Innovation in digital health is flourishing. With increasing consumer demand, rapid advances in technology and more complex healthcare needs, healthcare organizations are under pressure to deliver digital-first, seamless and connected healthcare experiences.
What trends shape the future of healthcare delivery? What opportunities are ripe for innovation? And how can health care leaders ensure that their organizations are equipped to take advantage of the emerging opportunities?
1. Rising data volume create complexity
More than a decade ago, the total data storage capacity of the world was about 487 exabytes. By 2025, it is estimated that we will be producing the same volume in less than two days.
The healthcare sector is one of the largest contributors to this data explosion, accounting for about 30% of world data. The increasing use of medical devices, apps, and monitoring technologies means that more data is flowing into healthcare organizations than ever before.
As data volumes continue to increase, it takes our trouble to manage it. By 2022, healthcare organizations are looking for ways to integrate and harmonize their data to create meaningful connections that lead to actionable insights.
One solution, according to Gartner, is a business data substance, a way to continuously identify and connect data from different applications to discover unique, business-relevant relationships between the available data points.
2. Accelerates AI adoption in healthcare
Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to make care better, faster and more accessible to everyone. However, major patient safety concerns and a lack of quality data have slowed the progress of AI initiatives in healthcare.
That is set to change – and we are already moving forward. McKinsey’s analysis in The State of AI in 2020 found that healthcare organizations are leading the way in AI investment, with 44% of surveyed healthcare organizations saying they have increased investment in AI in every major business function.
With the health care that other industries are catching up with in the AI expiration date, data will be both a critical success factor and a barrier to the successful application of AI. What foundations do we need to get exactly before we can realize the full potential of AI technology?
3. Interoperability solutions unlock true power of data
According to a Sage Growth Partners report, 51% of healthcare managers say that data integration and interoperability are the key barriers to achieving their strategic priorities when it comes to data analytics.
This is due to the amount of data being generated and the number of sources from which data is streaming. Medical devices, patient records, hospital databases and data margins are all crucial data within the healthcare system. Without a way to connect these seeded data sources, access to real-time data remains a mountain battle.
Standards such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and tools such as Application Programming Interfaces close this gap in the explosion of data and resources in the region, making data more accessible, calculable and usable.
These two approaches will make the synthesis of data from multiple sources more accessible, and provide the information needed to improve decisions and outcomes over the continuum of health care.
4. Telehealth delivery moves to virtual care models
A global pandemic and growing consumer expectations have made telehealth a permanent fixture of the healthcare landscape. And it continues to grow, according to McKinsey, who reports 38 times higher uptake in 2021 compared to the pre-COVID baseline.
Healthcare professionals are embracing this trend, and see it as a valuable opportunity to improve access to healthcare. The HIMSS 2021 APAC Health CIO Report found that 88% of participants would continue using related health technologies after the pandemic.
Telehealth is changing from an isolated mechanism to provide out-of-hospital care to a more holistic, integrated model of virtual care. While health professionals embrace this hybrid way of providing care, the challenge becomes how to seamlessly mix remote and personal care.
5. The Rise of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
In recent decades, rapid advances in technology have led to the development of an increasing number of connected medical devices capable of generating, collecting, analyzing and transmitting data. Often referred to as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), these devices are revolutionizing the way healthcare is delivered.
From connected glucose and heart monitors for patients with chronic diseases to ingestible sensors that are revolutionizing disease diagnosis and monitoring, the IoMT enables more efficient, accurate and cost-effective delivery of healthcare.
This proliferation of devices, although positive, also causes a proliferation of data. Healthcare organizations are now faced with a ‘data flood’ that could prevent us from unlocking the value of this technology.
Five digital trends affecting health care
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