Five healthcare trends as observed by Gijima Technology Solutions

The South African healthcare sector needs to move fast to adopt new trends based on global standards, says Shubna Harilal, Managing Director, Gijima Technology Solutions.

Johannesburg, 03 Dec 2021
Read time 5min 50sec
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Our researchers have observed new technology trends in the healthcare space globally:

  • Decision-makers need to understand that within a robust architecture, it is important to prioritise data privacy, ethical design and continuous governance.
  • The recognition that an investment in digital twin technologies (eg, IOT, data streaming, 5G) are critical for introducing new generation of intelligence and opportunities within the healthcare environment.
  • IT landscape modernisation is becoming critical to manage costs, deliver effective healthcare services and ignite innovation.
  • The new normal, which has brought to the fore a hybrid working environment (work from home and work from the office) has forced healthcare organisations to begin looking at how new digital services and remote work can extend the healthcare organisation’s mission and fuel a competitive advantage.
  • A service integrator can be an enabler to moving beyond small-scale implementation and becoming a leading partner in shaping the healthcare of tomorrow.

In my last article, I spoke in detail about how we need to shift the paradigm in the healthcare sector. In that article, I referred to the need for an integrated healthcare management system, which is underpinned by data analytics and systems integration which is becoming more important than ever.

To transform the South African healthcare industry into a modernised ecosystem that has the capability of providing equitable healthcare services across the spectrum, it is important to study global trends that can be used as case studies to enable the South African healthcare industry to evolve and achieve world-class standards? If we are to shift the paradigm in the healthcare space and digitise the sector – both private and public – to serve the healthcare consumers and stakeholders better, we need to look at the advancement in healthcare technology. Gijima, as a leading local ICT provider with breakthroughs in the provision of healthcare integrated management solutions, has been conducting a study looking at emerging healthcare technology trends that could positively impact the healthcare industry in South Africa. So, what trends have we observed? 

1. Deployment of a robust, agile architecture stack

The prioritisation of deploying a robust, agile architecture is key to establishing a solid foundation to enable digital transformation. Healthcare decision-makers must recognise that how the technology stack is built will have an impact on the speed, scale and flexibility in the provision of healthcare services. Within a robust architecture, it is important to prioritise data privacy, ethical design and continuous governance.

2. Recognising the power of intelligent, digital twins

Supply chain and facility capacity breakdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic spurred the rapid adoption of digital twins that can monitor, simulate and streamline data from various devices. Growing investments in digital twin technologies (eg, IOT, data streaming, 5G) are introducing a new generation of intelligence and opportunities. With the power of the mirrored world, healthcare leaders are connecting massive networks of intelligent digital twins to create living models of facilities, supply chains, medical products, surgical tools, body parts and organs. Digital twins provide answers to key questions that will soon be essential to every healthcare enterprise’s digital strategy.

Digital twins can gather, visualise and contextualise data from across their physical assets and products, bridging their physical operations and digital capabilities. The mirrored world will allow healthcare leaders to bring data and intelligence together at unprecedented scales.

3. Modernising the technology environment

ERPs have a long life span and, after years of upgrades, customisations and add-ons, IT and business managers have recognised that a “reliable” technology foundation is becoming a stumbling block for business transformation. Our study has shown that this is true for the healthcare industry in both the public and private sector.

Hence, the modernisation of the IT landscape is becoming critical for healthcare providers’ ability to ignite innovation and deploy digital solutions across their organisations. Coupling and deploying the best of COTS solutions could enable the healthcare organisation to have an agile, transformed IT stack that will enable digitalisation and the deployment of robotics, AI, process automation and cloud solutions without having to replace their current ERP solution.

Natural language processing, low-code platforms and robotic process automation (RPA) are just a few of the capabilities and services making technology more accessible.

4. Bring your own environment (BYOE)

The pandemic forced healthcare providers to fortify the frontlines while shifting some employees to remote work. Physical distance became a necessity, even for those delivering care in person. Organisations had to put in place virtual collaboration and virtual care capabilities to meet the demands that spiked overnight. Some healthcare entities invested in digital collaboration tools and remote monitoring capabilities to support their remote workforce during COVID-19. While these were a necessity at the time, now we can look at how new digital services and remote work can extend the healthcare organisation’s mission and fuel competitive advantage. We are moving into a new future where a large portion of work can be done from anywhere.

Employees are also now bringing entire environments to work. While they may be on an employer’s laptop, that laptop is connected to a personal home network that also hosts smart speakers, security cameras and more.

By addressing your BYOE risks and pain points now, your organisation can capitalise on new ways of working while doing so safely.

5. A need for an integrator of multiparty systems – transforming partnerships into a collaborative ecosystem

Partnerships are taking centre stage as healthcare organisations begin to set ground rules for the post-pandemic world, constructing new ecosystem-based business models. But just as multiparty systems drive benefit for everyone in the ecosystem, healthcare organisations embarking on these undertakings must do it with a wider perspective of what value means.

Now is the time to re-explore a full ecosystem approach. Gijima, as a service integrator, can enable you to move beyond small-scale implementation and become a leading partner in shaping the healthcare of tomorrow.

To ensure that providers and vendors of technology solutions collaborate to enable the organisation's mandates and strategic drivers, a service integrator is critical to ensure transparency, governance, service delivery and management of risk.

In the last article of this series on healthcare digitisation, Gijima will share a comprehensive document looking at the trends that healthcare providers need to take into consideration as they embark on their healthcare digitisation strategy.

Editorial contacts
Chief Marketing Officer (Gijima) Roberta Gumede (010) 449 5000
Communications Specialist (Gijima) Thamsanqa Malinga (010) 449 5000 / (083) 301 7878
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