The healthcare industry has been evolving at a rapid rate and is now moving towards a value-based model. This has increased the role of the supply chain in the sector and paved the way for catering to the needs of streamlined processes and innovation in healthcare. This is where technology and business intelligence step in to make the logistics and supply chain processes more efficient and market-ready. Let us see How is technology is influencing the healthcare logistics industry.
Major technological trends that are a deciding factor in the streamlining of the supply chain processes are the Internet of Things(IoT), information technology, machine learning, natural language processing, 3D printing, blockchain, artificial intelligence and many others. With changing consumer expectations and hence their behavior, the healthcare markets are experiencing varying demands to improve patient care.
To the benefit of the industry, information technology has empowered the traditional supply chain to evolve and become rich in data. This helped in tackling various challenges like improving medicine transportation and delivery, better distribution, and enhancing the patient experience. If the supply chain evolves in the future, healthcare providers can deliver quality service and lower costs. Let us take a look at some of the major healthcare logistics industry trends that have been brought about by technology.
AI-supported logistics tools are developed by companies like Amazon that help revolutionize the way supply chains function. Healthcare is moving beyond hospitals and medical centers in this century which is pushing healthcare organizations to adopt state of art practices from the best logistics service providers. There are healthcare firms that invested in developing on-road integration and navigation systems using GPS and logistics planning software which helped their drivers take the most optimal routes and deliver medical equipment, supplies, and other packages on time. With the delivery points increasing beyond hospitals and clinics, the healthcare logistics industry uses the latest technology to cater to all types of patients, clinicians, and companies to the right location at the right time.
Artificial Intelligence(AI) AI has already transformed many industries and is now also improving the efficiency of value-based care delivery in the healthcare sector. It uses behavioral, socioeconomic, geographic, and economic factors to predict the patient’s needs in advance. In the supply chain sector, AI can be used for better planning for the types of services and products needed to support real-time patient care. It can also help ensure the availability of products by helping in live tracking with constant updating of data and availability of the same to all the stakeholders involved.
Internet of Things(IoT):There is nearly endless potential for IoT applications in the healthcare industry supply chain. Hospitals can use IoT technology to monitor the patient remotely and provide the required supplements with help of the data that shows the live condition of all patient body parameters. This could also be cost-efficient as it is a one-time investment and requires only different types of sensors and computer software to monitor the patient. IoT could also be connected with the system-wide cloud-based inventory management software. This will connect all the processes giving all the interested and interdependent parties the data required along with on-time delivery of supplies. All these processes involve high volumes of data that can be collected, analyzed, and acted upon by leveraging the capacity of IoT.
Product Tracking: In any industry, automation of manual processes reduces costs drastically. Similar is the case with the healthcare logistics industry, where the auto-ID and capture technology is improving and automating data capture. All products get labeled with unique identifiers and production data like expiry dates, date of manufacture, serial numbers. Healthcare organizations, with the help of IoT and GPS systems, will be able to track better which products can be used on which patient while minimizing healthcare costs and making hospital services more affordable.
Drones: Drones in healthcare have given their guest appearances so far in the logistics chain. Utilizing their full potential, will unlock the opportunity to improve supply chain speeds beyond the walls of medical organizations. Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles(UAVs) are very much used these days in video production. These days, many other industries are also utilizing them for infrastructure development and maintenance, construction, agriculture, and security services. UPS( a technology company) used drone delivery to supply essential medicines to critically ill patients when land transportation was prevented. Blood supplies and emergency medical supplies can be successfully delivered using drones as it has already been used for these purposes by a nominal number of organizations. In case of emergencies like these, a faster response would potentially save lives and prevent medical trauma when time is of the essence.
Co- founder at Ecosleek Tech Research and Branding at MythX. Talks about #gaming, #metaverse, #blockchain, and #softwaredevelopment
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