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(5/24/2021)

As remote work has become widely embraced due to the pandemic, industries have been forced to adapt to technological innovations with a digital-first mindset. The healthcare industry is no different, and the digital transformation continues to drive new technologies to be fully integrated into everyday operations.

Telehealth.jpgCreating a seamless patient experience.
In the past, healthcare innovation has often been behind the curve compared with other industries. Digitization in healthcare has been particularly slow, but with the impact of COVID-19, facilities are now adopting these streamlined processes faster than ever before. Today there is a more seamless experience from patient check-in all the way to patient exit. Many healthcare systems now utilize artificial intelligence and can easily review a patient's virtual healthcare records from a wrist-like device downloaded electronically into a file. This information helps advise the physician and other healthcare professionals about what's going on and enables them to take action based on the latest research and data.
 
Incorporating new technologies into the healthcare facilities themselves has also been a recent trend, with buildings on the path to becoming more predictive of fault issues in areas such as elevators, air filter systems and lights by predicting their own life cycles. Healthcare facilities and hospitals are heading in the direction of becoming smart building environments, but there is still a ways to go.
 
Adapting with the impact of the pandemic.
COVID has had a momentous impact on the acceleration of innovation in healthcare with the sudden need to create opportunities for a touchless experience, to save and reduce the use of PPE, and to put patients and their loved ones in contact while maintaining social distancing protocols.
 
The use of telemedicine also saw an exponential expansion during this time, with the increased need for patients to meet with their physicians remotely. While telemedicine practices were in place prior to the pandemic, these technologies were not used to their full potential, and now telemedicine is widely adopted among physicians. Before the pandemic, Medxcel had approximately 60 doctors taking advantage of telemedicine capabilities. This grew to over 900 in only an 8-week span due to the pandemic.
 
Another strong initiative early on in the pandemic was the integration of thermal scanners at hospital entrances. These devices allowed for hospitals to easily check the temperature of patients and visitors, freeing up nurses to prioritize treating patients, rather than taking temperatures and entering results manually.
 
Looking into the future of healthcare innovation.
One emerging technology is the use of real-time location services that allow patients to navigate healthcare facilities through kiosks or mobile devices when fewer people are in the hospital to direct them. This can also be helpful with some patients being wary to ask for help for fear of contagions. Medxcel has found that directional signage is almost always ignored, and these mobile tools will allow patients to easily get to where they want to be.
 
In the future, Medxcel is also exploring more opportunities for voice enablements, such as integrations with Amazon’s Alexa. Alexa and iPads have already been brought into many hospital rooms, allowing patients to see their charts, watch educational videos, and even order food. These technologies are easy for patients to use and have endless opportunities to be leveraged in the future. 
 
For more, listen to the latest episode of Medxcel’s podcast Outside the Patient’s Door at outsidethepatientsdoor.com, or find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more. Experts Josh Sol, Administrative Director of Innovation and Ambulatory Clinical systems at Houston Methodist, and Mike Wood, VP of Planning, Design, and Construction at Medxcel share how the pandemic pushed technology to evolve rapidly.
 
Interested in learning more about Medxcel’s services? Contact us at info@medxcel.com or 855-633-9235 to see what we can do for you!