Digital Health hero

Digital Health:
The Future of Medicine

Digital health technologies, boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic,
transformed the way patients access information and receive care.
Their impact pushes innovation forward and unleashes the vast
potential of digital solutions in healthcare.

What do we mean by digital
health?

Digital health involves development and implementation of digital technologies to improve health care. It can be broadly separated into the following categories:

eHealth

eHealth is the successful application of information and communication technologies to health and health-related fields. It incorporates digital health tools based on mHealth (use of mobile phones and other wireless technology in medical care) and the technologies supporting the network of healthcare providers.

For example, electronic health records (EHR) and clinical information systems (CIS) improve communication and coordination of care between different medical providers. Desired functionality of the EHR system is e-prescribing which allows the generation and sharing of digital versions of medication prescriptions.

mHealth

mHealth outlines the use of mobile phones (applications) and other wireless devices that aim to improve the quality of care. One of the essential practices in mHealth is telemedicine—the delivery of health care services (diagnosis, treatment, prevention, research, and evaluation) at a distance by means of communications technologies. This digital health intervention incorporates wearable devices and sensors, which allow tracking of health parameters, and medical and Internet applications that enhance remote patient monitoring.

The new technologies

Some of the disruptive technologies in this century have a massive impact on digital health. Implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and big data in medical practice improves the quality and efficiency of healthcare by providing diagnostics and screening tools, predictive analysis, and clinical decision support. In addition, the intersection of genomics and health informatics approaches helps researchers identify genomes as disease biomarkers, which is one of the leading breakthroughs in the previous decade.

What are the benefits of digital
health?

Reduced workflow inefficiencies

Poor communication, collaboration, and coordination between hospital departments and prone to error manual processes lead to inefficiency in hospital workflows. For example, the insufficient supply of commodities decreases the quality of care delivery and overall patient experience. Logistics management information systems can address such a problem by allowing medical staff to manage inventory, distribution, and registration of medicines and notify about their stock levels.

Improved health data access

One of the critical problems that patients share is the lack of a centralized and secure system where all health data is stored. Patients do have to bring paper-based medical records with them every time they visit a doctor. Thankfully, EHR systems can streamline the collection and sharing of information, thus allowing clinicians to quickly and easily access a patient's medical history

Cost-effectiveness

Healthcare organizations perform charge capture to collect payments for the provided medical services. Through accurate invoicing, revenue cycle management software reduces costs, ensures safe storage of financial documents, and prevents human error. Likewise, patients may settle their bills thanks to integrated payment processing, which increases the overall experience.

Improved quality of care

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) helps patients with mobility and other health issues receive digitally-enabled end-to-end journeys. Timely interactions with physicians, medication adherence, increased health self-management, and comprehensive and up-to-date information about a patient's health are some of the perks of RPM.

Personalized medicine

AI-enabled tools, powered by machine learning, can be used to create personalized treatment plans and recommendations for individual patients, taking into account their specific needs and requirements. Furthermore, an AI system might support clinical decisions by analyzing patients' medical history and genetic information to identify potential drug interactions or adverse reactions.

Why is digital technology
important for health?

Telemedicine

Telemedicine

Telemedicine unifies different practices to improve patient health outcomes in many directions:

  • Through remote consultations via video conferencing, patients can receive health advice on their medical condition from the doctor.
  • Telemonitoring allows the tracking of vital signs by utilizing
    wearables and sensors.
  • Store and forward—patients and doctors can send medical
    images, videos, and notes securely

Artificial intelligence tools

AI tools can analyze large amounts of clinical data, such as medical images or electronic health records, to identify patterns and anomalies that may indicate a particular health condition. This can help doctors accurately diagnose and treat diseases earlier, which can improve medical outcomes.

AI tools can analyze data to identify risk factors for certain diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease. By utilizing them, doctors can take proactive steps to prevent these conditions from developing in the first place.

Artificial intelligence tools
Personal health tracking

Personal health tracking

The use of mobile medical apps integrated with phone-based sensors allows patients with chronic conditions to monitor their own health status and promotes wellness-related activities. This practice leads to many benefits for the patient, including improved self-awareness, early detection of health issues, and enhanced communication with medical providers.

Is digital health the future?

The global digital health market is projected to reach $420.24 billion by 2027. As health information technology advances and becomes more widely available, more and more people are using digital health tools to manage and receive medical care. Another factor driving the growth of the digital health market is the increasing demand for cost-effective and efficient healthcare delivery.

Digital health strategy

The application of digital technology for consumers, professionals, and healthcare providers represent the global strategy to strengthen health systems and implement the vision of healthier populations. Some of the elements of digital health strategy include the following guidelines:

  • Consumer-centric: focus on delivering personalized care and building trust with patients.
  • Digitally enabled: investing in digital front-end, core, and enterprise capabilities to engage and empower consumers.
  • Fully integrated: robust technology architecture is the basis of the health ecosystem of tomorrow.

Digital health solutions, backed by scientific evidence, will play a critical role in advancing human-centered care. Virtual networks of healthcare innovators and technology providers are key for achieving breakthroughs and creating value for patients.

Digital health strategy

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