2018 is the year that healthcare providers need to implement new digitisation strategies. 75 percent of patients expect to use digital services in the future, according to PwC, while Cisco reports only 25 percent of healthcare providers are willing to disrupt themselves to compete.

There's a hefty difference in those numbers, and with only one in four healthcare providers ready to pursue change, most practitioners will have a difficult time catching up when they do inevitably digitise.

We've discussed cutting-edge technology for healthcare providers in the past, and if you're thinking the time to step up your digital game is now, here are two ways that are tried, tested, and sure to add value to your services.

Cloud computing can benefit healthcare providers in a number of ways. Cloud computing presents an immediate benefit for healthcare providers.

Cloud computing for healthcare

Forrester has predicted that CIOs in the healthcare sector will divert resources from electronic health records (EHRs) into cloud-based solutions. Steve Wray, CEO of CloudMine, a cloud platform focused on the healthcare sector, has stated that the current issue facing the industry is siloed databases, and that the industry needs to move towards an interconnected system.

The most immediate benefit would be shared databases. Siloed EHRs are expensive and time-consuming to maintain, and there's no great benefit to having individual databases on site, at every site. This means that patients will be able to get adequate care at more than just one location.

Data analytics offer huge benefits in the healthcare sector.Data is one of the most useful tools for any business in 2018.

Data analytics and BI for healthcare

While EHRs did the groundwork for data collection, and the cloud will ultimately see it extend into a universal database, data analytics is where a lot of the value of digitisation comes in. Healthcare providers are already using analytics to track patients and assets, as well as mapping and scheduling. These are great ways to deliver a better service to patients, but the capabilities for advanced analytics are huge.

With the advent of the Internet of Things, data can be gathered from all manner of places; customer databases, mobile networks, diagnostic devices and other medical equipment. Ultimately, all of this can be compiled into specified reports, allowing you to identify issues in the healthcare you are providing. This can help to alleviate bottlenecked workflows, manage inventory and resources. Analytics can result in a more efficient operation and a greater level of patient care.

The time to step up your digital strategy is now. Current processes are on the way out, and adoption of new technologies is essential to remain competitive.

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