By Malou Toft, Vice President Asia Pacific, Milestone Systems
Accessibility to healthcare is crucial to the community, yet globally the industry continues to struggle. The critical shortage of healthcare workers has resulted in a domino effect on the industry, leading to increasing pressure on the existing workforce, which is only exacerbated by future-planning needs for rapidly ageing populations. In the face of such global healthcare challenges, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region finds itself at a critical juncture. The demand for accessible, high-quality healthcare has skyrocketed in recent years, and as the industry continues to face surges of COVID-19 cases amidst ongoing patient care needs, there is a critical need to explore sustainable, long-term solutions.
Technology has been vital in advancing different industries, and healthcare is no exception, with research1 indicating that digital health in Asia could create up to US$ 100 billion in value by 2025 across wellness and disease prevention, screening and diagnosis, as well as overall care delivery. As the rate of disruption and digital transformation in the healthcare industry accelerates, intelligent video solutions emerge as an area of technology that has the potential to help address current challenges, revolutionise modern healthcare, and unveil a more consumer-centric healthcare practice.
Addressing the manpower shortage
The global healthcare industry is expected to face a shortfall of 10 million healthcare workers by 2030 according to the World Health Organization, 2which is already evident in APAC where the doctor to patient ratio is much lower than the global average. 3 The rising demand for healthcare is further exacerbated by the ongoing ageing population challenge across the region.4Declining birth rates5 coupled with higher life expectancies have led to a rapidly ageing population. This rising demand for enhanced healthcare, and the shortage of healthcare providers has led to more pressure on existing workforces.
Intelligent video solutions can act as an impactful tool to address the burden of staffing shortages by helping with routine tasks such as patient monitoring. For example, Milestone Systems’ XProtect Hospital Assist intelligent video solution can help hospital staff observe multiple patients simultaneously and reduce the risk of disturbing them with routine check-ins.
By remotely observing multiple patients simultaneously and leveraging two-way audio communication, healthcare providers can extend their reach and provide timely interventions without the need for constant physical presence, allowing the medical staff to work more efficiently and provide high-quality patient care. Yet rather than replacing the invaluable human touch in patient care, intelligent video works to enhance meaningful interaction by maximising the reach of healthcare professionals.
Streamlining workflows, maximising efficiency, and enhancing patient care
Implementing intelligent video technology in healthcare systems can boost operational efficiency and reduce administrative burden. By enabling workers to reduce redundancies and prioritise essential tasks, intelligent video solutions help to streamline their workflows, which in turn lowers wait times for patients. Additionally, the alarm system incorporated in intelligent video technology improves reaction times to incidents, boosting the efficiency and timeliness of patient care.
Intelligent video solutions also play a crucial role in optimising resource allocation and management through data analytics. By tracking visitor movements while monitoring patient flow, occupancy rates, and staff distribution, workers can gather insights on workflows and identify bottlenecks to make data-driven decisions that boost security and optimise processes. By integrating with existing infrastructure while offering scalability and flexibility, intelligent video solutions also facilitate technology upgrades and automation. This ensures that facilities maintain maximum efficiency levels despite the flux in manpower and patient demand, thus saving time, cost, and upholding high care standards.
By combining real-time monitoring with artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, intelligent video solutions also enable proactive care, going beyond basic monitoring. With built-in automatic fall detection technology and other algorithms, intelligent video can actively identify markers of distress and swiftly alert healthcare providers before an incident escalates, making immediate intervention at critical junctures possible. When critical observation is not needed, a privacy filter can be applied to video streams to blur out details of patients.
This streamlined, proactive approach to patient observation focuses on enhancing the effectiveness of healthcare delivery by limiting physical check-ins and making every patient interaction count. Fewer disruptions provide patients with more opportunities to rest, ultimately leading to better patient satisfaction.
Not a choice, but an obligation
As the APAC region continues to witness advancements in technology, utilising emerging technological solutions is no longer a matter of choice for the healthcare industry. The future of APAC healthcare relies heavily on its digitalisation journey, and modern video technology plays a key role in this.
Through the integration of AI and data analytics, intelligent video technology represents vast untapped potential to help address the industry’s critical challenges, streamline operations, and ultimately propel the industry into a new era of modernity – one where efficient, accessible, and high-quality patient care becomes the norm. With intelligent video technology paving the way, the APAC healthcare industry is positioned to thrive and meet the evolving needs of patients and providers alike.