In the past, the healthcare industry has been infamously slow in making technological and digital advances. As a result, they have struggled to make a significant improvement in their service delivery. However, there are a few reasons why information technology will gain interest in this industry. These are based on the digital health trends and features that will be practised in 2022.
What Is Digital Health?
Digital Health can be defined as the promotion of health and wellness. It is also the management of illnesses and potential life risks with the help of information and communication technology.
It covers themes such as e-health, healthcare IT, health informatics, biomedical engineering, connected health, internet health care, social media and online social networks, telemedicine, telehealth, telecare, medical imaging and mobile health, but the list remains inexhaustive.
What Is The Scope Of Digital Health?
Since 2020, the usage of digital healthcare, especially in the United Kingdom has seen a significant boost. For example, the utility of the NHS app rose by over 912 per cent in just one year (2020). The NHS website, which received 360 million visitors in 2019, more than doubled in numbers and was estimated at 803 million in December 2020, according to Healthcare.
The scope for digital health in 2022 is only expected to grow. A 2021 Future of Healthcare Report from HIMSS suggests that approximately, 80% of health system firms will continue to boost their investment in digital health over the next five years. This growth is directly related to the rising demand for digital health. The increasing technology-savvy consumer base believes in living a healthier, more prosperous life.
5 Biggest Digital Health Trends To Look Out For In 2022
Electronic Health Record-Based Telehealth
Healthcare service providers will be able to reach those in need more efficiently with the help of highly customised and accurate telehealth software. These applications will be based on the most intricate of details personalised by the previous records of the patients. They will allow the medical industry to access them even in the most remote corners of the UK.
According to a research paper by BMC Public Health in 2020, the importance of telehealth was noted with a special focus on the COVID-19 outbreak across the globe. There are many health and safety gaps that could be filled through technology. The ability to avoid physical contact during the treatment of patients with contagious illnesses is one of the most important ones. It would also minimise the risk of transmission.
By 2026, this market is expected to boom in revenue and is estimated to reach a total value worth £137 billion, according to Fortune Business Insight.
As the years pass by, we have welcomed Artificial Intelligence or AI to become a very major part of our lives. Algorithms are predicting the kind of films we’d like to watch and even prevent us from getting lost in places we’ve never visited before. However, there is still some resistance by the users towards depending on AI in the healthcare sector. Nonetheless, there have been various examples in the recent past that have helped influence the rigid mentality.
For instance, consider the example of 70-year old Dan Pfau, a retired management consultant, who lost consciousness after hitting his head on the floor during a bicycle accident. At the time, he was wearing an Apple Watch which detected his vitals and informed the emergency services who rescued him. When Pfau regained consciousness, he was in an ambulance, back on his way to health and safety.
“Pfau doesn’t even recall phoning 911, because he didn’t. The watch did.”
– Hiawatha Bray, Boston Globe
Such instances have helped change the public perception towards the use of technology for their own welfare. More and more people will be investing in health devices for themselves and their loved ones in the near future.
Patients will be able to get more control over their own healthcare routines with the health of cloud technology. It will be based on the professional recommendations and suggestions provided by the medical staff. For instance, Google Fit’s ability to track your weight-loss progress over the years if not decades, has been made possible through such technology even if the consumer changes their smartphone model.
Additionally, features such as post-hospitalization plans, virtual medication, and consultants, telemedicine, etc can also be made possible in the future.
Looking at the healthcare industry from the perspective of the back office, cloud technology is an absolute dream come true. Especially while maintaining and organising the critical data about each and every patient’s medical issues in the database of a hospital, without dedicating physical space for files and report cards like the olden days.
It also allows multiple applications specialising in specific divisions within the health industry to share and evaluate the data of their users (with their permission, of course). Such features will help come up with the most effective solutions for them. For instance, Google Fit insourcing data from other apps such as MyFitnessPal, to estimate your health journey.
Disease Prediction Using Machine Learning
IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering recently shared a research paper while discussing the capacity in which Health IT will be able to predict severe issues such as heart diseases through machine learning algorithms.
In their model, they predicted the potential of cardiovascular disease among patients based on their medical history. These included chest pain, sugar level and blood pressure, among other parameters. The study showed an accuracy of 87.5 per cent.
While such a level of accuracy is impressive in itself, further investment will make the technology more precise. It will also reduce the cost of predicting these diseases.
Future of Healthcare Report suggested that industry players feel Machine Learning has a high-to-moderate rating in their organisational priority. Additionally, over 62 per cent of clinicians haven’t even begun to work with it. However, they are extremely interested in doing so.
The healthcare industry used to be like a one-way street in which the doctors would give the information and the patients had to quietly listen and follow their instructions. However, in the current era, patients have a lot more knowledge about various health issues. There is a possibility that a patient might approach the medical centre while already carrying some information about their problems, thanks to the internet.
Many have complained about the feeling of lack of empathy, for instance, while trying out virtual consultation during the COVID-19 era. Patients felt that because they were not “face-to-face” with their doctors, their diagnosis was not at par with their expectations.
So, how will the relationship between medical staff and patients change in the near future? It is all about patient experience when using technology for their own betterment.
If you are an IT service business, and deal with customers in the healthcare industry, this is where we can help you set yourself apart from the competition. At Bright Horse, we are experts in establishing basic factors that would allow you to focus better on your patients’ experience which will lead to a long-term relationship between you and your customers.
The key is not to focus on the output but the outcome of the contract you may have signed with your end-user. We can help you categorically differentiate between those, and guide you the right way towards success in the long run.