What is digital health? Trends in digital health

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Gone are the days when health and wealth is supposed to be the most important aspects of our lives. Health and digitalization have become one of the most pivotal aspects as of now. No wonder, combining technology in the healthcare industry is gaining momentum like none other industry. Not to mention that the COVID has accelerated the need for incorporating the latest and disruptive technology in the existing healthcare systems just to provide better resolutions. 

We exist in an electronic era, it’s unsurprising that the healthcare industry has adapted. From smartwatches’ data-driven insights to smartphone applications that assist in managing chronic diseases, it’s apparent that technology is transforming healthcare. The following post focuses on some of the top trends evolving in the digital health realm. 

In the present scenario, more and more solutions regarding telemedicine and teleconsultation are being developed all thanks to remote monitoring methods by using connected devices, health platforms and apps. In short, digital health has been put on the global agenda. Now you must be wondering what exactly the term digital health comprises of? Right from mobile health to electronic health records, electronic medical records, wearable devices, telehealth, telemedicine and the list goes on.

Introducing Digital Health

What is digital health? This is no rocket science Digital health is mainly said when technology is precisely used to assist in improving the health of patients in a very short span of time. Slowly and steadily digital health is a growing industry – all thanks to the rise in wearable gadgets, mobile devices, remote monitoring sensors, artificial intelligence-based apps, electronic records and so more. 

In addition to this, several health and fitness apps play a crucial role in maintaining overall health across the globe. What do these apps usually do? They take generic care. For example, monitoring your calorie intake, your calories burnt, tracking physical activity, sleeping pattern, how many glasses of water taken, and so more. So yes, these applications play a crucial role in maintaining overall health and fitness. Not to mention these apps can even take care if you are prone to dangerous diseases such as diabetes, oxygen saturation, obesity, high blood pressure, epilepsy, and allergies, etc. In some way, it is safe to say that the COVID wave has resulted in individuals realising the fact that health is extremely important. And It is something that needs to be taken care of day in and day out. 

Still, thinking about why digital health is important? Well, further I would like to mention some of the core reasons why the world is trending toward digital health and why you should too 

Significance of Digital Health

You may not realize it by now, but we are about to witness a great revolution in the healthcare sector. After knowing what is digital health, it’s time to consider some of the core advantages of incorporating digital health. 

All the computing platforms, softwares, connected devices, and sensors can be considered digital health technologies. As of now, you will come across a wide range of medical apps that can assist healthcare professionals in making the best clinical decisions in the nick of time. Featuring disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, these apps offer a wide range of benefits which will be mentioned below. 

#1 Centralization

One of the obvious advantages of incorporating digital health is centralization. Yes, centralizing all the crucial information regarding the patient is extremely important. After all, doctors and nurses no longer have to search here and there and look for their previous case history and vital information.  Right from their recent records to their previous ones, medications, doctor’s instruction, reports, allergies, everything is mentioned here. 

Manual entry takes ample of time and can be pretty risky as there are more chances of errors. In addition to this, storing physical or paper-based copies can take ample of storage space. Today, with the rise of digital health, gone are the days when you have to browse through different file cabinets and go through each one, which is again time-consuming. 

Digital health definitely assists you in getting rid of all these unnecessary activities and focusing on the patient. Here whatever information you require can be accessed smoothly and seamlessly. Whether you are a doctor, nurse or therapist or even dietician, you are bound to know your patient well on an instant basis. 

#2 Sharing Information

Other than getting instant access to any patient’s information, here healthcare professionals get the liberty to share relevant information across multiple platforms. In fact, discussing a particular case with peer members or seniors is no more a hassle. You see in the medical profession, critical cases come a day in and day out and handling them is not easy. Here you have to get in contact with seniors for their expert opinions and suggestions but again for that, you need to be well-prepared with the case history in prior.  

#3 Promoting Virtualization

Another crucial benefit of digital health is that here patients no longer have to get in touch with their medical professional in person every time in need, especially even for some trivial matters. A digital healthcare software enables them to get in touch with their respective doctors easily. In fact, it may quite interest you to know that most of the healthcare systems come with customizable scheduling tools so that patients can easily book appointments for themselves conveniently. 

These apps also show preferred time slots for both doctors as well as themselves. So there is no scope for any double booking or misunderstanding. 

Top Digital Health Trends To Watch For in 2022

Now further I would like to mention some of the top digital trends to take into account for 2022 and a few years down the line. 

Telehealth

I am sure you must have heard of this term an ample of times but have you ever wondered what exactly Telehealth is all about? Telehealth is all about using all the digital information and technologies, especially those which are communication-based to access healthcare services remotely. This means you can access information even while you are sitting at your home. Let’s say your grandmother has diabetes, so how does telehealth work here? 

First of all, you can use smart devices to upload food logs and all the medications, and regular blood sugar levels so that doctors can review them electronically. Apart from that, use the app to determine how much insulin is actually required. Check test results regularly, request for prescription refills, schedule an appointment, need a flu shot, and so forth. 

On and all, Telehealth is all about making healthcare accessible to even those who are living in rural areas. Apart from that, improved services, communication, and self-management are some of its crucial perks.   

Remote Patient Monitoring

The Next Digital Health trend that must be taken into account is remote patient monitoring. Nowadays, digital health tools and wearables are pretty much in demand and they are supposed to gain momentum even in the upcoming years due to the widespread awareness and acknowledgement of digitalization. Remote diagnostic is the key to a successful future. 

What exactly is this remote patient monitoring? Well, this one is all about of use of digital technologies where all the medical information about the patient is monitored and captured systematically. All the information is then further transmitted to the respective healthcare professional for further assessment. In fact, after the COVID-19 crisis, remote patient monitoring has become quite a rage these days. Some of the crucial benefits of remote patient monitoring include: 

  • Everything regarding your health is mentioned here
  • Faster and easy accessibility to healthcare services
  • Enhanced outcomes 
  • Not just professionals but patients are found taking care of their health

Virtual and Augmented Reality 

Another interesting trend to consider is virtual and augmented reality. Augmented Reality offers a gazillion of possibilities across the globe and healthcare industry is no exception. Here down below I would like to mention how Augmented Reality can change the medical and healthcare industry. 

What if the person sitting next to you all of a sudden collapses? Well, first and foremost what you would do is call an ambulance or a doctor for help. Here such apps can help. All you have to do is feed in the exact location and you will receive one. Another crucial aspect is healthcare professionals can find crucial veins by using Augmented reality technology. On and all, AR and VR in healthcare is supposed to reach $5.1 billion by 2025. 

Conclusion

Overall, digital health has a rosy future, now two ways about it! By incorporating technology in the healthcare industry not just patients but even healthcare professionals are found pretty much relieved as they no longer have to worry about unnecessary activities such as gathering information, storing it and analyzing it. All such trivial matters will be well-taken care of by these apps and softwares. 

So that’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed reading the post and if you do please assist me in spreading the word among your peers.

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