Digital health is undoubtedly becoming a part of the healthcare lexicon and fabric. Electronic health records and personal fitness trackers have helped raise awareness in the area of healthcare. The entrepreneurial enthusiasm in the healthcare sector is evident from the volume of digital health incubators, a large number of private investors, and the medical school innovations. The costs for EHR and other technology acquisition and their maintenance are too costly for smaller hospitals.
Today, young physicians prefer to be associated with large enterprises. Healthcare has brought two great sectors of the industry together: medicine and technology; building new opportunities and themes in areas like digital therapies, health technology, and health insurance innovation. The digital technology coupled up with the worldwide web, it has opened up the gates of knowledge to non-specialists as well as medical professionals in a revolutionary manner. Apothecaries have ceased to be the sole guardians of the medical knowledge collected during centuries. Technology has the power to improve access to healthcare services, especially for the mobile millennial.
Techniques Evolving From Ancient to Modern Age
The ancient healing modalities help us to breath more deeply, to relax, to find peace and calmness and to allow bodies to heal naturally. In our hectic lives, we are finding that people are suffering from anxiety, depression and other symptoms impacting their ability to live life happily. Mobile technology can empower patients and various care service providers by giving them more control over their health and making them less dependent on Health Care Professionals for health information.
In 2016, 36 devices and medical applications received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration. These include applications to assist people with heart conditions, to help diagnose and treat Attention- Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children, applications to help patients manage type-2 diabetes, and smartphone-based ultrasound scanners and mobile blood glucose monitors.
A new digital pill by a pharmaceutical company has been used by doctors to track opioid receptors. The pills are equipped with sensors powered by stomach acid, and a wearable patch communicates with a smartphone app that is also linked to the cloud.
Digital healthcare must be designed to exploit recent advances in computing technology. Smartphones have become advanced tools in the hands of thousands of patients and practitioners. Equipped with the right software, these smart phones provide easy to use, out-of-the-box solutions to major medical challenges – preventing the over-prescription of medication, promoting patient self-care, warning of the early signs of health problems and introducing positive lifestyle changes.
What Does The Future Hold?
The aim is to keep the patients well rather than deliver a knee-jerk reaction when they become ill. Supporting and coaching the patients about their sleeping, eating, smoking, drinking and exercise as well as all aspects of managing their condition properly, such as adherence to medication. People can have devices that will constantly measure and monitor their heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, weight or activity levels. Patients will still need specialists with expertise, but the patient and specialist don’t need to be in the same space at the same time. A network of connected care means several experts can look at the case simultaneously. This would enable the early diagnosis of health issues by constantly monitoring before they become more serious.
This is a realistic option for the majority of the population, including those who are not on the internet. Patients are no longer bound to the next available appointment or operating hours which means that they are free to go about their daily lives, take holidays and work without disruption of routine appointments. People can self-test at a time and in a place which suits them. Associated costs with routine routine appointments are reduced such as travel expenses, parking and time taken from work. Additional to the financial benefits, self-monitoring also reduces workload on healthcare professionals. Services can reach more patients at scale, without compromising the quality of care.
There are smartphone applications that uses machine learning to identify vocal patterns that might signal post-traumatic stress disorder, or even heart disease. Such developments can provide hospital clinicians with new tools to make better diagnoses.
With digital health information, there is always a great concern for privacy, especially in this volatile digital age, where identity thieves and other information crooks are constantly developing new ways to compromise the computer systems you already use. There’s no holding them off by ignoring the issue. The answer is beefed up security.
An efficient healthcare system of the future should empower medical practitioners and patients. It should be able to detect early warning signs that may indicate illness or behavior that is likely to lead to poor health – for example, reduced physical activity, missed appointments or medication, and social isolation at home. Digital health tools are by no means meant to replace clinicians but the potential scale, convenience, support of self-management; potential effects on cost savings and better reporting of patient’s outcomes are all very significant. Systems could be designed to contact and alert clinicians without further human intervention.