In 2016, we saw a wave of interest and investment targeted at blockchain applications for the financial services industry. As the year comes to a close, that same momentum is carrying blockchain beyond the boundaries of financial services to drive forward another industry; healthcare. In recent study, the IBM Institute for Business Values indicated that 16 percent of healthcare institutions are expect to have a commercial blockchain solution at scale in 2017. This is a huge number, and represented in the graphic below in yellow. This finding is the result of a study across 16 countries and 200 healthcare executives.
The outbreak of the global pandemic has led to increased awareness and realization amongst the people about how technological advancements and innovations can be leveraged to help organizations and individuals to cope up with the drastic changes the world is witnessing across all levels. Consumers and their changing needs drive different industries. The way patients are consuming healthcare services is evolving, especially after the COVID-19, the consumer behavior has changed drastically. Pandemic, changing patients' needs and technological advancements are some of the few factors which are accelerating to change the dynamics of the healthcare industry. Patients are expecting new virtual and digital healthcare services from the healthcare institutions and to cater to those expectations, healthcare facilities have to change their work processes.
Of late there have been innumerable technological advancements which have transformed peoples' lives and led to entirely new products and services. In healthcare, technological innovations such mobile apps, wearables, and chatbots have helped people to be in-charge of their health. Today they have become more health savvy. From microscopes in the past to adoption of electronic medical records, technology has driven the success of healthcare in many ways. Though there are many drivers of technology, the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has led to applications which are now having a profound impact on peoples' lives. With its ability to process data in a speedy fashion, AI is revolutionizing the healthcare sector world over. According to experts, AI will be a key enabler for both the transformation and the disruption of the healthcare ecosystem.
Commenting on the publication of their report, Quint Simon, head of public policy for AWS APAC and Japan said: "We encourage policymakers and healthcare leaders to make digital transformation on healthcare a priority, so as to reduce costs, improve outcomes, ensure equity of access to healthcare, and accelerate progress towards sustainable development goals. Policymakers can propel wider cloud adoption and unleash even greater innovation by implementing risk-based digital policies like clear [cloud-first] policies that apply to healthcare, training workers in cloud skills, and collaborating with [the] private sector to leverage the full spectrum of cloud capabilities for the good of all citizens."
Healthcare organizations are increasing their use of technology but doctors still see their sector as a follower, not a leader when it comes to innovation. Google has released the results of its mid-pandemic survey of healthcare professionals, which found that 64% of physicians believe online gaming is more advanced than what's available in healthcare. Google Cloud's managing director of Healthcare and Life Sciences Joe Miles argues that systems interoperability will lead to better outcomes for patients. "The majority of physicians say increased data interoperability will cut the time to diagnosis for patients significantly (86%) and will ultimately help improve patient outcomes (95%)," he writes. Alphabet commissioned the survey of 300 physicians over 2020 and 2021. It found that use of telehealth saw substantial year-on-year growth, jumping nearly threefold from 32% in February 2020 to 90% this year.