E-commerce has transformed the business world in many ways as it allows for transactions to take place via the internet. It has created a whole new business experience in our lives, starting from online shopping, online banking, and social networking to increased artificial intelligence use. Unfortunately, today most people can barely afford essential services such as doctors’ visits because healthcare has become too pricey, and the opportunity cost is relatively high. E-commerce has brought about notable influences in the healthcare sector, making it much more accessible.
Advantages of E-Commerce in the Healthcare Industry
E-commerce has brought about a great revolution in the healthcare field, just as it has done in various industries. Online platforms such as Doctors on Demand and several other medical applications are changing the whole outlook of traditional healthcare. Besides the increased access to healthcare, there are several other impacts of e-commerce on healthcare. These include:
E-commerce is very advantageous to the general public concerning their ability to access information. This has created greater transparency concerning the patients’ health. Today, patients are equipped with information that helps them make more informed choices regarding their health. Sites like yelp are used by patients to review and share comments concerning their experience with a particular doctor or physician. The patients talk about the quality of healthcare experience, health care results, and the doctor’s bedside manner. As such, physicians are keen on the role e-commerce has on healthcare transformation as they seek to maintain a good online reputation.
Generally, e-commerce has made healthcare much more accessible since it focuses on the online remote transaction between the patient and the physician. The patient does not need to be in the physician’s office to access quality healthcare. People, especially those in the rural areas, are drawing many benefits from the technological healthcare industry, mainly if they are located in remote areas far away from medical services.
Another notable effect of e-commerce in healthcare is increased efficiency. Since the non-emergency conditions can be dealt with on the online opportunities and away from the doctor’s office, those who need urgent hospital resources can get them quickly. They can get resources such as healthcare items, physical medicine, and the much needed time with the doctor and other medical staff. The increased efficiency is a great boom in the healthcare industry that aims to help understaffed and understocked hospitals and medical offices and improve their ability to save lives.
Apart from the increased efficiency, another significant impact of healthcare costs is that e-commerce can be more affordable. Visit online sites for healthcare pricing solutions going at a much more lowered price going for half or even less than visiting a physician’s office. Those who do not have access to health insurance or those on the lower earnings levels may find the reduced costs very beneficial.
Efficiency and lower healthcare costs can help lead to an ultimately healthier population. E-commerce can help reduce the number of people who put off visiting healthcare offices due to the costs. When more individuals are open to making a visit to the doctor for check-ups and treatment, the final result is a healthier population.
Disadvantages of E-Commerce in the Healthcare Industry
Though there are so many benefits reaped from the application of e-commerce, there are also several notable disadvantages coming from the same. Let’s consider some of the negative influences include:
Greater technology in the medical field is a major concern for securing sensitive medical information. However, the E-commerce providers and the medical staff work together to ensure that their information is appropriately stored. And only accessible to authorized personnel and to keep it secure against cyber-attacks.
Consumers, doctors, and e-commerce providers must have clear information regarding the patients’ rights. Doctors and providers must do all they can to ensure privacy and safeguard the patients’ information as called upon in various federal regulations, especially remote access and information storage.
The Doctor-Patient information
Another disadvantage of e-commerce healthcare is that it affects the cultivation of the doctor-patient relationship. The relationship and trust resulting from doctors’ and patients’ interactions are vital, resulting in better health outcomes. With e-commerce, the face-to-face aspect of visiting a doctor’s office is lost. Therefore fostering a relationship becomes complicated. It’s also vital that online doctors take their time to communicate with their patients to help create a good relationship.
On the larger side, e-commerce’s impact on the healthcare industry is mostly positive. Increased technological growth has increased efficiency, increased access to healthcare, and increased efficiency leading to a happier and healthier population. However, there are a few challenges to overcome for a better and brighter future.