
You can see
the MIT Technology Review Insights report in full here. Or, for more information on how VMware can
help in your digital transformation journey or recovery from the pandemic,
please visit us here.
Category: News & Highlights