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How Technology is Opening Career Opportunities in Health Care
Health care and technology have always been interconnected, the connections growing stronger with time — sometimes moving slower and today, moving at a staggering pace. There was a time, back in the 1960s, when the idea of using computers was deliberated upon and cast aside even because of prohibitively high costs and a too-big machine. We’ve certainly moved on from those days when you consider that now, robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Virtual Reality (VR) are intrinsic to the medical field and ubiquitous in operation theaters. That’s not all. Thanks to technological advancements, there has been an explosion of health care careers that have opened up across the spectrum of the health industry.
A Deloitte study found that 92% of health care professionals and institutes achieved better performance from digital transformation. Healthtech has indeed come a long way since the humble X-ray, and the constantly evolving digital transformation has opened new avenues for technology professionals to pursue.
A Technology Edge to the Human Touch in Health Care Careers?
The health industry has not been immune to the dizzying advancements in technology over the last several decades, particularly since the turn of the millennium (perhaps even slightly before). Technology has become savvier, sleeker, and smarter. Rapid digital transformation, the collection, collation, and consolidation of Big Data has increased the efficiency of providing health care to patients. Migrating to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), for instance, not only offers patient history at the click of a few keys but also enhances the privacy and protection of records. You can get a speedier diagnosis and as a result, quicker access to treatment. Given that the world rotates around a digitized sun, it is only fitting that appropriate technologies find use in health care. That, in turn, has morphed into the opening of a slew of health care careers, from administrative to surgical intervention.
AI, VR, Robotics — Health Care Careers are Going Tech in a Big Way
When it comes to tech health care, nothing is off the table. It could range from finding ways to use AI and VR in speeding up tasks or to making analyses. Or it could be using robots for more and more refined, minimally invasive surgeries. Then there is the vast universe of big data. This goes a long way in more accurate analysis, understanding techniques and trends in health care, and recommending the right treatment, among many other things. All of it circles back to the need to arm yourself with the right knowledge and explore these diverse and rewarding health care careers.
The Digital Transformation Bump to Health Care
AI is also gaining ground, and fast when it comes to applications in the medical field. The use of AI in health care is endless. In addition, AI algorithms can be used to read X-rays, it is valuable tech in creating ‘chatbots’, which are useful for timely and effective primary treatment and triage.
This software has yet another outlet with the dramatic surge in telemedicine and the advent of the virtual nursing assistant. It assures efficiency, speedy solutions, and patient engagement. It’s also useful in robot-assisted surgeries and extremely valuable in precision medicine. This is a field that uses a patient’s genetic information, lifestyles and environments to understand, diagnose, and treat them.
AI is the future and it’s here to stay. The global AI in the health care market size is anticipated to grow from $4.9 billion in 2020 to $45.2 billion in 2026 . As is VR. Many medical professionals — 82% to be precise —believe that VR offers easy and convenient access to information for medical students and professionals both, according to Accenture. In addition, the reasons for adopting VR are convincing, too. Moreover, the big one is the reduced costs, and even bigger ones include improving the quality of health care and facilitating the role of connected devices in this industry.
Running nose-to-nose with these technologies is the use of robotics, from seamless workflows at the administrative level to robot-assisted surgeries. Digital transformation has impacted all aspects of health care. Additionally, the side effects are all good and worth pursuing: and, newer, more exciting health care careers and the incredible potential of more on a very bright horizon.
7 Health Care Careers That are Trending, Thanks to Tech
Technological advancements have permeated every industry, transforming the way people work and the professions they pick. In fact, it may not be stretching things too far to say that if you are interested in tech-centric health care careers, you can cast the net pretty wide. While trying to list them all out would be like spiraling down a rabbit hole, this shortlist will give you a good idea about what’s out there:
1. Health Information Technician
This is someone responsible for secure data storage, regular updation of a medical facility’s databases, be it a hospital or a clinic, maintenance of insurance records, and even tracking patient progress by maintaining their records.
2. Cloud Technology Professionals
They seamlessly transfer and allow data to be shared between different hospitals and health care organizations.
3. Medical Coder
This role is multifarious. A coding specialist helps to process insurance claims, designate codes to symbolize specific diagnoses or medical procedures and work with the hospital/clinic’s invoicing division to streamline payment.
4. Health Service Administrator
This is an overseer who keeps an eye on the working of the IT architecture of a medical facility or a department within the facility. Their job is to leverage the IT systems to schedule appointments, reviewing of insurance claims, and ensure that the facility/department maintains its standards. In addition, the role also extends to making recommendations for improvements in the system.
5. Clinical Informaticist
They analyze the use of technology within the clinical framework and help collect and organize relevant patient information. Moreover, they can also recommend how to enhance data management. Apart from technological knowledge, a clinical informaticist must understand the workings of the health care industry and industry practices.
6. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Large medical facilities and hospitals would have this top-tier position today. A CTO (or CIO) supervises the technology end of things in a healthcare facility. They also evaluate newer technologies — software and hardware — to introduce in organizations, look at implementing new procedures vis-à-vis technology, and improve the quality of tech used.
7. Cybersecurity Professional
In this age of information warfare, hacks, leaks, and spies, the health care industry needs the highest level of protection — especially patient information, medical records, and financial details.
Health Care Careers Via Digital Transformation
One cannot overstate the advantages of technology in health care, given the terrific strides that are being made in both fields, separately and together. Staying in step with health care careers means brushing up on all the advancements in digital transformation. The Leading Digital Transformation in Health Care Program designed by the Harvard Medical School allows you to do just that. This six-week course offers modules that focus on leadership aspects as well as the focus on the vast array of use cases of digital transformation in health care, and how digital and global forces are converging to shape the health care ecosystem. Moreover, it delves into digital strategies for health care leaders to learn about digital processes best suited for their specific organizations, insights on relevant topics to enable efficiencies, and building leadership quality, among other topics.
Expect to hear from industry experts who will deconstruct the importance of health tech. Senior physicians and nursing staff, and upper-echelon administrators will benefit from this program. Others who would benefit are mid-level managers in the health care and health insurance space, and clinical leaders directly involved in using digital systems in patient care. It is also a great way for interested entrepreneurs to get a glimpse into innovative digital solutions in the healthtech industry.
By Gauri Kelkar
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