The medical sector facing the challenges of digital transformation

Big data in healthcare abstract concept vector illustration. Personalized medicine, patient care, predictive analytics, electronic health records, pharmaceutical research abstract metaphor.

These days, no sector can escape the digital wave that is shaking up our societies. The medical field, in particular, is undergoing profound change under the impetus of digital technologies. In an era now governed by data, the healthcare sector needs to adopt innovative tools to optimise diagnosis, patient care and, ultimately, save lives.

Digital transformation and health: the challenges

The digital transition underway in the medical sector is pursuing ambitious and varied objectives. Let’s take a closer look at the main challenges of this transformation.

Firstly, digital technology is bringing medical staff and patients closer together than ever before. Telemedicine tools such as teleconsultation facilitate remote interaction. As a result, access to care is facilitated by optimised treatment.

Secondly, the dematerialisation of medical data encourages better collaboration between hospital and outpatient services. Sharing information is simplified by convergent information systems. This streamlining of the care pathway benefits the patient through personalised monitoring that is not subject to the vagaries of transmission between services.

New technologies are also improving the accuracy of diagnosis and the effectiveness of treatment. Artificial intelligence analyses masses of data to detect weak signals. As a result, the modelling of pathologies has been considerably refined, reducing the margin for error. Patients benefit from the best possible support at the right time.

What’s more, this optimisation generates savings in terms of public health expenditure. The automation of certain medical tasks reduces costs.

The massive collection of health data feeds the creation of vast common knowledge bases. Medical research benefits from this and speeds up the development of new treatments.

However, the management of highly confidential health data remains a key issue. Strict regulation is essential to guarantee the security and ethics of automated data processing.

The momentum behind e-health

E-health refers to all the digital technologies used in the medical field. In practical terms, it brings together various applications that are already optimising patient care:

  • The shared medical record (DMP) brings together all the patient’s health information in a secure digital safe: history, treatment, test results, etc. Accessible to patients and authorised professionals, it encourages the coordination of care between health establishments. The DMP improves overall patient care.
  • Teleconsultation is carried out by videotransmission between the doctor and the patient at a distance. This avoids the need to travel to “medical deserts” and provides easier access to specialist expertise. A connected stethoscope or associated health devices can even be used for in-depth teleconsultation.
  • Remote medical monitoring is based on connected devices (blood pressure monitors, oximeters, scales, etc.) that continuously monitor the patient’s vital parameters at home. The data is analysed by the medical team, which can then detect any anomalies and intervene quickly before hospitalisation.
  • Mobile health via applications or wearables (watch, bracelet) encourages patients to get involved in monitoring their state of health by taking daily measurements. Patients become active players in their own health.
  • Digital therapies such as virtual reality and serious games enable patients to follow a fun rehabilitation programme, for example after a stroke or trauma.

These innovations bear witness to the tremendous growth of e-health, which is radically reinventing the patient-doctor relationship and treatments. Medicine is moving resolutely into the digital age.

Job opportunities for IT specialists

The digital transformation of the healthcare field is opening up new prospects for information systems consultants and software publishers. More than ever, their skills are in demand to support doctors and healthcare establishments in this transformation.

Consultants can intervene at several levels:

  • Auditing existing information systems and recommending appropriate digital tools;
  • Setting up and deploying the chosen digital solutions;
  • Change management support to facilitate the adoption of the new tools;
  • Securing healthcare data flows when they are dematerialised;
  • Interoperability of hospital and private sector information systems.

The specialised technical and functional skills of our IT specialists are essential to the successful digital transformation of the healthcare sector. Their missions cover a broad spectrum of interventions to meet the many challenges of this transformation.

In conclusion, the digital shift is becoming an imperative for the medical sector, even if it raises a number of challenges. There are many issues at stake: optimising care, reducing costs, increasing research, etc. In fact, e-health is already transforming practices through telemedicine, connected objects and digital therapies. This transformation is leading to more preventive, predictive and personalised medicine for the benefit of patients. However, the confidentiality of health data requires strict regulation. The digital transition in healthcare needs to be completed with prudence and discernment.

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