Digital Health in the Post Pandemic World
With the sudden onset of a nearly global lockdown in 2020, the healthcare world was catapulted into new territory. Many hospitals and physicians’ offices turned to digital health to safely connect with and care for their patients.
This reality led to an explosion in new digital health technology. The digital health industry is expected to grow by 17.9% year over year between 2021 and 2030.
With such dramatic growth, anyone involved in the healthcare industry will need to do what they can to keep up. In this article, we explore what digital health looks like today and how the healthcare industry can capitalize on it to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.
- Digital health is a necessity in today’s healthcare industry, whether someone is working directly with patients or not.
- With the right digital health tools, healthcare providers can help patients get better and stay well.
- Digital health improves the patient experience with more transparency and better control over the medical experience.
- There are various types of digital health technology available today including wearable devices, electronic medical records, and telemedicine.
What Is the Status of Digital Health Today?
Since the 1990s, the healthcare industry has been steadily transitioning to more digital resources, especially with electronic medical records (EMR). With the acceleration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry made huge leaps in digital health.
Today, many healthcare providers rely on digital health resources to help with:
- Patient care
- Facility management
- Disease monitoring
- Healthcare planning
- Service performance
- Patient billing
- Benefit administration
One of the primary goals of digital health today is to gather patient data so health professionals can provide superior care to their patients. The next step is to properly manage that data and keep it secure. Without data security, a patient’s private health information could be compromised.
Looking to the future, digital health may be able to help some patients transcend geographical borders to access the healthcare they need. This video offers a glimpse into what the future of digital health could look like.
Video: Here is how Digital Health Makes Healthcare Globalised – A Future Bit From The Medical Futurist
How Can Digital Health Improve the Patient Experience?
Digital health initiatives and technology improves the patient experience in a variety of ways.
According to research published in 2022, digital health can help patients with the following:
- Getting Better: Getting better refers to helping a patient recover from an illness. When applied to digital health, like telehealth, it can help reduce unnecessary tests.
- Getting Well: Getting well takes a patient from a state of illness to a state of good health. Digital health helps patients in getting well by offering remote patient monitoring. This can reduce readmissions by letting doctors and patients monitor their symptoms and progress.
- Staying Well: Once a patient has fully recovered, the goal is to stay well and not see a relapse in symptoms or the emergence of new health issues. With improved health monitoring and symptom management, patients are better able to stay well.
Image source: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/pop.2021.0031
When getting better, getting well, and staying well all work together through advanced digital health technology, this leads to improved patient satisfaction.
Some digital health programs that lead to better satisfaction include:
- Patient self-scheduling
- AI-assisted scheduling
- Automatic medication reminders
- Reduced barriers to healthcare with telehealth
Types of Digital Health Technology
Digital health technology saves time, boosts efficiency, increases accuracy, and improves the lives of patients. Healthcare providers can achieve these through the various sources of digital health technology available today.
Image source: https://www.techtarget.com/searchhealthit/definition/digital-health-digital-healthcare
1. Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
An electronic health record (EHR) is an inclusive look at a patient’s medical history. An HER shares information across multiple health organizations. It gives all medical providers access to the same health information for a patient.
- Provide a complete medical history of a patient
- Streamline data sharing in real-time
- Improve access to decision-making tools for healthcare providers
Telehealth is the broad term used to describe all electronic communications and remote services used to provide healthcare to patients.
3. Wearable Devices
Wearable healthcare devices can be any kind of electronic item designed to be worn on your body. You might be wearing one now in the form of a fitness tracker or smartwatch on your wrist.
Other common wearable healthcare devices include:
- AI hearing aids
- Body-mounted sensors that transmit biological data
- “Smart” jewelry
- Augmented reality headsets
- “Smart” clothing
4. Mobile Health Apps
Most mobile health apps work in consort with wearable devices. The device transmits data, and the user can view that data in an app. Other health apps may not be linked to a wearable device. For example, it could be an app that shares information about preventive health services. Some health apps can even let a person view their own electronic health record (EHR).
5. Personalized Medicine
Emerging health technology allows some practitioners to use someone’s unique genetic profile to create personalized medical recommendations and treatments. The principles of artificial intelligence guides some personalized medicine.
Telemedicine describes a medical provider delivering patient care from a distance. This is typically done through video calls but could also apply to phone calls or other telecommunication methods.
7. Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)
An electronic medical record (EMR) is similar to an EHR, except it is typically relegated to a single healthcare provider. It includes a patient’s health history as it to one provider.
While not as inclusive as an EHR, EMRs are better than paper records. They offer:
- Superior data tracking
- Improved patient care
- Reminders for patient checkups and screenings
Advance Your Digital Health Solutions with Gaine
To provide the best care for patients in 2022, healthcare professionals of all types need the advancements in digital health solutions. These solutions help you collect, manage, and secure patient data for better diagnoses, treatment, and outcomes.
If your healthcare organization needs better data management and digital health solutions, you can trust Gaine. Gaine has been creating data solutions for the life sciences and healthcare industries for over 15 years.
Want to learn more about our data management platform? Contact us today.
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