Hospitals, doctors, nurses and patients are more connected than ever, thanks to the digital transformation occurring in healthcare in recent history.

At HIMSS this year, I had the chance to speak to Evan Kirstel, technology and digital health expert, about what the future of this industry will look like.

“I think 5G is going to fundamentally change everything, particularly in the healthcare space,” Kirstel said. “5G is going to … replace that legacy [broadband wiring], but also enable a whole suite of new and advanced applications that frankly aren’t possible on today’s existing networks.”

This will impact everything from videoconferencing and telehealth options available to patients and their providers in rural communities with fewer doctors to the ways wearables can be leveraged for remote patient monitoring and notifications between healthcare staff.

“Digital transformation in the hospital setting has become an imperative,” Kirstel added. “To really improve the patient experience … and to extend continuity of care, hospitals really need to look at refreshing that infrastructure and building a platform that’s ready for the 21st century.”

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