Virtually every industry has been transformed by technology, and healthcare is no different. Doctors, insurers, and other medical officers constantly look for innovative ways to improve patient care, while IT and administrative staff are looking at technology to assist these caregivers with backend process improvements. Digital transformation in healthcare can bridge the gap between these two needs.

Find out what digital transformation in healthcare is, why it’s top-of-mind for healthcare leaders, how it helps solve problems within the industry and technology trends to create better outcomes.

What is Digital Transformation in Healthcare?

Digital transformation in healthcare is the process of using digital technologies to create and automate new — or modify existing — business processes and patient experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. 

In general, these innovations have aimed to improve the quality of patient care, improve patient experiences, accelerate response times and streamline manual processes to reduce processing times.

How Can Digital Transformation Help Solve Data Challenges in Healthcare?

Healthcare providers are expected to deliver outstanding patient care for low costs, all the while keeping track of administrative tasks, record filing and compliance requirements. This is an incredibly tall order that is virtually impossible without automation and digital transformation.

Digital transformation helps healthcare organizations to solve these common challenges by offering the following benefits:

  • Centralize Data and Documents. With digital documentation and intelligent document capture technology, healthcare organizations can easily file and sort health records, insurance claims and any other important information that come into their system. 
  • Better Data Analysis. Digital transformation enables healthcare to easily access data insights that were not available before. Now, for example, healthcare professionals can look at a patient’s data and make more informed decisions about the kind of care they require.
  • Improved Patient/Customer Experience. When data and documents are housed on a digital platform, patients can more easily access their information. This helps them stay informed about their own health and, in turn, improves their experience with healthcare facilities.
  • Improved Time Management. With the efficiency the other benefits provide, healthcare professionals will save a lot of time. They can spend that newly found time on more valuable tasks or use it to treat more patients.

What Spurred Digital Transformation in Healthcare?

The gradual digitization of the modern world has helped transform the healthcare industry into what it is today. However, while this steady development has spurred the majority of innovation, COVID-19 and social distancing protocols accelerated the adoption of these practices. We’ll look at how these factors impacted digital transformation of healthcare.

Gradual Technological Innovation

Technology has transformed the world. Daily lives now look completely different from even just 20 years ago, with smartphones and streaming services demanding nearly everyone’s attention. 

Because of this technological revolution, customers of every industry expect a streamlined customer experience. Unfortunately, that meant industries that weren’t at the forefront of technological innovation, like healthcare, had some catching up to do.

Organizations that successfully transformed their operations can now meet their patients’ growing expectations for digital interaction within healthcare. The following tools help them accomplish this:

  • Mobile apps. Many healthcare facilities have developed apps that make health monitoring significantly easier for patients. These apps help users easily access their medical records, receive test results and set up future appointments. Other patient-targeted healthcare apps can even inspire them to remain healthy by helping them count calories and track activity and wellness goals.
  • Digital health records. Thanks to health record automation, organizing patient files has never been easier. Patients can fill out their information on a healthcare facility’s website, which will promptly be stored and filed into the facility’s database. Then, the patient’s doctors and physicians can easily find that information with a few clicks.
  • Document capture. Even if a facility continues to use physical documents, document capture technology makes it easy to digitize the document’s contents and organize it in a digital format. Intelligent capture technology is perfect for invoice processing, filing medical insurance claims, patient records and organizing a slew of other documents. You can contact Ephesoft to schedule a demo of document capture software to experience all of the benefits.
  • Telehealth Visits. Using video conferencing software, doctors can visit with their patients remotely to go over any medical issues the patient is experiencing and work together to find a remedy. This is a milestone for patients whose conditions limit their ability to attend in-person visits.


Although many healthcare organizations had already begun to adopt the tools mentioned above, COVID-19 forced the acceleration of online platforms and applications as patients and caretakers had to adapt to new mandates and policies.

For example, telehealth visits skyrocketed during the pandemic, as it was the only option many healthcare providers could offer during lockdown orders and social distancing protocols. But even as COVID-19 cases lessened and lockdown protocols eased up, many facilities found that the digital transformation they were forced to adopt improved their overall efficiency.

5 Digital Transformation Trends in Healthcare

Even with COVID-19’s acceleration of healthcare’s digital transformation, the innovations are not slowing down. Here are three digital transformation health trends to be aware of:

1. Big Data in Healthcare

Big Data refers to the high volume of data now available through social media channels and eCommerce transactions. When organized properly, this data offers new insights into patient care. These insights can help healthcare providers offer better care to their clients, helping healthcare workers identify any inconsistencies in patient care that may lead to medical errors.

This new advent in data analysis can also help with staffing needs as well; the predictive nature of Big Data allows healthcare providers to make more accurate estimates for staff needs. This helps providers save money and reduce days when they are understaffed.

2. Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the driving force behind a lot of today’s technical innovations. While AI may elicit thoughts of robotic nurses, which are used in certain practices, it encompasses even more.

For example, recent applications of AI have helped medical professionals in medical imaging and diagnosis. New AI programs have even helped to identify cancer cells better than ever before.

AI also helps drug manufacturers develop new medicines. In the past, research and development would take years to complete before a new drug could be placed on the market. With new innovations in AI and biotech, that timeframe can be reduced by up to four years.

3. Blockchain Transactions

Blockchain technology is a computerized database that specializes in ledger transactions, allowing its users to more securely exchange information with other entities. In the context of the healthcare industry, blockchain’s focus on ledgers allows healthcare providers to share electronic medical records more easily with patients and medical staff. This helps to ensure medical records remain accurate and unfragmented.

Implementing blockchain technology can also help the healthcare industry maintain better digital security. This is particularly important now, as data breaches and cybersecurity attacks have consistently increased every year for the past decade.

4. Data-Informed Predictive Healthcare

Thanks to the improved Big Data management that comes with digital transformation, healthcare professionals can more thoroughly analyze the medical histories of their patients. With this improvement, doctors can make more accurate predictions of illnesses and diseases that patients are at risk of developing in the future.

On top of these predictive capabilities, doctors can use this data to find and recommend healthier lifestyle recommendations so their patients can prevent or delay the development of such diseases.

5. Wearable Healthcare Devices

Devices like Fitbits and Apple Watches provide their users with exercise trackers, heart rate sensors and other health tracking indicators. While these metrics are helpful for the wearer, they are incredibly helpful for healthcare professionals who want to closely monitor their higher-risk patients. 

Additionally, wearable healthcare devices can encourage healthier living for patients by personalizing the healthcare experience.

Why Digital Transformation is Necessary for Healthcare

The world is only becoming more reliant on technology. And as customers lean on that reliance, they will expect more on-demand services from their healthcare providers. Therefore, the healthcare industry must adapt to these expectations and embrace digital transformation if they want to remain in business.

Additionally, since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, public health has pushed itself to the forefront of many people’s minds. This means more people are taking action to live a healthy life. Digital transformation in healthcare allows facilities to offer more efficient medical services so their patients are properly taken care of.

Start Your Transformation Today

If you haven’t already begun your healthcare organization’s digital transformation, you have no time to waste. Start your free trial of Ephesoft’s intelligent document processing solution so you can automate your administrative tasks and start taking even better care of your patients. More digital transformation healthcare resources can be found here.