Digital healthcare refers to using digital technologies in the medical field for treating illnesses. The main goal of digital health is to improve the quality of patient care and to provide a better experience to patients and health professionals.
Information and communication technologies in medicine are creating a positive impact on the healthcare industry. Digital healthcare solutions include wearable devices, mobile health, and telehealth technologies, are reshaping the way healthcare is provided, and treatment is planned.
Digital innovations are helping to streamline medical data, optimize systems, minimize human error, improve patient care, and reduce healthcare costs. Thanks to technology, we are able to provide better care for patients through virtual care, telehealth, wearable devices, and seamless internet bandwidth.
Top 7 Reasons Why Digital Healthcare is the Next Big Thing
With the emergence of various digital tools, there is an increasing demand for quality care. Here are few crucial reasons why digital health is becoming the next big thing;
1. People are Looking for On-Demand Healthcare
With the latest digital innovations, people are looking for on-demand healthcare. Choosing own schedule for healthcare is making it more convenient for people with a busy routine. These days most people are using smartphones and web browsing for all their needs.
According to a research report by Pew patients are looking out for online medical information, as;
- 47% for doctors
- 39% look for their own health medical condition.
- 38% look for information on hospitals and medical facilities
Digital healthcare is allowing physicians to provide remote care based on their expertise and schedule. It is becoming essential to meet the on-demand needs of patients in the healthcare industry. 2. Benefits of Big Data
Big data brings several significant benefits to the health industry, such as;
- Reduces human error- Big data helps in analyzing and streamlining patients’ data. During any inconsistency in the patient’s health and prescription medication, it sends an alert to physicians. It significantly reduces the possibility of any potential medical error.
- Provides preventive care – Big data collects data on recurring patient health issues and creates preventative plans to avoid recurrent hospital visits.
Big data help the pharma industry to understand the existing and future demand for medications. It creates a consumer persona assisting the pharma industry in deciding the need of products and the budget.
3. Virtual Care for Patients
This is the most promising area of health care that provides a personalized approach with the needed education and support. It is a platform where health care professionals connect with patients personally, assist them, and help them to make health-related decisions. Virtual care can effectively help in the behavior modification of patients, motivating them to adapt to a healthy lifestyle.
4. Wearable Medical Devices
There is a growing trend of collecting health data through wearable devices. In the olden days, patients preferred yearly health check-ups and medical tests. But in this digital age, people are focusing more on preventive care and maintenance.
The wearable medical devices can provide up-to-date health monitoring and alerting of any significant medical issue if found. Hence health industry is investing proactively in these wearable devices, which include;
- Exercise trackers
- Heart rate monitors
- Blood sugar monitors
Such medical devices provide personalized healthcare making patients feel more in control of their own health. The devices like fitness watches encourage users to follow a healthy and active lifestyle.
5. Predictive Healthcare Analysis
Predictive analysis is another major factor that supports the digitalization of healthcare. When we gather information through big data and other sources, it helps predict the possible illnesses for a patient and how they can prevent them with lifestyle changes.
By combining complex data and patient algorithms, it can predict future healthcare needs. These analyses can also help predict the outbreak of various diseases, thus helping the health industry stay prepared.
Predictive analysis with all the gathered data can also recommend a healthy lifestyle to patients resulting in better healthcare.
6. Artificial Intelligence – A New Approach Towards Healthcare
AI-powered tools and technology are becoming the next big thing in the healthcare industry. AI-based technologies like chatbots and virtual assistants are changing the way we approach healthcare. AI is also helping in the early diagnosis of various diseases by playing a significant role in medical imaging and healthcare monitoring.
Chatbots play multiple roles, from being a diagnostic tool to therapists that interacting with patients. It eliminates the need for paperwork and even reduces patient’s hospital visits by providing personalized assistance.
The AI-based health monitoring system is helping in the early and accurate diagnosis of cancer and also recommending the best anti-cancer drugs. In the medical imaging field, AI can detect minor changes that can escape a human eye. Overall with all this progress, AI is considered the next big thing in healthcare.
7. Blockchain in Healthcare
Blockchain is a computerized database to keep electronic health records accurate as well as safe. In the healthcare industry, blockchain is considered an effective tool to prevent any data breaches of medical records. This groundbreaking technology has the ability to store data, control accessibility, and maintain its safety.
Unstructured medical data storage can lead to errors resulting in misdiagnosis, delay in treatments, and sometimes even death. Electronic health records can digitalize the medical records that include the medical history of the patient, diagnosis, test results, and treatment plan. It also stores data related to patient’s addresses, workplaces, and financial details.
Blockchain provides a decentralized network for the safe storage of medical data that is not easily accessible to hackers. It promises a secure platform for patients, pharma companies, and health professionals, and the healthcare industry is slowly adapting to it.
It is time to transform and adapt change
With more digitalization of healthcare, we can achieve better preventive care and fewer incidences of chronic illnesses. It is also making healthcare more accessible and cost-effective. The latest technologies are changing the way healthcare is delivered.
We need to create more and more products to match the growing technology and to build transformative, patient-centered healthcare.
Dr. Bhupinder Singh is the Chair of Board, Epillo Health Systems
(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the authors and ETHealthworld.com does not necessarily subscribe to them. ETHealthworld.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly).