Future is digital Health

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Future is digital Health
Digital health will open up more avenues for doctor-patient relationships, and help make healthcare more convenient for all.

Published: Thu 12 Dec 2019, 9:56 AM

Last updated: Thu 12 Dec 2019, 12:20 PM

Whether it's information-sharing between patients and doctors or aiding in a high-risk surgery, it's clear that dynamic applications of technology are well underway in disrupting the healthcare industry.
Ongoing digitalisation and the introduction of new technologies, like telehealth, are already breaking down boundaries and creating patient-centric healthcare systems. This trend will explode in 2019 and beyond, as the benefits of shifting tasks to less intensive care settings or even at home become increasingly recognised, and the healthcare expectations of digital consumers change.
In mature countries, the shift to telehealth is helping eliminate waiting times and reducing transportation costs, but it is also playing an essential role in improving access to care for patients in emerging countries and rural locations (communities in rural locations are half as likely to have access to care as their urban counterparts).
Another area of exciting innovation with great scope for facilitating the delivery of universal health coverage is artificial intelligence (AI). AI is changing the way we treat patients by providing personalised treatment plans and has great potential to improve patient outcomes and the efficiency of care delivery. But the true value of AI can only be unlocked by combining it with knowledge of the clinical and operational context in which it is used - a people-centered approach.
Combined with robotics and automation, these technologies will ultimately help doctors spend more time with their patients.
The World Health Organisation estimates that by 2035 there will be a global deficit of about 12.9 million skilled health professionals - that is, midwives, nurses and physicians. Some countries don't even have their own medical schools with which to train healthcare professionals, so there is a real need for these technologies to bridge the gap.
While the technology and connectivity challenges of this vision are significant, it is important that patients remain the most important aspect of the delivery of care.
To get to a value-based care system centered around the patient, we need to measure the progress against 'quadruple aim': supporting a healthy lifestyle and enhancing the patient experience, improving health outcomes, lowering healthcare costs and improving the working life of healthcare providers.

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