For some, the introduction of technology in healthcare is met with caution and suspicion. In this article we unpack some of the most common myths around healthcare technology to help you make an informed choice when it comes to the health of your business.
Myth no. 1: Healthtech will eventually replace medical professionals
Truth: Healthtech can never replace doctors, but it can make them better
It is true, healthtech will transform the meaning of what it means to be a doctor – some tasks will disappear, while others will be added to the work routine. However, there will never be a situation where the embodiment of automation, either a robot or an algorithm will take the place of a doctor. One of the main reasons for this is due to the importance of ‘empathy’ and ‘human touch’ in healthcare treatment. When patients receive a life-changing diagnosis, they need a guide who will take them through the required therapy and overall support. An algorithm cannot replace that. Ever. Plus, a robot/ai is only as good as the information that is loaded into it. If a difficulty during surgery is encountered, will it be one that the AI has “seen” before – is it in the database? If it is, then things might turn out alright. If it isn’t, what surgeon’s “intuition” will it fall back on?
No matter whether it’s A.I., robotics, augmented or virtual reality, we should accept that they have a massive influence on the way healthcare operates, and then start to utilise their power. For example, for doctors who are submitting codes for billing, taking notes, prescribing drugs, scheduling follow up appointments and ordering tests, healthtech presents an opportunity to alleviate the time drain these tasks present. By reducing this type of admin with tech, doctors can spend more time getting to know patients better and understanding how a disease uniquely affects them. As we move towards outcomes-based reimbursement, healthtech gives doctors the time they need to offer personalised care to their patients and coach them towards better outcomes.
Myth no. 2: Healthtech is an additional practice expense and is costly to maintain
Truth: Healthtech will decrease practice expense through automation
Many people are still under the impression that these grand healthtech solutions are unattainable as they are unaffordable. In contrast to the early days of healthtech where software often came with high licensing fees; new cloud-based technology is cost-effective to implement and maintain. Cloud-based solutions also negate the need for in-house IT support staff, saving you on support fees. Plus, with cloud-based tech you don’t need to invest in specific devices as most solutions are device-agnostic, and very often they are based on a pay-per-use model. Taking all these factors into account, you get a better understanding of the true cost (and benefit) to implementing healthtech at your practice.
Myth No. 3: Not every medical practice needs a healthtech strategy
Truth: Every practice should investigate how technology can be applied to solve business problems
Even medical practice operates in a consumer-driven market and a certain level of technology adoption is an expectation, more than a nice-to-have. The current strategy for some practices might be ‘no advanced tech’ but this should be based on careful research and consideration. Every practice should (at least) have a basic healthtech strategy that is regularly reviewed against business improvements and patient preferences.
Myth no. 4: In the greater scheme of things, Healthtech will not affect me small practice
Truth: Healthtech is expected to have a significant impact on almost every aspect of healthcare
Everything from billing to medical records to how data is shared to how doctors are reimbursed will be rooted in technology. Even small practices will likely have to take steps to implement healthtech in the near future to ensure compliance with regulations.
Healthbridge has been helping doctors build their businesses for over 20 years. Get in touch to find out how we can help: firstname.lastname@example.org