As digital technology becomes prevalent in healthcare, especially life sciences and pharma, how are the healthcare providers making the most of these dynamic solutions to bring significant patient care changes?
Smartphone Sensors for Diagnosis and Health Monitoring
Statista's report says that currently, there are 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide. That means at least 45% of the population have a smartphone. Over the coming years, the number of mobile device users is going to expand to 7.3 billion. All of these are the reasons why the smartphone is a significant potential point of care platform. It has plenty of powerful features to support a wide range of diagnostic applications.
Smartphones are becoming popular in the area of health monitoring. The built-in sensors of smartphones collect many types of information about a person's health, such as pulse, Electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure, and Electroencephalogram (EEG).
How does it work? First, the data is collected from sensors and transferred through a wireless transmission for further processing. A single mobile phone can collect raw sensor data from sensors in a phone consisting of the GPS, microphone, or camera, etc. Then the information is received from the sensor data with the help of machine learning and data mining approaches. These are performed directly on the phone or central processing unit. After this, the data is being informed to the nearby medical center.
Similarly, the use of wearable technology has tripled in the last few years. Accenture's report says that the U.S. consumer base of using wearables has jumped to 33%. This increased demand for wearables has created a booming market for digital adherence technologies catering to health technology. A few examples of wearable devices in healthcare are - smartwatches, wearable monitors, or Fitbits.
In remote patient management, wearable technology can offer real-time data collection, informed decision-making, or growing care provider accuracy. For instance, Apple Watch Series 6 comes with a blood oxygen app and sensor to monitor the heart and respiratory health.
Using Digital Therapy as An Enabler
McKinsey Mckinsey says the investment in digital-therapeutics brands in the USA has increased by 40%. But what is unique about this fast-moving sector?
Over the last few years, digital therapy has disrupted the way organizations are approaching workplace wellness. Today, there is a wide range of accessible and personalized care available for everyone. There is an increasing number of industries focusing on making better and more innovative patient-centric solutions.
In digital adherence technologies, virtual care and digital therapy are crucial in supporting existing care, providing scale, and improving capacity. Virtual care substitutes the traditional way of delivering health services. For instance, asynchronous messaging enables a patient to text a coach or clinician any time to get a response later.
Washington D.C, based the Advisory Board Company (ABC), a global research, technology, and consulting firm, is a performance improvement partner across the healthcare sector. Their main focus was on improving patient care through data-driven analytics while allowing hospital management to evaluate large-scale hospital group efficacy. Icreon worked with The Advisory Board to develop an array of digitally enabled database-driven solutions to better patient care insight.
Platforms for Patient Monitoring
When nearly everyone is digitally connected, it only makes sense that the healthcare industry is witnessing a lot of remote patient monitoring (RPM) technologies. It is akin to telemedicine technologies, as they supervise and report on patients, especially those with chronic illnesses, so caregivers can remotely track them.
Amid the pandemic, connected health is more important than ever. They allow health professionals to assess patients without coming into contact to ensure the prevention of the virus. Hospitals worldwide are making the most of this system to preserve bed space for patients with severe issues.
In times of escalating patient flow, the large connected systems play a significant role in enabling unloading staff and allowing continual remote tracking of dozens of ICU patients from one critical hub. For example, Microsoft and G.E. Healthcare created one of such unique products in the pandemic wave. This system enabled handling a 100-bed intensive care unit while reducing the usage of PPE.
A.I. for Early Diagnosis
Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is redefining our lives in many ways. Initially, A.I. was developed to solve more straightforward problems such as language recognition, winning a chess game, image retrieval, etc. With the recent advancements, A.I. has become increasingly knowledgeable at doing what we do, but more efficiently and rapidly.
A.I., as one of the most popular digital adherence technologies, provides an advantage over typical clinical decision‐making techniques and analytics. For instance, Machine learning algorithms can recognize patterns from complex datasets, facilitating us to gain essential insights into the early detection of several diseases, healthcare processes, drug discovery, and patient results.
The implementation of A.I. can bring multiple benefits in early detection. A.I. can pinpoint any significant risk a patient may have. Such developments can make the screening process accessible and precise for all. For example, Mozziyar Etemadi's trained A.I. system can find the early stages of lung cancer more accurately than trained radiologists.
Digital Adherence Technologies Continue to Transform Healthcare
The rapid digital transformation changes the healthcare industry by shifting how healthcare organizations digitally enable their doctors and nurses to provide more efficient patient care. Encouraged with the right tools to collaborate and communicate with colleagues and contact the patients, HCPs make well-rounded decisions. This is one of the crucial steps to prevent the crisis while delivering superior care for everyone.
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