How to build patient trust in healthcare using Big Data and cloud

Many businesses face the challenge of gaining the trust of their customers. This is especially true for healthcare. How to build the patient’s trust then?

In times of crisis like the current COVID-19 situation, building and supporting customer trust in your products and services is paramount, especially in the healthcare industry, which is in the thick of the stress now. Thus, if you wish the patients to flock to your healthcare company and become lifetime customers, you need to provide top-notch care, coupled with great software products that provide excellent customer experience.

  1. Engaging the customers in your daily operations
  2. Enabling your patients to be in touch from anywhere, anytime.

Building patient trust phase 1: transparency of interactions

The best way to establish trust in your visitors and turn them into patients is to provide your customers with a user cabinet on your web portal and allow them to publicly comment on the quality of services provided by your doctors and other personnel. This approach provides multiple positive opportunities for you, helping find the room for growth and improve the level of your services.

  • Second, you can have a rating of doctors based on customer feedback, motivating your staff to give their best.
  • Third, you can have a public place for patients to have discussions on their treatment details, where the doctors can also comment and show their expertise, building their personal credibility and trust in your establishment as a whole.

Building patient trust phase 2: engagement in daily operations

Patients love being a part of the team that provides the treatment for their pathologies and conditions. They adore the feeling of fighting together and standing shoulder to shoulder with their physicians. Mobile applications coupled with wearable devices that collect the vitals are one of the best approaches to ensuring this outcome. Such mobile apps can enable multiple useful functions:

  • provide access to a library of step-by-step instructions for force-majeure cases (both textual and in the video format),
  • have a distress button in case of seizure or stroke,
  • enable an in-app chat to keep the team communications centralized,
  • conveniently store the contacts of all team members,
  • monitor the patient’s dietary/training regimen
  • schedule the intake of medications and refill the prescriptions
  • and many, many more functions based on the specifics of the treatment and the best practices of your healthcare provider organization.

Building patient trust phase 3: staying in touch around the clock

Another important aspect of building trust is the availability of communications with your team around the clock. The mobile apps and web portals your patients use must be cross-platform, cross-browser, be able to integrate well with a variety of wearables to enable collecting the required Big Data on vitals, be feature-rich (like including VR/AR and/or telemedicine features, etc.) In a time of quarantine, when physically reaching each other is often complicated both for patients and for therapists, providing the means to stay in touch and efficiently communicate is invaluable.

  • they are able to renew their prescriptions and fill in the needed forms in their apps
  • they can have e-visits from their doctors to receive consultations from the comfort of their homes
  • AI-powered chatbots enable the patients to find the answers to their requests themselves through vast libraries of text and video guides and FAQ responses

Cloud computing benefits for healthcare

When your systems and applications are hosted in the cloud instead of in-house servers, you do not have to worry about power shutdown, physical security of your customer data, scalability and operational resilience of the systems, etc. In addition, running your IT operations in the cloud ensures the safety of data in case of any natural disaster like flood, earthquake, or fire.

  • Internal — all employees of cloud data centers pass a rigorous screening and comply with strict monitoring to ensure they don’t get unauthorized access to sensitive data they handle
  • Digital — all the data in the cloud is stored in encrypted form (unless your admins don’t configure this) so that only the rightful owners with the corresponding keys can access it
  • Structural — cloud platforms operate the apps and data in code packages called Docker containers running on Kubernetes clusters. Both Docker and Kubernetes provide multiple security layers (given they are configured correctly).
  • Legislative — cloud vendors are regularly tested for compliance with GDPR, HIPAA and other EU and the US legislation, so working with them you can rest assured you meet all the compliance requirements. For example, if you are required to store the PIA of your patients on the US soil, AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, Rackspace and other cloud platforms can configure a private or hybrid cloud for you — so that you know for sure the location where the data is stored and processed.

Big Data benefits for healthcare

Diagnostics relies on analyzing some data to identify the disease. The more data you have and the faster you can process it, the more precise is the result. This is why Big Data is so important — because applied to healthcare it allows to analyze all the data and do it very quickly. This ensures high reliability of testing and diagnostics to increase the chances of survival and recuperation for your patients — as the speed of diagnostics is often the key to successful treatment.

DevOps approach and selecting your cloud vendor

The biggest benefit for the cloud is that it speeds up the development of new software and features, as the environments are containerized and are configured much faster than the on-prem servers or VMs. This is called the DevOps approach, the kind of services IT Svit excels at.

  • CI or Continuous Integration means adding new code to your software product in small, clean batches and testing it on the fly using automated tests. It ensures any updates can be delivered very fast, within a week or two, not once or twice a year. This helps continuously integrate feedback from your customers and project stakeholders, which ensures the operational flexibility and adaptability of your services — and there is no need to tell how important flexibility is in crisis.
  • CD or Continuous Delivery ensures all the operations are as automated as possible, so instead of completing the same actions (like configuring the environments) manually day-in, day-out your admins can configure CI/CD pipelines. These pipelines are the sequences of actions performed by various tools, where the output of the previous operation automatically becomes the input for the next operation. This removes the need to waste time on routine and frees up your personnel to work on more important things.

DevOps & Big Data lover