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“The New World” of Healthcare Technology

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Denpa News Digital innovation in the healthcare sector increasingly involves consumers and feeds a new vision of the future

Jens Kögler, Healthcare Industry Director EMEA, VMware

In 1816 Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope, the first instrument a doctor could use in treatment of patients, opening the door to a new era of diagnostics medical. Still, it took three decades for it to be widely adopted, since medical associations shunned the idea of ​​using a “Gadgets” on patients.

Today the stethoscope is gone digital, with algorithms powered by artificial intelligence in the back of the device that listen to the most minute anomalies of the patient and pass these results on to doctors. The doctor hasn’t not even need to be close to the patient, and the digital stethoscope can be sent to areas with medical shortages, where an application will guide the patient to its use and a doctor can hear from continents of distance.

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This technology is faster, more effective and half the cost of previous analog stethoscopes. And it is very likely that your doctor will not use it. Because? Think of the three decades it took for the first stethoscope to be adopted. Now, consider the speed of digital innovation; the myriad of new ones technologies that become available every day, in addition to the quantity exponentially increasing research and medical studies available, and the lack of indications to help healthcare professionals ad updating and incorporating these technologies into daily practices.

That the wind? In the past year we have seen the greatest digital acceleration the healthcare industry has ever known. A revolution, forced by the pandemic, in consumer attitudes towards the adoption of assistance digital healthcare and how the market has to respond. Like never before henceforth, we must keep up with the pace of this disruption.

Choice, concern and convenience: changing the dynamic

A new research entitled “Digital Frontiers – The Heightened Customer Battleground” commissioned by VMware to explore the links between technological innovation, people and society and conducted on more than 6,000 consumers [1] in 5 countries found that almost half of Italian consumers (45%) feel comfortable – or even enthusiastic – in replacing routine medical consultations with remote virtual appointments (44% at European level). And this doesn’t just concern the younger, typically ‘tech-savvy’ generation; 45-54 year olds were among the most enthusiastic about the idea of ​​a new virtual world of healthcare.

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Self let’s just think about it two years ago, such levels of virtual excitement simply wouldn’t be existed, but the pandemic has changed the dynamic between the choice, the concern and convenience of how we deal with services sanitary.

Let’s take the Kingdom United as an example; prior to the virus, video dating constituted only 1% of the 340 million of annual visits with doctors and nurses from the British National Health Service. But, with the acceleration of the epidemic, when the NHS encouraged all 7,000 studies UK doctors to cut down on face-to-face appointments, we have seen physical visits decrease by 57% compared to the previous year, while Online medical platforms like Push Doctor have seen an increase weekly 70% of consultations.

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That of videoconsulto is a trend that is also growing in Italy, which it is still behind in this area: in 2019, according to data from the Digital Innovation Observatory in Health of the Politecnico di Milano only 5% of doctors specialists and 3% of family doctors used solutions of telemedicine, while three out of four specialists said last year which was decisive in the emergency phase . In September 2020 the State-Regions conference has approved a document, prepared by the Health Commission, relating to how to manage remote outpatient services in which you they define specific criteria and methods for implementing television in the chronic patient.

The pandemic has forced many to overcome concerns related to match safety virtual with doctors. Now, we accept the idea of ​​one very easily 10 minute video call to discuss blood test results instead than going to a physical waiting room and sharing this confined space with other patients for an unknown time.

This convenience begins to prevail over concern in some healthcare scenarios, and consumers they are realizing the vast opportunities that new digital services they can lead. We are now much more confident in nascent technologies digital healthcare such as AI: today, 49% of consumers would have no problems if it were a computer rather than a real physician to detect e recognize some abnormalities, for example cancer cells.

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And also distrust in the use of data in healthcare – previously a huge obstacle to overcome – it is attenuating: 48% of the interviewees declared to be a comfortable if your doctor has access to accurate data about your life daily, such as the level of exercise, diet and nutrition if this means receiving useful information for your health. 51% for one hundred views positively the fact that a more qualified doctor conducts an operation invasive surgery via remote robotics rather than a less qualified doctor but who works in person.

Life after the great “digital switch”: the desire for innovation

If the pandemic is was the great digital switch , an important catalyst of change, what is now fueling growing consumer enthusiasm for digital health? I believe the adoption of new technology in style domino effect is eroding doubt, fear and skepticism about the role of the ‘digital’ in protecting ourselves, friends and our families. Those who are taking the first steps in accepting the potential of technology to monitor, diagnose and improve their health and well-being they are helping to shift consumer perception over the long term.

We are at an in point which wearable fitness devices monitor ours vital statistics every day with increasing granularity and in which i motion sensors can aid remote retrieval – for example, determining if patients are putting enough weight on their knees afterwards an intervention and completing the prescribed exercises.

And this without consider the potential to properly exploit applications avant-garde such as augmented and virtual reality and AI. The use cases in this field are amazing. From the rapid analysis of certain disease models identification of the risk of respiratory diseases through a algorithm that simply runs on X-ray images of the chest of the patients, comparing the results with millions of other patients for recommend the best treatment; AI can help us make decisions better and faster by combining endless sources of different data that we humans are unable to do. It could, for example, help measure the growth of a tumor and illustrate the trend in milliseconds – giving the radiologist a chance to really focus on what’s important and that requires creativity and experience.

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And the request of the consumers is to have more and more of these innovations. 83% of Italians identify themselves as “digitally curious” or “explorer digital “- a ready and receptive audience for new digital services, with a growing confidence in the power of technology to have an effect positive on people’s health and well-being. 61% of consumers, however example, he is happy at the idea that his own family members have an illness chronic / long-lasting may have the freedom to live further away from medical facilities, thanks to sensors and real-time data monitoring predicting when they will need medical attention. Or still, 73% think that digital technologies will have the potential to reduce the uptake of Covid-19, 57% are confident that technology can turn down significantly the risk of invasive surgery within i next five years and 61% believe it can significantly improve quality of life of vulnerable people, such as the elderly or the disabled.

The future health care

It is this belief of consumers and the demand for digital health services that are placing the challenge for both the market and the institutions. As with the introduction of the stethoscope, the first steps are sometimes the hardest, but the big one digital change of 2020 kicked off this domino effect of enthusiasm and excitement that consumers clearly feel less wary of comparisons of technology in the care of their patients. Also, date the intense and growing pressure on healthcare professionals and the systems themselves, we will see an even greater desire for digital innovation on the part of a growing number of people.

All that means that the opportunity is there to be seized. Now is the time to create, deliver and secure great applications, services and experiences – powered from a base flexible, consistent and inherently secure digital – to meet the consumer expectations and forever transform cost, quality and provision of patient care. A new world of healthcare technology awaits us, we just have to make it happen.

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