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by Ana Rafaela Prado, Chief Medical Information Officer, Cascais Hospital, Portugal

In the swiftly changing healthcare landscape, the fusion of technology and patient care is increasingly integral. As both a physician and Chief Clinical Information Officer, I have been privileged to observe the profound impact of technology in elevating patient outcomes and transforming healthcare delivery, which I will touch on in more detail below and at Digital Health’s Rewired 2024.

The Driving Force of Technology in Healthcare

Central to healthcare transformation is the effective use of data. Technology, ranging from basic software to advanced surgical robotics, empowers us to document, scrutinize, and refine our methodologies, ensuring enhanced quality and safety in patient care. At Grupo Lusíadas Saúde, adopting technology has been pivotal in shifting the organizational culture. It’s not merely about data accumulation but its strategic application. At the core of this transformation is the effective use of data. From basic software to advanced surgical robotics, technology enables us to document, analyze, and refine our methodologies, ensuring enhanced quality and safety in patient care. This shift is not just about data accumulation but about its strategic application in organizations like Grupo Lusíadas Saúde, where adopting technology has been pivotal in changing the organizational culture.

The Role of Technology During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the crucial role of technology in healthcare, from the surge in telehealth to the use of devices like tablets for patient communication. The development of a patient-assistance app during this crisis exemplifies technology’s potential in offering practical solutions. This experience has provided valuable lessons for future healthcare crises.

Educating Future Healthcare Professionals and the Rise of AI

The next generation of healthcare professionals, being digital natives, are adept at incorporating technology. Their critical insights help refine technological solutions, ensuring that these innovations enhance rather than overshadow the human aspect of care. Simultaneously, we’re exploring the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in areas like lung cancer diagnosis and patient attendance predictions. These technologies hold immense potential in improving patient outcomes but must coexist with the human element of care.

Data Security and Global Trends in Healthcare IT

Data security remains a significant challenge in the digital age. It is imperative to develop robust digital security measures and educate healthcare professionals about data privacy. Through my involvement with HIMSS Europe and EMRAM stage 7 validations, I’ve observed that the most successful organizations in healthcare IT are those with a stable, digital-savvy culture. These organisations don’t just adopt technology; they imbue it with meaning and purpose, impacting patient outcomes significantly.

Balancing Technology with a Human Touch and Looking Ahead

At Lusíadas, we emphasize maintaining human interaction in patient care. The integration of technology should never detract from our ability to provide compassionate, personalized care. This balance requires continuous evaluation and adjustment. Looking to the future, organizations that fail to keep pace with digital developments risk becoming obsolete. I am particularly excited about the potential of AI in enhancing patient outcomes. As technology evolves, so must our people and our leadership approaches.

In conclusion, as we navigate this digital revolution, our focus must remain steadfast on enhancing patient outcomes and preserving the human essence of healthcare. The journey ahead is complex but incredibly promising.

Learn more about Ana Prado’s vision of technology’s transformative role in healthcare delivery at Digital Health’s Rewired 2024 event in Birmingham (UK) on 12-13 March 2023.