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Healthcare is starting to adopt more technology, but it has catching up to do

Healthcare organisations are taking tech more seriously, but it's still behind many other sectors.
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Written by Liam Tung, Contributor on

Healthcare organizations are increasing their use of technology, but doctors still see their sector as a follower, not a leader when it comes to innovation.

Google has released the results of its mid-pandemic survey of healthcare professionals, which found that 64% of physicians believe online gaming is more advanced than what's available in healthcare.

Google Cloud's managing director of Healthcare and Life Sciences Joe Miles argues that systems interoperability will lead to better outcomes for patients. 

"The majority of physicians say increased data interoperability will cut the time to diagnosis for patients significantly (86%) and will ultimately help improve patient outcomes (95%)," he writes

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Alphabet commissioned the survey of 300 physicians over 2020 and 2021. 

It found that use of telehealth saw substantial year-on-year growth, jumping nearly threefold from 32% in February 2020 to 90% this year. Just under half -- 45% -- of physicians said the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the pace of their organization's adoption of technology: three out of five said the pandemic has forced their healthcare organization to make technology upgrades that normally would have taken years. But doctors still don't see healthcare as a digital leader.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, about half of doctors said their organization's approach to the adoption of technology could best be described as "neutral" -- that is, willing to try new technologies only if they have been in the market for a while or others have tried and recommended them first. 

Just over half of doctors surveyed said that better technology can alleviate the likelihood of of physician burn-out; six out of ten said access to better technology and clinical data systems would allow them to have better work/life balance and and that better access to/more complete patient data would reduce administrative burdens.

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