Pandemic prompts half of hospitals to rev up IT spend

The healthcare sector’s increasing focus on meeting the Quadruple Aim — enhancing patient experience, reducing costs, improving health outcomes, and improving clinician experience — has encouraged healthcare organisations to invest in digital health solutions, 

Frost & Sullivan’s recent survey showed that more than 50% of hospitals accelerating IT investments to cope with the challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The survey had a total sample size of 349 and included IT decision-makers from hospitals, medical practices, and residential care. It revealed that improving customer experience (CX) and operational efficiencies are top priorities, which healthcare organisations aim to attain by deploying digital health solutions.

“Leveraging cloud-based IT has become a priority to capitalise on the vast new resources of clinical, financial, socioeconomic, and other data generated across the health ecosystem and captured by electronic health records (EHR), connected medical devices, smartphones, and wearables,” said Alpa Shah, VP of CX practice at Frost & Sullivan. 

“Healthcare companies can use robust data sets to develop new insights, which help improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare and deliver new, innovative IT solutions that engage consumers,” said Shah.

She added that data visualisation tools are the top transformative technologies used today and the highest priority for investment over the next two years. 

Similarly, artificial intelligence (AI) will be vital to enhance organizations’ enterprise communications and contact center capabilities. However, dealing with security concerns continues to be a top obstacle for IT departments, which is a crucial factor for consideration when purchasing any solution over the next two years.

With surging investments in digital solutions in the healthcare space, market participants need to focus on the following growth opportunities.

One focus is digital solutions that monitor healthcare workers and patients, which are expected to gain momentum over the next two years.

Another is that each hospital must find its optimal balance of the human vs. AI equation.

Also, on-demand access to care drives unprecedented demand for telemedicine.

Further, hospital demand for medical technologies will rise. Chronic disease cases and a backlog of elective procedures will allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to partner with providers on new patient management models.