Deloitte Greece, on behalf of the Digital Transformation Observatory of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), analyzes Health 4.0, through a deep-dive study on the transformation of the healthcare sector driven by digital technologies.
Within the new digital era, the pace of change is faster than ever. The continious reduction in the cost of computing power, data storage, the use of broadband services and other individual technologies leads to an exponential rate of change that transcends industry and geographic boundaries, creating opportunities as well as disruption in many industries, including that of Health.
The digitalization of health services is expected to be one of the most important factors in the transformation of the health sector in the coming years. New technologies have the potential to radically transform the industry, but the challenges they pose are significant: regulatory hurdles, financial constraints, and difficulties in effectively digitizing patient data. In the picture also come global trends such as aging populations and general government spending constraints, factors that make the effective transformation of the health sector an urgent necessity, with digital technologies playing a central role in this change.
The change in the healthcare sector is expected to focus primarily on patients, who will assume the role of 'consumers of health services' as they seek control over the management of their health. The industry will be shaped by the needs and expectations of this new 'consumer of health services', who expect upgraded experiences, with key features being personalization, comfort, speed, and immediacy of service delivery.
Towards this end, two major changes are to be expected: First, changes in the setting of healthcare, which will be gradually transferred from the hospital to the patient’s premises. Second, changes in the way healthcare is provided, that is, increased emphasis on prevention and "cure" of the disease before it occurs. Outpatient care will be the new predominant way of providing healthcare services, with virtual and remote care ensuring universal access to health services for the population. This shift will essentially change the model of the healthcare system, with less emphasis being given on the physical expansion of hospital units and more on the development of structures enabling remote services. New digital technologies will enable this shift, delivering significant benefits to patients as well as healthcare units by improving efficiencies and effectiveness of provided services.
Trends like the ones mentioned previously as well as guidelines for how units can be transformed into “smart - connected hospitals” are analyzed in the study “Healthcare 4.0 – Digital Transformation of the Healthcare Sector” (available in Greek), which was developed by Deloitte for the Digital Transformation Observatory of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV).