July 14, 2024

Holistic Pulse

Healthcare is more important

Will the healthcare industry overcome current technological gaps? SOTI research shows lack of advancement year over year

4 min read

GUEST RESEARCH: As healthcare needs escalate globally, the requirement for modern technology to support patient care is evident. New research from SOTI, Code Digital: Will Healthcare Thrive or Survive, reveals that 77% of Australian healthcare IT decision makers believe organisations need to invest in new or better technology to improve patient outcomes.

Understandably, the persistence of outdated technology makes it difficult for healthcare workers to do their jobs efficiently. Research shows that healthcare staff are losing an average of 4 hours per week, per employee, due to technical or system difficulties associated with poorly managed devices and IT infrastructure. Additionally, over one-quarter (29%) of IT professionals estimated that each employee now loses more than five hours per week, affecting the quality of patient care. 

“Over half (57%) of Australian healthcare organisations regularly experience issues with IoT and telehealth devices, resulting in delays in patient care. This issue significantly impacts overall health outcomes,” explained SOTI vice president of sales and marketing APAC Michael Dyson. “Without adopting advanced technologies, we risk delaying critical care, mismanaging patient data and hindering communication among healthcare providers.”

In with the old, slow with the new: Addressing the remote support gap
Telehealth leverages technology to deliver healthcare services remotely and is relied on to meet community healthcare needs. While the rates of telehealth usage rise, legacy IT issues prevent 26% of healthcare organisations from supporting devices remotely. This impacts the ability to modernise day-to-day operations. 

Additionally, 81% of IT decision makers believe their organisations would benefit from more interconnected medical devices. Despite the rapid growth in the number and complexity of devices, healthcare infrastructure and management processes have not kept pace. In fact, 53% admitted to relying on outdated technology. This diminishes the ability to leverage the potential of telehealth technologies and the data they contain.

Digitising manual work in the healthcare sector helps to eliminate inefficiencies and reduces the volume of administrative tasks that can divert attention away from caregiving responsibilities. Recognising the patient care benefits that mobile devices bring, Hato Hone St John (Ambulance) recently underwent a major digital transformation project with SOTI. 

Hato Hone St John digital product manager Gabrielle Wildbore shared, “Hato Hone St John (Ambulance) deployed more than 2,500 rugged Android tablets using the SOTI ONE Platform. With SOTI we can remotely support any issue our paramedics may experience. We can critically update user applications, meaning that our team always has the latest app version and information in their hands to support positive patient outcomes.”

SOTI’s research also shows that artificial intelligence (AI) can be a key driver for enabling medical staff to treat more patients, with 79% of organisations in support of using AI in patient care to simplify tasks. Despite the strong interest in using AI to support patient care, the survey reveals a significant hurdle – 54% of IT decision makers feel anxious about using AI in patient care and 65% believe it poses a threat to patient privacy. 

“AI and machine learning can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of patient care, automating updates to patient records with greater accuracy and speeding up the generation of treatment plans. This allows medical staff to focus more on direct patient care, thereby increasing the number of patients that can be treated,” said Dyson. “It’s evident that there is a need for clearer technological roadmaps and more effective strategies to fully leverage AI and machine learning to enhance patient treatment capacity.”

Data security concerns escalate as legacy systems persist
Managing the security of shared devices and data security are growing concerns within the healthcare sector, with 39% of professionals citing one or other as their primary worry. This apprehension is mirrored by a rise in data-related incidents. With 84% of respondents stating that their organisation experienced one or more data breach, leak or ransomware attack since 2022. Additionally, over half (53%) said this was a breach from an outside source and 43% said it was a DDoS ransomware attack. 

The survey results highlight the critical need for robust data protection measures and substantial investment in securing sensitive healthcare information. SOTI’s research reveals a direct link between the use of legacy technology and escalating security issues. 

“Our research shows that 39% of respondents believe outdated IT systems heighten their vulnerability to cyberattacks – a direct correlation to the rate of data breaches and security threats. These security vulnerabilities should motivate healthcare providers to prioritise technological upgrades. Preventing costly data breaches and protecting sensitive patient information is vital, as any compromise can severely damage trust in healthcare systems,” concluded Dyson.

To address data security risks in the healthcare sector, organisations must prioritise robust device management solutions. The SOTI ONE Platform offers comprehensive visibility, strong security protections and the capability to remotely manage and secure devices. Moreover, organisations can gain real-time visibility into the field, to support data-driven decision making. It is crucial for IT decision-makers to understand how devices are used in operations, and to be proactive in addressing issues quickly and efficiently. 

SOTI’s latest report, Code Digital: Will Healthcare Thrive or Survive, can be downloaded here.

Report methodology
SOTI’s research spanned 1,450 IT decision-makers across the U.S. (200), Canada (150), Mexico (150), the UK (200), Germany (150), France (150), Sweden (150), the Netherlands (150) and Australia (150). The fieldwork took place between March 7 and March 25, 2024. All respondents worked within the healthcare industry in either a hospital, general medical practice, clinic or for an organisation that provides direct-to-patient remote or telehealth services.

About SOTI
SOTI is a proven innovator and industry leader for simplifying business mobility solutions by making them smarter, faster and more reliable. With SOTI’s innovative portfolio of solutions, organisations can trust SOTI to elevate and streamline their mobile operations, maximise their ROI and reduce device downtime. Globally, with over 17,000 customers, SOTI has proven itself to be the go-to mobile platform provider to manage, secure and support business-critical devices. With SOTI’s world-class support, enterprises can take mobility to endless possibilities. For more information, visit soti.net. 


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