The Development of Digital Healthcare

The emergence and rapid expansion of the mysterious coronavirus in China, has put the entire world on alert. However, this is not the only health risk that threatens to affect the world population. In the Republic of the Congo, the first outbreak of the Ebola virus occurred in August 2018. So far, more than 2000 people have died.

Pandemics are a latent danger, which like natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other geopolitical threats. Are capable of destroying entire communities in a matter of hours.

In this context, the question arises. Is the current health services system sustainable? Although, health services are far from being unified throughout the world. Currently, their development faces a critical moment. In order to be more efficient and face global scale risks, it needs to be transformed. And technology will play a central role in its transformation.

Digital transformation in the health sector

The health industry has the possibility of being completely revolutionized with the incorporation of digital technology. Although, it is also one of the industries with the greatest development in recent decades. As for medical advances and the development of successful treatments for more and more diseases. Social and technology transformations have presented new challenges and opportunities for the industry and it seems that the migration to the digital world is a must to achieve them.

Among the main challenges and opportunities in the health sector worldwide are:

  • The aging of the population
  • The increasing rise of chronic diseases
  • High costs
  • Government regulations
  • Scientific advances
  • Consumer’s empowerment

All these transformations have generated new opportunities and needs for consumers of health services. To which the sector begins to react, albeit slowly, due to government restrictions and the reluctance of the sector to a transformation that could change its current operating model radically.

Thus, the complete transformation and inclusion of technology in the health sector seem to be heading to a system of a great transfer of responsibility and autonomy to patients, as well as greater accessibility.

Among some of the trends in digital health care that are under development and are expected in the coming years to establish themselves in health systems around the world, are:

  1. Artificial intelligence

The integration of artificial intelligence technology in medicine, allows, among other things, to speed up processes in an impressive way. For example, smart body scanners can detect neurological events in 1.5 seconds. More than 100 times faster than a radiologist operating the machine manually.

  1. Telemedicine

The number of patients treated remotely has increased dramatically in recent years. This type of distance treatment allows expanding health services to remote areas, reducing costs and providing greater accessibility.

  1. Blockchain

Blockchain technology in medicine will allow the creation of unified databases of medical files. Thus allowing to keep a unique record, no matter how many times you change doctors, providing access to both patients and new health providers at any time and place in your medical history.

  1. Augmented Virtual Reality

The use of virtual reality not only allows doctors to perform surgery simulations without having to touch a patient, for example. Its uses and potential benefits are very diverse. Currently, some virtual reality models are developed to treat patients with dementia and other mental illnesses.

  1. The Internet of Things (IoT)

The creation of devices connected to the cloud allows countless possibilities for health care. Apps to monitor and prevent diseases, devices for portable medical consultations, devices that allow instant diagnosis at home, among others. Are some of the developments that could completely transform the health industry in the coming years.

In 2019, the global digital health services market was estimated to have a value of $ 147 billion USD and is expected to reach $ 234.5 billion by 2023. So investing in the development of technology for the health sector seems like a good bet.

However, its development in different regions of the world will depend largely on government regulations around it. For example, technology such as Blockchain that aims to incorporate sensitive information such as patient medical records. It has been the center of debate, since if not having adequate regulation could be used for harmful purposes. Plus, the need to create adequate cybersecurity systems to protect this sensitive information comes up.

That is why the development of this technology by Health service has been restricted. Although in the face of global attacks and international health risks, such as those we currently live in, there seems to be no going back and the industry must make the complete leap towards transformation.