Artificial intelligence (AI) is projected to save the US health care economy $150 billion by 2026. By replacing legacy systems and changing standard operating procedures, hospitals are moving to capitalize. technology and the ways it can change a sector historically hesitant to change. The big question is how quickly the teams will implement the changes.

Healthcare leadership recently reported that their organizations are 60% complete in their digitization journey. IT leaders must take healthcare to the next frontier by modernizing systems and quelling unnecessary fears about deploying new technologies.

The future begins with technology

With a looming shortage of nurses and doctors and COVID-19 pushing hospitals to levels of care never seen before, digital transformation is no longer an option, it's a necessity. As IT departments across the country move to bring faltering leadership and old ways of doing things today, innovation is key. Among the many things forced on by COVID-19, finding ways for departments to scale and change quickly may be the most prominent, especially in IT.

Here are three ways health IT departments can accelerate their digital transformation:

Adopt AI

New technology can be formidable to many, but the results speak for themselves, and here's how IT can help make the transformation less daunting. A recent IBM study found that AI technology accurately detected breast cancer in 87% of analyzed cases. Convincing doctors to trust AI can be complex, but allaying fears that they are being replaced is the starting point. Technology is here to complement the human experience by combining it with data. Personalized medicine is not under discussion, it is fundamental for the relationships between patients and doctors. But analyzing data from more patients with similar problems, and automating treatment steps to relieve an overburdened care staff, gives everyone the best care.

Optimize the organization

Most systems have been built by patches over time. Fixes are made to existing systems, rather than completely overhauled, without much thought for speed and transparency. However, moving to the cloud ensures a focus on mobility, flexibility, and efficiency. SaaS solutions are the first step to do so. These benefits help the patient more, which is at the forefront of every healthcare leader's strategy. From SMS appointment setting to AI suggested treatment plans, modernized technology is transforming the entire treatment process.

Stay agile

Any IT department knows what an agile framework means: a series of computational processes that enable instant response to change. Agility is the backbone of any digital transformation, including in the healthcare sector. The industry has shown over the last 24 months that it is prepared to make difficult changes quickly. Capitalizing on this agile mindset should be prioritized moving forward. Showing how to react to new information and then implement appropriate changes should be second nature to most healthcare systems. Innovation is everywhere and preventing it from being siled will help modernize and transform the digital landscape in healthcare organizations around the world.

The future will be digital. It will be fast, it will be mobile, it will be agile, and most importantly, it will be technology-based. Accelerating the process starts by changing mindsets and changing legacy IT systems. With a sector that has lost so much recently, including predictions of $53 billion lost in 2021, advancing technology is what's best for institutions and what's best for patients.