Digital Health - Meaning and Importance

What does Digital Health mean?

Digital Health pertains to the usage of information technology / electronic media devices, programs and procedures to provide health care or to promote public safety. Digital innovations in healthcare are continually developing and finding new applications in the healthcare industry, even though the sector is grappling with adoption and ‘digital transition’. It is constantly providing resources and knowledge that can help you to better understand maintaining your well-being and the safety of your families.

On paper, digital health seems like an easy concept – using technological advances to enhance the safety and well-being of people.  The truth, though, is a little broader and more detailed. The term ‘digital health’ includes 

The utility of Digital Health

Digital health is a broad and growing sector that includes everything from smart accessories to ingestible sensors, wearable gadgets, mobile health apps, telehealth and telemedicine, automated blood checks, and robotic caregivers, electronic records, artificial intelligence, and personalized medicine.

The scope for Digital Health

The objectives of digital health are complex and varied – disease and prevention, cost reduction in healthcare, customization of medicines as per patient needs, and help in monitoring and managing chronic conditions.

Both healthcare providers and their patients benefit from these objectives in the healthcare sector. Data collection gives digital health a chance to enhance patient lifestyles and maintain optimal health for longer periods. As a result, fewer medical visits are required. 

Digital health tools, such as healthcare apps, are useful in identifying symptoms of new diseases or worsening of present conditions. They enable medical professionals to step in earlier and curtail the length of the disease or give much-needed relief from symptoms.

Leaders in Revolution

Scores of technology firms are making strenuous efforts to get involved in digital health. Interestingly, they’re all going down different paths. Consider the example of Google.  Google launched Google Health and Google Fit to enhance “the lives of as many people as possible” and is exerting a lot of effort in healthcare-centric Artificial Intelligence through its DeepMind unit.

While Google sets its eyes on the future, Apple is focusing more on the patient. The US multinational seeks to build an eco-system that extends from providers to consumers. The tech company has increased the versatility of its products, such as Apple Watch or iPhone, to enhance its offerings on the provider side with Health Records and ResearchKit.

Never one to fall behind, Apple has acquired a business selling drugs and plans to revolutionize how healthcare is provided in the US. Also, Amazon some time back took over Health Navigator, a start-up providing symptom identifying and digital triage resources.

Digital Health in Nursing Clinics today

When technology invades every aspect of our everyday lives, the use of technology in healthcare delivery and planning is rapidly becoming a key skill required in the nursing profession. 

Given the lack of supply of trained nurses in many countries across the world, it is becoming increasingly important to introduce technology to support nursing practises to keep up the demands for health services. Innovations can ease some of the stress and help nurses handle various time-consuming duties.

Added benefits of Digital Health

The more digital health tools and healthcare applications we use, the faster we create an enormous health archive of consumer health markers worldwide.

With the help of AI and Big Data, we may soon succeed in linking the dots between people’s lifestyles and circumstances, and in the process, find out doing whether doing or not doing something reduces or improves the risk of getting a specific medical condition.

Digital Health Effects

With peripherals and apps obtaining data, it’s only a matter of time before businesses try to derive profits from it.  There are several reasons why tech giants are specifically targeting the healthcare sector. It is a massive industry and resistant to the recessionary impact. 

How Digital Health makes value-additions to patient care across the globe?

Technology records have practically paved the way for the implementation of electronic records of patients and streamlined clinical practice, thereby ensuring efficient communication between clinicians.

Further, technology is enhancing standards and quality of care in nursing through the delivery of evidence-specific practice and clinical decision-making support.

A large number of health care providers have now implemented technologies to provide data-enabled, clinical decision-making and support evidence-based nursing practises. Such solutions also help to minimize clinical errors and administrative delays, which can impact the overall quality of care given. 

Digital Health Technology Solutions for combating COVID-19

COVID-19 pandemic has created a sift need for coordinated response mechanisms across health sectors, and digital health solutions have been recognized as promising methods for tackling this challenge. 

To reduce the risk of infection, telemedicine has been used as an efficient health care model for both emergency and primary care. 

The following list of digital health solutions may be useful in containing the coronavirus:

  • Health Check
  • Safiri Smart
  • HealthAlert
  • Inclusive eLearning
  • Interactive FM Radio
  • Triage Checkup
  • Noviguide
  • OpenELIS Global
  • Weltel

At the same time, social media platforms such as Google Trends and Twitter are hugely beneficial for modelling pandemic trends as well for monitoring symptoms or public response to the pandemic over time.

Digital health Concerns

Despite the importance of digital health, it should be open to people of all ages, races, ethnicities, incomes, medical conditions, or genetic backgrounds.

Concluding Remarks

Current innovations have had a major effect on the health care industry as a whole. The impact of connected devices, mobility, electronic appliances, and other structures have become so strong and important today that most modern hospital facilities fitted with the new healthcare practices and innovations motivate patients and healthcare professionals alike compared to erstwhile forms of healthcare facilities.

Digital advances like healthcare apps help us lead happier, cleaner and more efficient lives. Digital health – the use of digital technologies in healthcare – and, in particular, wireless solutions and mobiles are tipped to thrive in the near future.