NEW ERA OF DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Get ready for the new era of total digital healthcare information, available from anywhere, anytime

New Era of eHealth

December 2020

Overview

Healthcare during the last few years has evolved at an incredible pace. A number of technological developments, like personalized medicine, electronic health information, and high-tech innovations have created an industry disruption that preludes a revolutionary change is on the way, and showing that the best of the digital healthcare revolution has yet to come.

The healthcare sector is generating billions of terabytes of healthcare data per year and the idea of the logistics and maintenance involved show the inherent complexity to deal with. The question is how are physicians, researchers, engineers and stakeholders using it and producing value from this goldmine of information ? And, more importantly, what does it mean for the future of healthcare?

What is clear is that we shall embark now on the path of bringing healthcare new professionals closer to the demands of a health system that, subjected to the constant pressure of new technology, needs to focus on evolving towards a sustainable model that offers the most advanced health services for all, and at the same time train in the standardization of processes in digital medicine to optimize resources and time, reducing costs and placing the patient at the center of the system.

Remote Monitoring for healthcare access

Rural parts of the world scarcely find quality, accessible healthcare. Virtual technologies help to remotely connect patients with providers, however, we can do many more things from distance. The hospital is no longer delimited by four walls, but by the limitations of the mobile device.

The most visible step in this regard is that of telemedicine, remote consultations that have been gaining ground to the face-to-face in recent time. Telemedicine emerged as a technology enabling individuals to consult with their physicians through a mobile device, no matter where they are. Even better, with greater access to biometric data and monitoring technologies, telemedicine is becoming all the more powerful.  

Digital Transformation and Innovation in Health

The digital transformation in healthcare has no going back. Thanks to technology, it is a fact that patients can receive better treatment with portable medical devices, telemedicine or remote monitoring. On the other hand, healthcare professionals can optimize their workflows, incorporating new technologies improving the ability to make decisions based on the evidence of data in real time or near real time.  

Nowadays, a global health approach should be used when designing and implementing models, policies, legislation and research in order to further enrich public health results.  In this line 'Data Driven' models are two of the key advances for healthcare and management of healthcare resources. As population increases together with life expectancy, we are going to have more chronic patients, and the need for new models in which we can improve the time and costs related to chronic diseases treatment are essential.

Core capabilities in data and analytics with technologies like AI and cloud, will help healthcare providers forge connections across the health ecosystem driving smarter health, helping hospitals and health systems optimize performance and improve care experiences. Abandoning disease-reactive systems in favor of other proactive systems, digital health should be a lever for the provision of services and in turn can provide potential savings aimed at the sustainability of a universal coverage model. 

In the not too distant future we will see a health model focused more on primary care, addressing people's health in a comprehensive manner, ending the model of health organized in watertight compartments by specialties. Diagnosis, prognosis, treatments and follow-ups will be assessed globally. Specialized hospital care will be reserved for highly complex and technical care episodes.

More Than Sci-Fi

Another of the most important technological advances in healthcare is the use of AI and automated learning to accelerate the development of therapies, facilitate decision-making and information management, and explore new prevention and care tools.
By way of new developments AI can examine large volume of images to discover abnormalities as well as process patients signs to detect life-threating diseases. In fact, recent studies show that AI can reduce drug discovery times by four years, compared to the industry average, and generate cost savings of average 50%.

Current (and future) advancements are possible thanks to large pools of patient data, which thanks to AI can instantly be tapped for insights from existing patient populations to better predict a person's risk of medical issues.  The adoption of these analytic insights can also help manage population health, efficiently engaging patients, decrease administrative friction with patients and accelerate delivery of insights to the point-of-care.

Predictive Analytics and Prevention. The key to the future

In the management of health resources it is essential to have reliable and actionable information that allows anticipating trends. In this sense, predictive analytics can help hospitals and clinics to predict, just as an example, future admission rates, which is essential to provide and prepare the right staff to care for patients. In this way, efficiency in terms of healthcare costs, decreasing waste or reduction of waiting times can be maximized.

By the use of predictive analytics, modern-day technologies have begun to help healthcare in many ways. In a non-distant future, that same technologies could be made the process automated and streamlined, playing a fundamental role on the idea to move from the concept of the reactive hospital -reacting in the face of the disease, to a proactive model in which the pathology is prevented or, at least, can be detected early by actionable analytics.

In this sense, health must be understood as an individual and collective good in a health model focused on guaranteeing an integrated care continuum, oriented more to health promotion and disease prevention, adding prevention as another pillar for sustainability: preventing the disease from appearing and, for this, promote well-being and a healthy life. We must go to a much more predictive and preventive system. We must anticipate, making the patient the center of attention, on the axis of the system.

Technology and Medicine. Key Concepts

Digital Experience. The person must be the center of the health system, it must implement proactive communication, and working on preventive medicine, as well as a hybridization of the healthcare model, where physical examinations are complemented by telemedicine.
Clinical Improvements. Apply advanced technologies through the health value chain (disease prevention, health promotion, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring), facilitating access to the latest evidence-based information at the point of care.
Productive Efficiency. Its objective is the digitization and automation of management and healthcare processes.
Performance Improvement. Accelerate transformation with actionable analytic insights and technology.
Data-driven Health. Healthcare based on the use of data evidence in decision-making processes both in the short and long term.
Digital Talent. Professional digital competence must be adapted to healthcare needs, when adopting new digital technologies can help introducing new ways of working.
Digital Solutions. Recent events have demonstrated the importance of integrating digital solutions into the health strategy of private enterprises and governments. Thanks to technology, the opportunity to start migrating models has become easier.
Actionable Analytics. Accessing healthcare cloud services can help healthcare providers and lead stakeholders improve clinical and business performance, while managing the impacts of health reform.