EHR development trends
The previous months of the pandemic brought to light the emergence of such technology in healthcare as TeleMedicine and Mobile Health. These, in turn, refer to the current EHR industry trends. The leading EHR vendors are working on the development and integration of the above and other tools to improve their products’ usability and innovativeness.
Right now, healthcare is in between the stages of EHR optimization and extension. These systems still have errors to be mitigated and shortcomings to be dealt with. Nevertheless, some organizations have already started using EHRs as a springboard to introduce emerging technology to their workflows – and thus, to deliver better, smoother, and cheaper care to patients. Here are just a few of the latest EHR industry trends to watch for in the years ahead.
The rise of TeleMedicine
Recently, nobody could have predicted such an urgent need in arranging video calls between physicians and their patients, which we have seen in the last few months. And though TeleMedicine is known for being imperfect from a diagnosis perspective, it’s going to stay with healthcare, promising a $93.45 billion growth by the year 2026.
While ambulatories are satisfied with live video visits alone, large healthcare systems would benefit from such options as remote patient monitoring, chronic care management, remote video interpretation, telequarantine, etc. Not all EHR vendors offer these tools yet. However, it’s more convenient for clients when all the necessary services can be obtained in one clinic and on one platform. So in the next couple of years, the EHR market players will have to invest in TeleMedicine innovations if they don’t want to lose the battle for their clients.
The tendency for smarter EHRs
The implementation of Artificial Intelligence with Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing indicates some EHR trends for the next few years.
Voice recognition. Epic and Allscripts, the giants in the EHR industry, are working on voice assistants within their solutions. This technology can recognize the human voice and thus, provide the information needed. For example, it responds to standard medical questions, displaying the patient’s test results. Integrating a speech recognition system into the EHR can help with instant translation of the doctor’s speech into a rich, detailed patient record. Such systems are also intended for receiving instructions from physicians, say, to perform a CBC or an MRI.
Chatbots. Asparia, a US company, designed a chatbot that integrates with various EHR platforms. It sends patients messages with appointment reminders and useful guides on how to prepare for upcoming visits. If the patient is not able to come to the clinic, the system offers free slots and does rescheduling. All this results in way fewer no-shows in health facilities, better staff time management, and the enhancement of patient engagement.
Data analytics. One of the EHR adoption trends is early diagnostics. The technology is aimed at proactive care so that the symptoms can be addressed before they become issues. This is possible due to the ability of EHRs to communicate real-time patient data.
Banner Health, a network of healthcare institutions located in Arizona, published a study on how timely alerts from the EHR platform save lives. Thanks to its analytic abilities, the system immediately warns physicians of acute patients’ states connected with organ failure or inflammatory response.
The Stroke Prevention in Healthcare Delivery Environments (SPHERE), an organization based in Ohio, researched the EHR’s impact on clinical decision support and cardiovascular health. The EHR system analyzes such factors as cholesterol level, weight, blood pressure, smoking status, and hemoglobin A1c. From this information, cardiologists can understand which patients are exposed to the risk of a stroke.
Blockchain to control access rights
Blockchain-based EHRs represent a decentralized system that allows users to share information more easily than the traditional centralized method. The above platforms are also much less prone to privacy and security threats due to the use of decentralized identifiers. Moreover, the blockchain approach will help to bring into sync multiple EHRs managed by hospitals, dental clinics, insurance companies, surgery centers, and patients.
Anthem, one of the US insurance giants, designed a mobile app that gives different healthcare providers the right to view their healthcare records. Another good example of using blockchain technology in EHRs is a product developed by LumenLab, MetLife Asia’s research center in Singapore. The system connects to patients’ EHRs and automatically initiates insurance payouts in case it detects expectant women with gestational diabetes.
Therefore, mastering blockchain technology hopefully falls among the future trends of EHR.
The above innovations give new directions to EHR development. However, technology is evolving so fast that one can’t predict where humanity will find itself in five years. The recent entrance to the EHR industry of such tech giants as Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft definitely promises some fascinating inventions in the near future. It urges the key EHR vendors to look for smarter solutions to survive in the forthcoming competition.
As we see, TeleMedicine is a much more complex and promising solution than just a video chat between a doctor and a patient. However, the capabilities and the extent of virtual care greatly depend on which IT solution the clinic has chosen. In addition, no matter what platform an organization chooses, for effective launch, support, and refinement of the system, it will need a team of professionals specializing in TeleMedicine software development.