Technological innovation has rapidly become the cornerstone of modern society. It has permeated every industry and altered the structure of professional fields – if a problem arises, there are algorithms, software, and data in place to better understand and help fix them. However, the applications of new technology go beyond facilitating tasks and problem resolution for employees and employers – in fact, they save countless lives and improve the quality of life for even more.
Services and technology have become the fastest-growing profit pool in the healthcare industry over the past five years. This is in large part due to recent technological advances in advanced analytics, machine learning, and digitalization that have found a number of uses in healthcare. Consider the digitalization of health records, which offer increased quality and efficiency and provide a reliable standardized system for patient records as well as invaluable data on the clinical research front (Reddy et. al, 2018). Researchers estimate the transition from paper records has reduced the cost of outpatient care by as much as 3% (Banova, 2014). In short, this technological innovation has helped healthcare services make a quantum leap.
And this quantum leap is indicative of a much more transcendent change in healthcare. Technology as we know it evolves at an unforgiving speed. It has no designated ‘end point’ because the idea is always to reshape and improve, to get better and faster. This attitude carries over to healthcare, in the sense that constant technological innovation forces the health industry to reinvent itself in tandem. A culture of continuous innovation is thus encouraged, and in turn, research improves, practices change, and new challenges multiply. The digitalization of health records, among other innovations, has helped create more room for quality control, while mitigating the need for damage control.
More importantly, as this shift occurs, the focus of top healthcare providers shifts from competition to innovation and the value chain becomes blurred. Consider: many among the top ten players in healthcare services have begun to integrate – CVS bought Aetna for $69 billion; Optum bought DaVita Medical Group for $4.9 billion (Reddy et. al, 2018). Corporations are looking to one another for solutions, expansion, and ways to better address their customers’ needs. The gist of it is: in the wake of technology and its unparalleled power, the health industry is reshaping itself, changing the exchange of information and the quality of patient care.
Now, why should this matter to a public relations firm like NATIONAL? The health industry is seeking to reinvent itself, both structurally and in the public eye; healthcare service providers want to alter their image, connect with their consumers, and harness recent technology. In order to do that, they need a strategy and set goals; they need guidance to shift from an impersonal business stance to a more interactive one. While healthcare has historically been a local business, as capabilities become increasingly important, so does scale. And this is a front where NATIONAL excels: exposure, expansion, laying the foundation for growth where it is needed.
As the market for consumer-led connected health prospers, the health industry is opening its doors to new platforms and new ideas that can help them become more in-touch with the virtual world and their consumers. Our experience in public relations as well as our relationships with many top players in healthcare mean we have both the insight and resources to make this transition a reality for potential clients. Our multidisciplinary team can provide expertise in social media, virtual design, and corporate communications alike, and the multifaceted changes that healthcare services are seeking out require a multifaceted team to effectively make them.
In the wake of a growing union between technology and healthcare, NATIONAL can help health professionals take advantage and capitalize, benefitting business and improving patient care.
With contributions from Rachel McKenzie
——— Charles Milliard is a former Vice-President at NATIONAL Public Relations