Different nations have very different attitudes towards how their healthcare systems should be run. Countries like the UK and Canada, for example, operate their healthcare systems on a universal basis as not for profit organizations while countries like the US use an insurance based private system. While citizens of any country may have their personal biases towards one system or the other, we can all agree that how a country manages the health of its citizens is extremely important. This means that healthcare systems must embrace any solution that ensures that citizens are able to access the best value healthcare possible with the finite resources that healthcare institutions and professionals have to offer. In an age of austerity and government cutbacks in places like the UK, efficiency is fast becoming the number one priority for healthcare providers across the globe.
Thus, digitization is an appealing prospect for healthcare providers who want to handle their data more efficiently. But as we’ll see in The Healthcare Analytics Summit later this year, digitization is more than just a useful tool. It is slowly and irrevocably changing the face of healthcare in ways we’ve only just begun to explore. Here’s how…
We use mobile devices every day to consume online content from YouTube videos to blog posts. We also use it to facilitate transactions safely and securely on the go. In this climate, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine a future where we’ll be able to access our healthcare services through mobile devices. From prenatal care apps to apps that enable users to view and manage their patient data, the possibilities for mobile healthcare applications are practically limitless.
Helping doctors connect to resources
Doctors are amongst the most knowledgeable and learned people on the planet, but they’ll be the first to admit that they’re not infallible. Like the rest of us they’re reliant on resources to supplement and enhance their knowledge. There was a time when this mean sifting through stacks of books but in the digital age they have faster access to data, case studies and the opinions of other doctors than ever before. This has the potential to eradicate misdiagnoses and facilitate faster and more effective treatment.
Closed loop medical care devices
There was a time when if we needed to know what our blood pressure was, we needed to book an appointment with our doctor. Now, anyone with a smart watch can get personal health data to their resting heart rate to their blood sugar level through a mobile app. Closed loop medical care devices are becoming increasingly commonplace and it’s likely that they’ll be used more and more frequently in the coming years to monitor the minutiae of patient health with pinpoint accuracy and deliver effective treatment without any human intervention whatsoever. In September of 2016 the FDA approved a device that essentially works as an artificial pancreas, monitoring blood sugar levels and administering insulin as and when needed.
These are just a few of the ways in which digital technology can be implemented to ensure a happier and healthier future for us all.