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Digital Healthcare: What is it? Why Does it Matter?

5 minute read

In today's rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, digital healthcare has emerged as a transformative force. Fueled by the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare is undergoing a complete overhaul. Digital health is leveraging technology to improve patient outcomes, streamline processes, and enhance the efficiency of healthcare systems. But what exactly is digital healthcare, and why is it so important? 

What does digital mean in healthcare?

Digital healthcare encompasses a broad spectrum of technologies and innovations aimed at revolutionizing the way healthcare services are delivered. From electronic health records (EHRs) and telemedicine to wearable devices and mobile health apps, digital healthcare leverages the power of technology to improve access, efficiency and the quality-of-care patients receive. By digitizing medical records, facilitating telehealth consultations, and enabling real-time Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), digital healthcare promises diagnostic accuracy and enhanced patient / provider engagement – ultimately, creating a better patient experience and saving lives in the process.  

How is digital health changing healthcare?

The integration of digital technologies into the healthcare field has ushered in a new era of healthcare delivery. With the adoption of the internet and mobile technologies, patients and providers now have a wealth of information and resources at their fingertips. In addition to health information, digital health tools such as RPM and health tracking apps enable patients to play a more proactive role in managing their care. For example, RPM devices can be used to track patients’ cardiac rhythm between office visits (in real-time), notifying providers when patients require urgent care – therein reducing emergency room visits and overall hospitalizations.

What is digital first healthcare?

A digital-first healthcare approach prioritizes digital solutions for the delivery of healthcare services. By leveraging digital tools such as telemedicine, remote monitoring, and predictive analytics, healthcare providers can deliver timely interventions, improve care coordination, and optimize outcomes for patients. For example, using a device such as a connected-pacemaker, providers can now leverage a mobile app to monitor a patient's heart health in real time. The Covid-19 pandemic has also led to an increased demand for wearable devices and telehealth services. In fact, by 2029 the global wearable healthcare market is likely going to become a $169 billion industry, up from $42.6 billion in 2023.

A digital first healthcare approach emphasizes preventive care and continuous monitoring, all facilitated by digital technologies. Digital-first healthcare holds the promise of ensuring that healthcare services are more accessible, efficient, and patient-centered.

What are the disadvantages of digital health?

While digital healthcare offers many benefits, it also comes with its own challenges and drawbacks. Some of the key disadvantages include:

Privacy and Security Concerns 
With the increasing digitization of health records and medical data, there is an ever-present concern around the privacy and security of sensitive patient information. The collection, storage, and sharing of health data remains a top concern in the fight against cybersecurity threats and data breaches.

Technical Challenges and Reliability 
Technical challenges such as interoperability, complexities of data integrations and system reliability can hinder adoption of healthcare technology. Ensuring the reliability and quality of digital healthcare systems is critical to preventing disruptions in care and putting patients at ease.

Accessibility and Digital Divide 
Not all individuals have access to digital technologies. The digital divide, which refers to the gap between those who have access to digital technologies and those who do not, can intensify health inequality. Organizations like Grandpad are helping to bridge this gap by connecting vulnerable groups like seniors with family and vital caregivers through robust IoT connectivity solutions.

The Future of Digital Healthcare

The future of digital health looks promising as technological advancements continue to shape the way healthcare is delivered, experienced, and perceived. By embracing the power of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics, digital healthcare has the potential to enhance the quality, accessibility, and affordability of healthcare for all.

Ready to explore the possibilities of connected health with KORE? Contact us today to learn more about our digital healthcare solutions and how we can help you harness the power of technology to transform healthcare delivery. 

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