The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been a game changer for most businesses, across industries. Among the numerous things that emerged as a consequence, was the creation of a cascading effect in the implementation of digital transformation in healthcare. While healthcare technology was already being nudged towards increased innovation and advancements in virtual medicine, the pandemic really put things in overdrive. COVID-19 created a situation where receiving care virtually, outside of the hospital or doctor’s office, was no longer a luxury but a necessity. This led to a boom in the fledgling industry and resulted in a number of foundational shifts in digital health. That acceleration has continued into 2021 and is expected to comfortably increase this year, creating a sea of change in healthcare delivery and operations.
Research by Frost & Sullivan expects global healthcare industry revenues to exceed $2.6 trillion by 2025, with a majority of growth driven by artificial intelligence and telehealth. Perhaps the most important outcome of the pandemic has been its impact as a great equalizer. The healthcare market now favors “digital-first” companies, i.e., those who efficiently deliver healthcare as online experiences, especially for ambulatory and low-acuity care.
Telehealth Technology is Rapidly Growing to Match Patient and Caregiver Needs
Big Data and Predictive Healthcare Will Play a Bigger Role and Redefine Overall Patient Care Delivery
More EHR Integrations as Cybersecurity Becomes Vital to Care Enablement
Cybercriminals are eagerly taking advantage of the attempts to create a COVID-19 vaccine. In a campaign that surfaced this past summer, state-backed Russian hackers launched targeted attacks against pharmaceutical companies, healthcare facilities, and research centers involved in vaccine development. With the announcement of certain COVID-19 vaccines awaiting approval in the US and elsewhere, attackers are likely to exploit the public’s desire for more details about these vaccines.
A cyber attack on a healthcare provider’s EMR/EHR system, containing the health data of every patient, could be disastrous. Critical patient data including information on every visit summary, prescription written, procedure performed and so much more could all be wiped or stolen in one go, and all the benefits that could have been derived from that data would be gone forever.
According to CB Insights, the fourth quarter of 2020 was the second-biggest funding quarter to health cybersecurity companies in the past three years. As an aftereffect, reported data breaches in the U.S. healthcare sector increased by almost three times last year, according to HHS data, with malicious actors targeting the industry as it struggled to respond to COVID-19. These worries carry into 2021, especially as the country races to address and fix the vulnerability. Increased investment in cybersecurity is expected as HHS regulations are nudging the industry towards more interoperability with all heightened safeguards.
Digitizing Healthcare is only set to accelerate in 2021 as healthcare gets more accessible and affordable to all. ServiceNow Healthcare enables us to rethink outdated infrastructure to deliver better healthcare experiences and outcomes, without compromising on security or compliance. When done right, digital health and transformation has the potential to create additional revenues and reduce overall costs all while improving patient experience.