The Coronavirus pandemic has essentially transformed the face of the healthcare industry all across the globe. For instance, Telehealth adoption in the USA has grown up to 3000% since the beginning of the epidemic, taking much of the primary care to people’s homes instead of visiting doctors’ offices or hospitals. Today, the world has declared war against the COVID-19 and the industry that is leading the fight is the healthcare sector. The global pandemic has accelerated the transition to a new model that mainly focuses on a secure digital consultation and harness the true power of the modern Digital health system.
Coronavirus epidemic has become an occasion for digital healthcare, telehealth services, telemedicine technology, and connecting people with doctors via audio or video calls, and texts. Even though telehealth services and digital healthcare have been around for many years, recent COVID-19 crises and lockdown have made it the most preferred method of medical consultation.
Why Digital Health System is essential now?
Telemedicine technology is an answer to various kinds of healthcare. With the help of telemedicine, patients can measure their vitals, scan health records, and share with doctors and healthcare professionals. Telemedicine doctor attends the patients with personalized consultations, and with ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the healthcare sector is encouraging to contact doctors digitally.
COVID-19 crises have led to a rise in the digital health system as most of the specialists choose to connect with their patients over virtual visits for new cases and regular follow up appointments. The primary goal of telemedicine is to stay connected with patients who are at high risks along with pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension, or cardiovascular disease. These types of ailments put patients at high risk for COVID-19 contamination. The Digital Health System helps these types of patients in consulting their doctors, adjust their treatment, and assure that medications and refills are available as required.
The state of Digital Health system in the healthcare sector
Compared to other industries, the healthcare sector has pretty slow in leveraging the digital age. With the lack of government rules and regulations and the way we see healthcare, there has almost less pressure on the healthcare area to go digital. However, Coronavirus has transformed everything. Governments around all over the globe have suddenly eased healthcare regulations and started offering industry in a more flexible way to render necessary health services to those required. The sector got the much-needed push to go digital and adopted new challenges with the help of technology.
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The Good news: Telemedicine, virtual care, and home therapies
For many decades now, virtual healthcare management, digital health system, and telehealth have been declared as essential for the future of healthcare. However, the process of digital transformation has always been complicated and slow because of the regulations, the requirements of behavioral changes, and the lack of incentives to act fast. Below are the stats from Deloitte presenting patient willingness to adopt telehealth services:
- 60% of millennials strongly believe and support telehealth to replace in-office visits
- 74% of people say that they are open to a virtual health consultation
- 83% of patients after a telehealth visit experienced, they got best quality care
The digitally-enabled patient
On the contrary, patients are more enabled than ever. The total number of patients with internet access, who are mobile-empowered and tech-savvy has been on a rise for the last two decades. Pew Research’s nation-wide study conducted in the USA back in 2013 is appropriate in the current’s context:
- 1 in 3 American adults have turned online to know their medical condition
- 72% of internet users say that they searched for the healthcare information last year’
- 40% of internet users search for hospitals and doctors before engaging
- Most searched topic included symptoms, a particular disease, and treatments
3 major takeaways from implementing Digital Health System during COVID-19
1.Cutting-edge technologies will make Smart Hospitals Part of the Care and enhance patient-doctor relations:
In What’s on the cutting-edge of AI, Mattew Versaggi explained the advantages of smart hospitals and how they can be incredibly smart that they adequately are part of the patients’ care team. Modern technology like artificial intelligence (AI) can move objects around in the environment according to the doctor or patient’s preferences, improve flow, and better assess the hospital’s inventory of materials. Optimizing the hospital’s infrastructure with the digital health system can monitor, learn, and sense how to offer the best cure to the patient at the individual level along with delivering best-quality care economically is going to be a game-changer.
2.AI and ML will enhance the clinical decision-making process and support doctors:
Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder at HealthTap kicked off How AI and ML enhance clinical decision making, deliberating the importance of incorporating data-driven models with knowledge-driven factors from doctors to help make successful clinical decisions. He discussed that the academic perspective taught in medical colleges and schools is not always reliable in understanding the best clinical decision. With the help of AI and ML, it is possible to develop a unanimity-driven model from hundreds and thousands of doctors that reduce individual bias.
Incorporating data-driven models with the unanimity-driven component from skilled doctors will enable these systems to instantly assess evaluate the best course of action. The current challenge is getting sufficient data so that these systems can determine the complexities of patient symptoms and correctly identify them as well as doctors do.
3.Early detection needs well-curated data sets:
In deciphering the data of COVID-19, the panel emphasized that prioritizing the release of high-quality, labeled, curated data will enable us to predict future epidemics. DR. Matt Lungren, co-director at Stanford AIMI, explained with an example of an imaging challenge they experienced last year. They used CT to identify bleeding in the brain using AI. Dr. Lungren said, “We get over 22000 individual models, the top 10 of which performed better than some of the FDA-cleared solutions for the same problem.” Developing well-curated data sets across a clinical problem, and engaging with the community at large, offers a wide range of solutions that allows doctors and healthcare professionals to move the industry forward with new ideas.
We’ve experienced the same incident with COVID-19 when scientists and researchers published a unique viral genome. By creating the complete genome available to the scientific community, individual scientists were able to develop vaccines and test solutions. Dr. Lungren said, “because they revealed the source, we can all apply our science, technologies, approaches, and came up with the best idea in the long run.
In summary, 2020 might turn out to be the decade when Digital Health System reshapes the healthcare industry. COVID-19 has surely driven several innovations in the first quarter of 2020, as the digital health community continues to guide how best to bolster traditional public health measures. If you are running a healthcare organization or a clinic and looking for a helping hand to adopt latest technologies in your healthcare business, KCS is the best place to associate. For more than two decades, they have been guiding healthcare enterprises across the globe to incorporate latest technologies such as AI, ML, Cloud etc. into their business.
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