Digital Salutem
31 January 2022

Main Challenges in Digital Healthcare Innovation

By João Bocas
digital healthcare innovation

Digital healthcare is fundamentally about changing the relationship between doctor and patient and the investment in healthcare and research.

Digital healthcare challenges include:

1. The digital revolution is bringing new ways to access doctors and patients.
2. New technologies will affect how information is shared, and how doctors interact with patients in a way that’s unprecedented.
3. Patients will be able to share their medical information at home with peace of mind, while doctors can access it easily from anywhere on their mobile devices or computers.
4. Medical data will become a global resource available to everyone, enabling people to take control of their health care decisions through smart phones or tablets.
5. Doctors will use new technologies to improve patient-physician interactions while reducing physician-patient barriers by enabling people’s own medical histories to be shared on mobile devices.

Digital Healthcare Is The Future

We will try to do just that by outlining some of the main challenges that need to be faced in order for digital health to take hold in healthcare and make significant progress towards solving those problems.

The first challenge is that there are a lot of different ways “digital” can be used to describe healthcare. It might mean systems or services built on the internet or on software which communicate with each other and with humans (e.g., email, web-based portals) or systems which are connected to data collected from multiple sources such as sensors, machine-based computers and cloud services (e.g., big data).

The second challenge is that there are a lot of different ways “healthcare” can be described (which could include “medical care”, “non-medical care”, even “the arts”). There’s also an ongoing debate over whether healthcare should be defined as physical or mental health.

A third challenge is that the use of digital technology has changed so much over the years that some people simply do not understand its implications for healthcare — especially when they have never experienced it themselves (many people won’t even come close).

For example, if your doctor wants you to refer a patient for surgery right away due to high blood pressure (the patient is clearly in trouble). The question becomes: do we go ahead with surgery now or wait until after a few more weeks? Is it better for us to send them home immediately with no problem and risk further damage from an unexpected problem during their recovery period? Or do we let them sit before our eyes for hours at a time for months? How about when they eventually decide they don’t want the surgery anymore because their vision has deteriorated so much? Will we let them get back on their feet again if we send them home now or will we give them access to one or two glasses? How about at home where they don’t need an operation because there’s no-one else around — will we prescribe them daily medications so they don’t get sick again? The whole process could take days; in fact, several intervention models have been developed which reduce waiting time by 5–10 days on average.

That’s one example

Healthcare Is A Big Market And It Is Going To Get Bigger

Digital healthcare is a huge market. As of today, it’s the second largest industry in the world. It’s a market that will continue to grow, and the size and scope of this market is such that it’s going to be worth billions – perhaps tens of billions – over the next few years.

It’s also a market that has yet to be realized in terms of scale, impact or ROI. We see a lot of innovation and investment in digital health for purely speculative reasons (“will it be big enough?”), which is why we are spending so much time on research and development. We are doing our best to expand the scope of this research, but we don’t want to waste everyone’s time with useless results or pay too much for useless results. That said, we are confident that the value of digital healthcare will be well worth the investment we’re making in R&D (and especially in clinical trial design). It means we can do things like:

• Disaggregate clinical trials data by outcome type (i.e., patients with an acute condition vs patients with chronic conditions) – This gives us more robust data which can be used to make informed decisions about what treatment strategies work best for different patient types. This also allows us to disregard some common pitfalls when designing clinical trials (e.g., not allowing patients into trials if they have diabetes or heart disease). This also allows us to disregard some common pitfalls when designing clinical trials (e.g., not allowing patients into trials if they have diabetes or heart disease).

• Support hospital-based care with new technologies like telemedicine — we might need telemedicine right now as part of primary care but this technology could allow us to provide patient care anywhere at any time and directly from anywhere in the world – so hospitals could now become less dependent on expensive travel costs from insurers and move more toward self-pay models .
we might need telemedicine right now as part of primary care but this technology could allow us to provide patient care anywhere at any time and directly from anywhere in the world – so hospitals could now become less dependent on expensive travel costs from insurers and move more toward .

