The global rollout of vaccines provides promise, but we must equally recognize the enormous hurdles of distributing and administering vaccinations at scale. The logistical difficulties are well chronicled, but cyber security dangers are also a serious concern that must be addressed.
Risks to patients and the organization
These times healthcare industry is particularly concerned about two issues. The first one is the prevalence of unsecured devices as well as legacy technology (like workstations, network infrastructure) in most healthcare institutions. The second concern is the rising risk profile related to network-connected medical devices, sometimes known as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices. These factors, when considered collectively, pose considerable clinical as well as organizational hazards.
For instance, if a ‘standard’ indiscriminate ransomware assault targets a vaccination hub or any hospital website and disables patient administration as well as EMR systems, vaccines would be severely disrupted solely because patient information could not have been authenticated. If you carry it a step farther with a more focused attack, pharmacy systems as well as IoMT equipment like drug fridges or dispensing cabinets could be hacked. These might have a greater consequence as it could face the loss of very expensive batches of vaccinations of the most time and temperature-sensitive vaccines as a result.
Minimizing human errors, enhancing clinical outcomes, increasing care coordination, boosting practice efficiencies, as well as collecting data over time are just some of the ways that health information technology can help improve and revolutionize healthcare.
Medical sector to witness a great change in the upcoming decade
A study conducted over the medical sector depicts that a dynamic transformation is about to witness. Healthcare technologies are going to revolutionize the medical sector, such as artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, cloud technologies, and many more. These technologies are streamlining various processes, such as finance, clinical operations, the workplace, and more. The prediction says that healthcare technologies will be greatly influencing the next decade with mesmerizing changes taking the level of medical sectors very high and setting new bars.
The insights of the medical sector state that:
- Integration of existing technologies with a cloud: Cloud integration with existing technologies is becoming a major source of medical sector transformation. In the recent era, several technologies are dominating the medical sector and now experts have integrated cloud technologies to enhance the operations of existing ones. Cloud technologies are helping professionals to segregate their functions and maintain a data backup for a lifetime duration. The use of cloud integration allows professionals to store data, and to mine it whenever required.
- AI infusion: Artificial intelligence is a non-separable solution from the medical sector as it has made major changes in the industry. But the prediction says, AI is going to be the backbone of the medical sector with a surge of 20% in the inception of artificial intelligence with the technologies and the upcoming years will be coming up with a widespread AI adoption. Using AI, most healthcare organizations are infusing voice integration and bot integration that can automate the process by reducing the complexity of the process and increasing accuracy.
- Personalized and quick medical care: In upcoming days the medical sector will be serving much personalized medical care. With the ability of blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and many other technologies, medical professionals are able to serve personalized medical care.
Rethinking healthcare services with AI-enabled physicians
While many physicians have been cautious about artificial intelligence in clinical settings in the past, in today’s fast-changing healthcare sector, many are considering how AI may enhance the quality of care and patient experience.
Patient’s engagement and their care
With the use of AI algorithms, the AI-enabled doctor may delegate ordinary and tedious duties like providing educational materials, obtaining prescription refills, as well as replying to patient concerns in today’s time of virtual care merging using in-person care. In larger areas, a physician can improve the efficiency of his clinic or department by using AI-powered technologies such as symptom checkers to screen patients Other uses of AI that serve to enhance the patient experience include the usage of AI-powered chatbots to handle common inquiries and book appointments.
When employing linked devices, AI algorithms are assisting in identifying individuals with chronic diseases sending them educational materials, medication reminders, and alerting physicians of any variations in their labs or vitals. As a result, patients are more involved and liable for their health.
Identifying cases when and where AI could be utilized successfully
It’s critical to pick application cases in which AI algorithms can have a quantifiable influence on clinical practice. Radiology, neurology, internal medicine, and cardiology are some of the fields where AI has indeed been successfully utilized. In all of these domains, algorithms discreetly work in the shadows to assist clinicians in making a difference, often by offering a second opinion or merely alerting physicians to any potential problem. The presence of physicians has never been overpowered by AI.
Artificial intelligence has achieved significant advances in the operational and administrative parts of healthcare and is having a meaningful impact on large health systems’ profits.
How might health IT systems be optimized for immunization campaigns?
The COVID-19 immunization program could become a game-changer for healthcare businesses if the correct technology applications are used. COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, on the other hand, are being prepared in partnership with public healthcare professionals to prioritize distribution by age groups, locate vulnerable population groups, regulate the demand-supply gap, trace vaccinated groups, and much more.
Administering large-scale immunization programs in every country is a huge undertaking that technology can help with. Governments all across the world have been quietly ramping up their IT capabilities to aid in vaccination delivery procedures The COVID-19 immunization program could become a game-changer for healthcare business if the correct technology applications are used. Vaccination drives only can benefit from health IT. It is critical to identify all workflows as well as stakeholders of the vaccination system or application being utilized to properly digitize the vaccination process.
Intervention areas where technology can help with vaccine administration:
- Vaccine tracking: Managing the vaccine cold chain is critical, particularly when vaccines are shipped over vast distances and must be stored under strict conditions. Sensors to measure the temperature of a vial as well as dashboards to monitor supply chain operations throughout various distribution channels are among the tracking technologies.
- Exploring vaccination suppliers. Vaccine locators are basic web portals that allow you to quickly locate relevant providers in your area. The CDC is now hosting the website for COVID-19, which includes a list of immunization facilities and clinicians across the country.
- Eligibility is being checked. Most countries deliver vaccines in a staggered fashion, with the most susceptible receiving the doses first. People can find out if they are eligible for public health care by filling out a simple questionnaire or checklist on the website.
- Vaccination appointment. This operates in the same way as any other scheduling strategy, such as making an appointment and can assist prevent overcrowding at medical centers for vaccination drive.
Some errors may exist in the early stages, but they should be addressed rapidly to keep the learning curve moving forward. In such a large-scale worldwide immunization campaign, technology should never be an impediment. Technology isn’t about choice; it’s about making it easier to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.