The cutting-edge technologies driving digital healthcare

Opportunities in digital healthcare abound, and 2015 sees more developments reaching the mainstream.

The break-fix model of medicine is now being replaced with the predict-and-prevent model of medicine that combines cutting-edge technology with detective work, and addresses the root of afflictions while staving off future issues by encouraging lifestyle and behavioural changes, and preventative practices.

Wearable Tech was one of the first areas in which digitisation was used in healthcare. Pedometers and heart monitors have been around for a while, allowing people to track the functions of their bodies and encourage themselves to behave in healthier ways.

Smartwatches enable users to monitor even more stats and generate a tremendous amount of data which can be used in conjunction with medical records, doctors, and hospitals to provide better care and more personalised service.

Akana has recently introduced an API-Driven digital healthcare solution to enhance interoperability of patient data through FHIR-ready APIs, and connectivity to propriety data sources.

This solution helps healthcare organisations become secure and digitally interoperable and leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard, allowing broader business use of medical data.

Developed in response to the healthcare organisations’ need to increase electronic, multi-device access to heath records while reducing operation costs as well as complying with government regulations. Arkana CTO, Alistair Farquharson, states “APIs are key to interoperable healthcare, and in general, to a healthcare organisation’s success in this consumer-led, connected world.”

In other news, CVS Health Corp. recently formed new partnerships to bolster its footprint in digital healthcare services. The aim is to enhance patient access to high-quality healthcare services and improve medication adherence – particularly for those with chronic illnesses. Important patient information will be exchanged allowing comprehensive monitoring of patient conditions, facilitating better treatment.

Patients will have greater access to clinical support, chronic disease monitoring, wellness programs, and medication counseling, and this collaboration will enable joint strategies for high-quality healthcare services.

This is not CVS Health’s first exploration into such clinical affiliations and considering the global digital health market is predicted to grow from $60.8 billion (£39.8bn) in 2013 to $233.3 billion (£152.7bn) in 2020, such initiatives are likely to provide benefits to patients as well as affiliated investors.

The Healthcare Revolution

A healthcare revolution is upon us, with digitisation offering access to a greater volume and higher quality of data. New devices are also emerging, such as smart clothing, smart tattoos, and smart contact lenses, accessories becoming more affordable and attractive, and devices providing better access to data.

Today, physicians can track their patients post-discharge, healthcare providers can respond more quickly to the status of a patient’s health, insurance companies are using data to create better risk management models, and pharmaceutical companies are using data to better monitor clinical trials and perform studies on side effects.

Enabling Data as a Service for Healthcare Providers covers some of the significant developments in this area and further delves into the opportunities of the data explosion.