MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Aug. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the pandemic disrupted traditional patient service models, the healthcare sector overwhelmingly adopted remote and telehealth technology solutions. New global research from SOTI, A Critical Investment: Taking the Pulse of Technology in Healthcare, shows nearly all global healthcare providers (98%) offering frontline services have implemented IoT/telehealth medical device capabilities.
The increased adoption of new technologies in the healthcare sector is evident in 73% of IT healthcare professionals indicating they have increased their annual technology spend since 2020.
The rise in healthcare IT investments appears to be focused on three key elements: interconnectivity, automation and data management. Research revealed that 75% of IT healthcare professionals agree patient services benefit from heightened interconnectivity, 72% agree the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in patient care enables medical staff to treat more patients and 94% stated digital patient recordkeeping increases efficiency and enhances data sharing.
“Mobile and IoT devices helped healthcare organizations quickly adapt various models of patient care and improve health outcomes during the pandemic. Investments in IoT/telehealth medical device capabilities and technical infrastructure in healthcare are becoming vital in meeting critical care requirements,” said Shash Anand, VP of Product Strategy at SOTI.
“Although the scale of device implementation across the entire medical sector is an indicator of overall digital maturity, improving outcomes in remote health monitoring and digital recordkeeping are ongoing areas of focus. Today, 70% of healthcare providers use devices for remote health monitoring, and 57% of clinics providing frontline patient services have 100% digital recordkeeping,” added Anand.
As part of its report, SOTI surveyed 1,300 healthcare IT professionals across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, Sweden, France and Australia to understand how their organizations pivoted to provide patient care throughout the pandemic, the role technology played in delivering positive patient outcomes and what major obstacles remain.
Data Security An Ongoing Concern
Regarding data security, 86% of IT healthcare professionals are worried about patient information being revealed, lost, accessed, stolen or inadequately backed up. These are justified concerns as a staggering 70% of organizations have experienced a data breach since 2020. Healthcare IT professionals are primarily focused on the following data security concerns:
- Patient records being stolen in a cyberattack or hacking (39%)
- Patient information being revealed without patient consent (36%)
- Patient information being lost (36%)
In addition, 57% of IT professionals believe patient data security is more at risk than ever, while 46% agree their organization does not spend enough money on data security.
“Data security is a valid and ongoing concern for IT healthcare professionals. While the risk of a breach is not slowing down innovation, ambitions or investment in these areas, it might reduce confidence in the technologies, devices and services being deployed. As a result, healthcare providers must have a device management solution with strong security credentials in place. This solution should provide enhanced visibility, security and management of devices used to offer patient care, with the ability to remotely manage and shut down any devices or IoT endpoints during a security breach,” said Anand.
Addressing Device Downtime
A move towards digitization and eliminating outdated manual and paper processes enables healthcare providers to focus on patients and reduces the burden of administrative tasks that distract from caregiving responsibilities. However, when technologies are not properly implemented or maintained, costly device downtime can hinder a healthcare worker’s ability to provide critical care.
Globally, 60% of healthcare IT professionals in general medical practices/clinics surveyed said their organization experiences downtime with IoT/telehealth medical devices leading to patient care delays. Overall, 92% of healthcare IT professionals have experienced an issue of some kind, with 58% citing systems not integrating effectively and 52% noting frequent technical issues. All of this leads to each healthcare employee losing approximately 3.5 hours per week due to technical or system difficulties. On average, 21 working days are lost per employee annually.
“The digitization of healthcare processes and patient care services is accelerating across the global healthcare industry because it makes employees’ lives easier while making data more secure and accessible. However, to improve the level of day-to-day treatment and avoid patient care delays due to device downtime, healthcare IT professionals must ensure they have an advanced diagnostic intelligence solution in place to provide device support remotely and performance visibility across all devices,” concluded Anand.
A Critical Investment: Taking the Pulse of Technology in Healthcare can be downloaded here.
Using an online methodology, SOTI conducted 1,300 interviews with IT professionals in organizations providing frontline patient-facing healthcare services with 50+ employees across eight countries. All participants are aged 18 and over. Fieldwork was conducted from June 7 to 14, 2022. The interviews are split across eight markets as follows: U.S. (200 interviews), Canada (150 interviews), Mexico (150 interviews), UK (200 interviews), Germany (150 interviews), Sweden (150 interviews), France (150 interviews) and Australia (150 interviews).
SOTI is the world’s most trusted provider of mobile and IoT device management solutions, with more than 17,000 enterprise customers and millions of devices managed worldwide. SOTI’s innovative portfolio of solutions and services provide the tools organizations need to truly mobilize their operations and optimize their mobility investments. SOTI extends secure mobility management to provide an integrated solution to manage and secure all mobile devices and connected peripherals in an organization. For more information, visit soti.net.
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