• Generate data on how both doctors and patients interact with their computer systems — this forms an extremely useful baseline against which other ways of delivering care can be measured — giving us a better idea about how well delivered services improve patient outcomes through new

Challenges Of Digital Healthcare

The first challenge is that of the doctor-patient relationship. The physician does not have an office, only a call center where she can take your call for an emergency or a routine visit. Most doctors do not get to see patients on weekends or holidays, and are not allowed to see their patients without a referral from a colleague. What that means is that many physicians are out of office during the week, which creates a problem for patients and for their doctors, who need to be available for more than one patient at once.

Another challenge relates to the length of time it takes from patient to doctor in digital health; it can take days or even weeks (in case of emergencies or serious illnesses) as opposed to hours or days (for routine visits). This also affects how patients communicate with their doctors — some patients may prefer email but most use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Yet another challenge relates to how health information is structured: it’s all based on electronic medical records (EMRs), but EMRs are only used today when it comes to billing — so there isn’t much opportunity for interactions between doctors and patients beyond billing, which requires a lot of storage space on computers rather than just one phone number. This limits what kind of communication between physicians and patients can happen in digital healthcare devices.

And finally, there is the issue of insurance: if you want rich data analysis on what happens in your care, you need insurance coverage for that — but most insurers don’t cover digital health apps because they believe them to be too time consuming for customer support; this results in high prices associated with digital healthcare claims processing — even though these claims processing costs can be offset by lower prices charged by competitors.

How Will Digital Healthcare Innovation Change The Relationship Between The Doctor And The Patient?

The advent of digital health is a huge milestone, which is why we are going to have to approach this topic with caution.

It’s easy to be excited about the potential of digital healthcare, but it’s also easy to get lost in the whirlwind of hype and speculation; as well as being an opportunity for some companies to make a quick buck. That’s OK…there are some great ideas out there and it’s possible that there could be effects at a much larger scale than just one company. But it’s also important not to get sucked in too deep into this hype and start treating digital health like the next big thing, when we can do better by focusing on more pragmatic approaches such as interoperability and embeddable software applications.

The best way to make sure you’re not getting too excited is to keep an open mind about how this will impact the healthcare industry (the industry I work in). We should avoid getting caught up in these kinds of discussions like “When will this happen? What kind of device would we use? What kind of integration would we use?” instead looking at what it means for healthcare providers (doctors, hospitals) and patients (people who go to hospitals).

You may see posts or articles about what can be done with digital healthcare from across the healthcare landscape, but most people aren’t actually discussing where they fit in that ecosystem or predicting how much impact they can have. It’s important that you understand where you fit in those roles and how your role changes with the adoption of digital technology. The best way for us to make any sort of prediction is through understanding our own roles.

The market is changing rapidly and the need for new digital solutions is increasing. The key to this change is the development of products that can be used by physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals that are able to take advantage of advances in technology to improve patient care.

In this post we will explore some of the challenges involved in developing new digital health products. We will look at some of the main issues with digital healthcare innovation and discuss some basic principles for successful innovation in this area. We will now examine a few of the challenges facing contemporary digital health product development.

First, we will look at three kinds of product development: clinical practice management (2D), enterprise software and patient information systems (3D). Each has its own advantages and disadvantages as well as some similarities to each other. We will also discuss how each kind relates to healthcare organizations today.

We will then look at how these challenges apply to companies that are currently innovating in digital healthcare 2D workflow management systems (such as a software provider or an ERP system). We will discuss how these challenges apply to companies that are innovating in digital health 3D workflow management systems (such as a software provider or an ERP system).

Finally, we will discuss some basic principles for successful innovation in this area.

 

We were inspired to write this article after my conversation with Prof. Joe Kvedar in my YouTube Channel. In that episode, João Bocas interviews Prof. Joe Kvedar, MD – Senior Advisor – MGH Center for Innovation in Digital Healthcare; Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School ; Board Chair at American Telemedicine Association; Author & Thought Leader in Connected Health.

He shared amazing insights on TeleHealth , Digital Healthcare Innovation, and main future predictions in Digital Health. They have also discussed the main challenges always encountered in Healthcare. And to implement TeleHealth more effectively.

Watch Episode #53  of Digital Health & Wearables Series

Contact us for more relevant details. To find out more about how we can help you with your Digital Healthcare Transformation, Healthcare organizational growth, or Healthcare brand positioning, please get in touch via phone +44 (0) 203 3620421 or via e-mail: info@digitalsalutem.com

close

This article is for you, just for signing up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every month.

FireShot Capture 001

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.