5 Digital Health Trends: The general technical approach to innovation is to “break things up and move faster”. But when it comes to healthcare–Where the first priority is to do no harm–You have to be a different kind of innovator. How do you break things up, do no harm, and create a new and better reality? Welcome to be a health entrepreneur–The most exciting place today is in innovation and, if I have to guess, at least for the next decade.
Everything changed this year. Although digital health was gathering steam before the epidemic, the crisis, with all its heavy tragedy, also in tremendous intellectual energy and independence. Nearly overnight, such old barriers were removed. Healthcare organizations, technologists, and government agencies first proved that speed, innovation, and security were indeed possible in healthcare.
Here are some trends that I have an eye on:
Health care consumption
From home delivery of prescription medication to sleek wearable electronics such as the Apple Watch that can monitor an array of vital signals, healthcare is fast becoming a consumer-oriented business. The digital revolution had made it inevitable, but there were still many hurdles. The epidemic changes every day because suddenly patients cannot go to a physical office to receive care. At the same time, social isolation made many consumers realize that they should be in charge of their own care. Patient portals are an important factor in caring for one’s self or a loved one.
Most sophisticated information–From treatment protocols to CT scans or genomic information–Is going to be easily accessible as your bank balance. As an entrepreneur, what does it mean to you. Imagine if you were the first person to think about the implications of online banking? This is where we are today.
Telehealth is another way healthcare has become more consumer-oriented as it opens up many options for patients to use. With telehealth, consulting a doctor can take the form of a video trip, phone call, or text. There was a slow-growing trend due to technology regulations, security issues, and privacy concerns, but once the in-person epidemic became problematic, telehealth exploded in popularity. Medical centers and insurance providers began to try and encourage its use, urging patients to download the application, which enables patients to schedule appointments and consult with doctors right on their smartphones.
Even once a person visits is in a normal state, many people want the convenience of having a doctor visit or therapy session via video; And clinics and insurers may find that it is more cost-effective for people to receive basic care online than in-person visits. A complication are the HIPAA requirements that were waived and whether they return. The question remains whether the industry will find out how to meet those requirements to keep telehealth alive.
VR has been with us for decades now, but when computer geeks talked about it, it was a breath-taking surprise in the 1990s, with technology often seen as entertaining. The selling point is that by wearing a VR headset, you feel as if you are in a video game or other fun experience. However, this consumer-driven technology has also become a powerful tool for the medical community. Educational institutions are using it to train future doctors, surgeons are testing techniques to design complex surgeries, and even experienced physicians can help it practice new procedures and correct old ones. Are proving helpful. In 2021, it was expected to make steady progress in technology and keep an eye on companies such as Osso VR, founded by orthopedic surgeons and gaming enthusiast Justin Barad.
Even today, 3D printing technology models are available on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website for free. Think what power these devices can provide for you and others. Large open-source databases of other data that drive virtual data are becoming the norm.
Difference between vendors
The rapid growth in digital healthcare options has been game-changing for patients. It can take care of our health care less and more personal mission to improve the quality of life. But it can also be heavy. Take, for example, the patient’s portals mentioned earlier. Although these portals are helpful, for your health, it can be annoying to login to different systems for your doctor, your radiologist, your insurer, etc. Then we have to add all other health related things like we have to manage dentist appointments, fitness tracker data, prescriptions, etc. It is very jugaad.
This is why interoperability comes into play. This growing trend is about eliminating information silos to create health services that work with each other. It makes life easier for everyone; Not only the patient who is tired of managing multiple logins, but also the provider who needs to access and share your health information with other members of your health team. Interoperability can include an entire system overhaul. Organizations that want to prioritize inter-priority require commitment from forward-thinking leaders who have the vision to see its value, need and irrelevance.
This is a huge opportunity for someone willing to work hard and “boring”. Personally, I like entrepreneurial ideas that are not particularly sexy. Interoperability–Basics of sharing important data–Today is one of the most interesting areas for innovation. This, too, would be subject to regulatory constraints, but indications have never been normalized.
In digital healthcare, one advance builds on another, and interoperability is nothing without the cloud. Cloud infrastructure is key to open access between all these heterogeneous systems, so more and more organizations are adopting the cloud and will continue to do so in 2021.
The biggest benefit for health organizations moving to the cloud is storage. In the health world a tremendous amount of data is generated daily, much of it needs to be stored long term. Cloud storage may be a more economical option to maintain a growing collection of sites on the server. The cloud can also be beneficial for spreading hospital and university systems that need an easy way to share information, pictures, and records across campuses.
The devil is in the cloud in details, and where the opportunity lies. Most of the large building blocks are now in place–AWS, Google, Microsoft are all fully engaged in healthcare. Nevertheless, there are a lot of gaps in the actual implementation of each workflow. As an entrepreneur, if you can jump and solve point solutions, you can build a significant business.
Every start-up aims to change the world, but in healthcare, the stakes are different. Organizations should ensure that their goals and mission statements include better care for patients, aligning with day-to-day workflow solutions for physicians, and being highly mindful of privacy and security regulations. It’s a daunting task, but if you’re up for it, it’s an incredibly rewarding and potentially life-saving one