The state of digital transformation in healthcare is sort of a good news/bad news situation. The good news? A recent IDG study revealed that the healthcare sector is one of the leading proponents of digital transformation, trailing only the professional services and financial industries in terms of adopting digital-first strategies.
Now, the bad news -- there's still a long way to go before the healthcare industry reaches digital maturity. We've barely scratched the surface of what widespread digitization can do, and an untold number of potential applications exist that could enhance key aspects of medical operations and patient engagement.
To kick their digital transformation initiatives into a higher gear, healthcare officials should take inspiration from their peers and incorporate that work into their own strategies. These success stories should provide plenty of fodder for patient identity architects.
AI diagnoses illnesses better than a specialist
Prevention and early intervention are the two best tools we have in the fight against cancer and other serious ailments. A missed diagnosis can be a potentially fatal mistake, turning a treatable illness into a possible death sentence. The alternative situation of misidentifying a benign growth as cancerous is problematic as well, causing the patient a great deal of unnecessary stress.
As good as radiologists and other medical specialists are at identifying illnesses, the healthcare community is always looking to improve this particular facet of treatment. The answer to more accurate diagnoses doesn't necessarily lie with better trained doctors, but with smarter machines.
Researchers across the globe have experimented with medical diagnostic software that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to analyze medical image scans and identify ailments. One such project, led by a team at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England, has shown incredibly promising results. As reported by the BBC, the AI system is able to diagnose heart disease and identify patients at immediate risk for a heart attack with more accuracy than a trained cardiologist.
A similar AI-based solution has also been used by researchers to distinguish between benign nodules and cancerous cell clusters. If this technology makes good on its promises, physicians will be able to treat potentially fatal illnesses earlier, increasing survival rates, as well as saving on medical treatment costs.
Matching patient DNA to relevant medical trials
Clinical trials provide many cancer patients hope where there otherwise may be none to muster. Given the many factors that differentiate each person's circumstances, not all trials will be a good match for patients. To help people battling cancer find clinical trials that best meet their criteria, U.S.-based Cure Forward has developed a platform that identifies viable experimental treatments based on an individual's specific genetic mutation.
Patients can publish their DNA sequencing information through the Cure Forward platform, giving medical researchers a repository of potential candidates for their clinical trials. If a person's genetic information matches a trial's criteria, they may be eligible for the experimental treatment.
Many of the most promising healthcare-focused digital transformation projects revolve around patient information platforms. To get the most value out of these solutions, organizations need to balance accessibility and interconnectivity with compliance and security. Akamai's customer identity and access management (CIAM) solution meets the demands of the healthcare industry's rigorous data privacy regulations while opening the door for patient-focused innovations. With smooth registration, seamless movement between applications through SSO and the ability to scope access based on authenticated credentials, CIAM provides the foundation for healthcare systems to build powerful tools that improve both service efficiency and patient experiences.