The worldwide pandemic has made people warier than ever of their health and overall well-being. When possible, patients tried to avoid visiting medical facilities and turned to modern tech to stay on top of their health at home.
Now, 60% of patients want to use technology to communicate with healthcare providers and self-manage their care. Unsurprisingly, this is also reflected in the U.S. patient engagement solutions market size, which is projected to grow at a CAGR of 16.6% from 2021 to 2028.
With the market potential growing, more and more medical professionals are looking into healthcare software solutions that can deliver higher patient engagement.
So, we thought it’d be important to discuss patient engagement software, explore its types and benefits, and share some emerging technologies that can make your solutions particularly unique.
The Importance of Patient Engagement in Healthcare
Chances are, you already know what patient engagement is. After all, the term is rather self-explanatory. However, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page.
Expectations in the medical sector are increasingly becoming similar to that of the hospitality industry. This causes patients to demand greater service and participation in their health decisions. Hence, solutions that enable their contribution are growing in popularity.
So, what is patient engagement software? In essence, it facilitates patient involvement in the maintenance of their health, the creation of a collaborative doctor-patient environment, and the improvement of service quality. It can be patient-facing, physician-facing, or both.
There are various types of patient engagement software but most of them combine elements of the following technologies:
- Practice management systems
- Medical billing solutions
- Post-acute care coordination platforms
- Customer relationship management tools
- Connected devices for health monitoring
Moreover, all of the above mentioned tools can come in the form of a healthcare mobile application. Thus, further adding to your patient’s convenience.
Patient Engagement Software Functions
Letting patients become more involved in their medical care can be achieved with a single piece of engagement software or through interconnected systems working together.
Yet, there are typical functions that distinguish patient engagement tools from others. Let’s take a look at the most common ones:
- Patient registration via portal
- Appointment reminding
- Scheduling capabilities
- Feedback collection
- Payment processing
- Secure messaging
- Health monitoring
As you can see, there is a multitude of patient engagement software functions in healthcare operations. However, not every medical practice wants to pursue the development of all of them. At the end of the day, it’s all about your unique business needs and the existing software you have on hand.
Benefits of Patient Engagement Software Development
Now that you have a better idea about patient engagement software, it’s worth discussing the benefits it can bring.
Better Service. By embracing patient engagement software, you will improve the level of provided services. The opportunities for communication between patients and doctors will increase, leading to higher treatment quality.
Increased Loyalty. Patients will appreciate the opportunity to self-organize and become more involved in their medical care. As a result, they will continuously pick your facility and scarcely go to a different one.
Higher Efficiency. Once your patient engagement software is up and running, you will quickly observe a boost in efficiency since time spent on administrative tasks like scheduling or billing will be significantly reduced.
Patient-centric healthcare is steadily gaining popularity as people begin to place a higher value on obtaining medical services that let them actively participate in the treatment journey. So, don’t underestimate the usefulness of patient engagement solutions for your organization.
Innovative Technologies That Enhance Patient Engagement Solutions
You now know why patient engagement software is so important and the benefits it can deliver. However, that is just the beginning.
Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things, blockchain, and artificial intelligence can elevate patient engagement solutions to a whole new level. Let’s take a look.
Internet of Things
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) involves a multitude of digital solutions for patient, asset, and staff management. However, in the context of facilitating patient engagement, one of the primary uses of IoT is definitely in remote patient monitoring.
The term remote patient monitoring refers to the use of connected devices that capture medical data and share it with physicians. For instance, IoT solutions can collect heartbeat, glucose, weight, or sleeping information and transmit it to doctors for early detection of potential health problems.
Thanks to the use of connected devices like wearables, patients become more involved in their well-being and medical practitioners gain insights into patient behavior that weren’t available before.
Another innovation worth discussing is artificial intelligence in healthcare. There is a myriad of uses of this technology within the entire sector. However, a couple is particularly relevant in the context of patient engagement.
Predicting sickness potential. AI’s primary strength is the ability to go through enormous amounts of data at a speed that no human can. So, it can quickly analyze patient data and identify people at risk of developing a certain illness.
Once AI alerts the physicians, they can invite patients for a check-up, begin curing treatments, or suggest actions that patients can take for preventative measures.
Facilitating patient communication. We’ve already established that healthcare consumers want seamless access to medical information and to become more involved in their well-being. So, it’s only natural for them to expect a quick response whenever they submit an inquiry.
With AI-powered chatbots, you can cater to the above-mentioned customer expectations. These intelligent tools can filter patient requests, answer simple questions, direct people to relevant resources, or connect with a human operator. Thus, helping you streamline patient communication.
Personalizing patient experiences. Healthcare providers have access to a lot of medical data that reveals patient behavioral patterns. AI can help process this information and draw out valuable insights that medical staff can use to deliver a more personalized level of service.
By anticipating needs and delivering unique services, healthcare providers with AI-powered patient engagement software can differentiate from competitors and start being seen as a truly caring organization.
The use of blockchain in healthcare to improve patient engagement might be a little less obvious. However, if we remind ourselves that the end goal is to help patients become more involved and in charge of their medical data — it all begins to make sense.
Without blockchain, patients have limited ownership of their health information. This hinders the cooperation between various providers and increases security risks associated with data exchange.
Yet, if healthcare providers embrace blockchain networks that leverage smart contracts, interoperability standards, and cryptography, patient trust can be significantly boosted. That way, individuals will be able to track what happens with their information and be more confident in the safety of their data.
Is It Time to Develop Patient Engagement Software?
Patient engagement software development is increasingly growing in popularity within the medical sector. Plus, the rise of innovative technologies has made way for IT solutions to drive even more efficiency and create additional touchpoints with customers.
At Velvetech, we understand the importance of delivering unique and engaging experiences to your patients. Moreover, we have years of expertise in developing healthcare software solutions that enhance the digital capabilities of various organizations.
So, don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you’d like to discuss the development of patient engagement software for your company. We’ll be happy to help.