We become more digital every day. We order our groceries online, shop for clothing online, research online, read online, and can even attend medical consultations online.
We’re shifting to a digital-driven environment and as time passes by, we’re hungry for more. Digital health may be the next big step.
What is Digital Health?
Just as its names suggests, digital health is the combination of digital technology and healthcare. It covers all the digital aspects of technology: from wearables and gadgets to mobile health apps, robotic care, and even telehealth.
“Some key advantages include being able to efficiently collect health data at a personal level, to perform sophisticated assessments and evaluations. Though perhaps most important, is the opportunity for new forms of treatments, dubbed digital therapeutics.”- Jonathan Anderson CEO, NeuroTracker
Why is Digital Health Important?
Digital health has changed today’s medical landscape. It is no longer necessary to physically attend a medical consultation – you can have a video call from the comfort of your home. You no longer have to dial your doctor’s office number with questions – you can send a text directly and wait for a reply. Not only is it more convenient, it helps physicians and patients save time and money.
How Has Digital Health Evolved Through The Years?
Digital health allows patients to meet their doctors through innovative means like text messaging apps, emails, video, phone, and other digital resources. According to AdvancedMD, “digital healthcare is increasing efficiency in tracking, managing, and improving personal health without having to visit a doctor’s office as frequently”.
According to Rock Health’s Digital Health Consumer Adoption Report, “over the past five years, […] adoption of digital health tools like telemedicine, wearables, and health apps has consistently climbed upwards.” Let’s take a look at the major digital health trends of 2020 to see just how far technology has come.
Telehealth is one of the biggest healthcare trends to watch out for, and it’s not only an option for millennials or tech-savvy consumers. Telehealth can actually be extremely helpful for home-ridden patients who require frequent checkups and can’t risk traveling, or for patients who can’t afford the commute to the doctor’s office. Beyond these cases, telehealth is an option available to everyone who wants to see a doctor from home. During the 2020 pandemic, telehealth has been key to providing medical care to lockdown patients across the globe.
Voice recognition technology has been an important asset to doctors for decades. Through the years, speech recognition has become more integrated with healthcare. It can help save time and let doctors evaluate faster, increasing their productivity, and improving patient care (among other benefits!).
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Digital health has improved patient care both inside and outside the operating room. Robotic assistants, record-keeping, and surgical cameras are now a main part of any operating room, resulting in improved speed and accuracy. Technology has made medical procedures safer and faster with fewer patient risks. From improved AI technology to nanosurgery, digital health is essential for today’s surgeries.
How Digital Health Can Help Improve Patient Care
Digital health provides benefits for all types of medical staff and allows for advances in patient care. Patients are becoming increasingly proactive about taking care of their health. If a patient has regular access to their own health information, it’s easier for them to feel connected, empowered, and make better health decisions. We call this the digital health patient experience.
Another result of the rise of digital healthcare is autonomy. Patients can now research reviews, including quality and pricing, in order to find the best option for both their treatment and their wallet. This means better informed decisions and more proactive patients.
As healthcare technology becomes more developed, we can improve how we manage our own wellbeing and healthcare, as well as provide faster, more accurate platforms for doctors to work in. In short, digital health provides instant connectivity, measurable results, fast and accurate diagnoses, and time-saving benefits for physicians to view more patients in less time. It means improved health, for more patients, all over the world.