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The entire globe went through a digital transformation in the past two years. While it’s common knowledge that technology has a life on its own and is undergoing constant shifts, its change was sped up due to the pandemic. Yet, no one can deny that it continues to change us for the better. Processes have now become faster, and connections have become arguably stronger. 

Healthcare facilities are one of the many organizations that drastically shifted with digital transformation. Since COVID-19 is the recent biggest threat to human life, all weapons at our disposal were used to battle the virus. Technology was at the forefront of doing so.  

Now that the virus is getting weaker, healthcare professionals are aware that the innovation they pursued will stay for good. Digital health will continue its course of metamorphosis.  

This post discusses advancements in digital health that will provide the best patient engagement yet. It aims to keep healthcare providers up to speed with digital health solutions this 2023.  

Related reading: 5 Key Healthcare Staffing Industry Trends in 2022 That Will Transcend to 2023  

Insurance companies are keen on including telehealth as part of their services.  

In the first year of the pandemic, limiting conditions that hindered hospital visits led to patients availing of telehealth. As a result, this service saw a rapid rise in use, increasing by 78 times between February to April 2020. Aside from a physical appearance in hospitals being impossible during the pandemic, other factors led to the more frequent use of telehealth and virtual care.  

Both patients and medical facilities showed a willingness to try it out as an alternative means to receive or administer care. It also proved helpful when it came to financial transactions. With this in mind, health insurance providers started including a digital health upgrade in their plans.  

Kaiser Permanente, for instance, introduced “virtual complete plans,” which included virtual-first options, such as video and phone appointments and a 24/7 advice line. Other health insurance companies like Humana and UnitedHealthcare also introduced options between virtual and physical check-ups in their healthcare plans. 

Instant relief and payment ease are not the only advantages of this major digital health change. Documentation is also a big plus when opting for virtual services. What used to be long paper trails can be summed up with one click on your mobile device. Online consultations also proved to be an avenue for better patient evaluations

For example, doctors can examine a patient’s home environment and check for allergens, which cannot be done in a physical check-up setting. In this approach, family members are also present to help the patient feel at ease during consultations. They can answer questions and give information on behalf of the patient.  

These are only some promising frontiers telehealth can bring to the healthcare industry. Nurses and doctors can perform patient checks while working from home to lessen the volume of people going in and out of hospitals. This setup leads to better workforce management, more effective delivery of healthcare, and a more positive patient experience.  

Related reading: Exploring New Healthcare Models: What We Can Expect to See More of in 2023  

Digital health gave better emphasis on remote and independent care.  

It’s already everyone’s responsibility to take good care of themselves. With recent advancements in digital health, citizens can now be more independent. Health-conscious ones and patients who need to stay home can lean on devices and apps for self-care:  

      • Smart patches. A smart patch is a device that can monitor a patient’s condition and administer medications safely and promptly. These patches solve the problem of most patients following a rigid schedule when on medication.  
      • Fitness trackers. These wearable devices are all the rage for workout enthusiasts, with various models and brands to choose from. Using these devices allows everyone to monitor one’s physical activity. For example, in most modern health devices, data is stored and can easily be forwarded to doctors in case they need to see them.  
      • Remote patient monitoring. Various monitoring devices for specific conditions allow for scheduled consultations before and after the device is installed. This is to ensure that the patient is comfortable and can navigate the device on their own. Healthcare professionals can monitor patients’ conditions even if they are not in the hospital. They can also send personnel in case of emergencies and if the stats don’t add up.  
      • Mental health apps. While therapy and actual conversations with mental health specialists are still the best practice, mental health apps were a key digital trend during the pandemic. These apps helped patients improve how they handle symptoms, which indicates whether they need to approach a therapist. It also aids in assessing whether they are living a more peaceful and mentally-aware life.  

Related Reading: 7 Best Smartphone Apps for Nurses  

Further research is being done on home diagnostics and how they can improve the testing and administration of healthcare. 

Home testing was a savior, particularly during COVID-19’s peak presence, as many grew accustomed to performing home testing. Home testing kits are nothing new, as we are familiar with pregnancy tests and home HIV testing kits. However, the pandemic saw how significant testing kits are in mitigating health crises. This is why the Food and Drug Administration will likely allow more home-testing products.  

There is ongoing research on how home testing kits and similar products will improve patients’ experience so that they don’t have to go to the healthcare facility immediately and try to gauge their situation at home first. Digital health leaders at Labcorp, Abbott, Becton Dickinson, and Siemens are already researching to expand the home-testing market. All this interest in further developing home testing kits stems from the following advantages:  

      • Less strain on the healthcare system. It’s still imperative that testing be done in the hospital to ensure that a patient truly needs care. However, patients checking on their status through home testing kits help reduce healthcare professionals’ workloads.  
      • Improved patient experience. Home diagnostics prevent many factors that make patients uncomfortable during health-related situations. Having to do testing within your own home is a lot more comforting. Some patients may have mobility trouble, so home testing will be the best option.  
      • Better usage of telehealth. Home diagnostics further support the cause of supporting telehealth services. Online health facilitators can give instructions on how to do home testing. They can easily send results to doctors for evaluation.  

However, there are still some reservations about using home diagnostics, such as the accuracy of results and preservation of samples for laboratory testing. This is why research in healthcare and technology is ongoing—to see how to strike a balance between effective healthcare service and patient experience.  

PROVIDE BETTER SERVICE THROUGH YOUR NURSING WORKFORCE WITH PRS GLOBAL.  

Digital health in 2023 looks promising, but there is still much to discover. What remains critical is the unparalleled healthcare service from top-tier healthcare professionals, like the best international nurses you can find.  

We at PRS Global are committed to not only helping you search for international nurses far and wide but also to taking care of them as they pursue a new chapter in their professional life. We’ll assist them as they arrive in the US and assimilate into a new working and living environment. They’re also entitled to assistance with legal matters or concerns with living arrangements.  

Digital advancements are great, but nothing beats the care that comes from the human touch. Contact PRS Global today!