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How digital health sector will shape itself in the coming decade?

Technology pundits are anxious to know what future technology will look like? How would it make people’s lives easier? Would it be scalable? What systems and processes would be in place to achieve desired goals in the health sector? What regulatory mechanisms would be in place to facilitate or obstruct novel developments. In our latest blogpost, hedgehog lab attempts to answer these burning questions, based on our industry expertise…

Customised healthcare for demanding and informed patients

  • The growing strength of social media has forced large corporations to communicate through social networks to patients and health customers, who, in turn, seek products and services that suit their requirements and budgets.
  • Analytical tools, combined with big data, amass information on patient well-being. This data is being utilized by HCPs (Health Care Providers) for better diagnosis, enhancing patients’ knowledge on best treatments and outcomes.
  • The ecosystem, including HCPs, governments and medical institutions constantly engages in developing best practices, as well as cost effective treatments.
  • Consumers would be concerned about their privacy and data leaks. However, on the other hand, there would be a broader understanding of data sharing, and how  to reap its benefits.
  • Emerging markets like India and China would streamline their population data and focus on building health records emulate developed nations.

Innovations in the digital healthcare sector driving novel commercial models and ideas

  • Raising the productivity in the healthcare sector through telemedicine, digital diagnostic tools and e-visits, therefore reducing waiting and traveling times.
  • utilizing robotic technologies to perform life-saving surgeries and extend longevity of human lives.
  • Encouraging frequent patient communications through web-based portals and video interactions, by an array of web platforms.
  • Allowing patients to take ownership of their own health data through health vaults and databases is encouraging a shift to ‘patient-centered’ model from output based models.

Health apps and wearables focused on better quality of life, rather than medical indicators

  • Health apps and wearables, going forward, will focus on amassing better data to make accurate predictions and diagnoses. They shall be integrated, engaging and outcome- focused.
  • Physicians and health practitioners would prescribe health wearables to monitor patients with severe health issues, thereby providing better care at reduced costs.
  • OS platforms and mobile app developers would evaluate health-based apps on reviews and ratings. Good reviews and ratings would mean better longevity, shelf life and usage.
  • Wearables of the next generation would not only focus on physical activity but also measure other components like emotions and advanced brain activities.

Scaling reach through big data

  • Rising populations across the globe would encourage governments and health care systems to invest in data sources that possess the capacity to retain healthcare records and patient data. Investing and maintaining such a vast and valuable information assists governing bodies in national economic development .
  • HCPs would focus on data-driven research rather than depend on pure sciences. The data-driven approach would thus disrupt the R&D systems and encourage firms to focus on multiple segments, leading to better products and services.
  • HCPs would focus on garnering real-time data from patients through collaborations, using this knowledge pool to treat the unknown.
  • Over time, data generated from health wearables and apps would improve, giving more power to the consumer, and allowing them to have more say on how the data is used.

Regulatory implications

  • More and more nations would advocate transparency by seeking and sharing developments in the health sector. These new developments would help them to strengthen their health policies internally, and call for robust mechanisms and policy transformations in the health sector.
  • Internationally regulators would call for streamlined data in the sector and seek more privacy for patient and caregiver’s data. Regulatory mechanisms would also call for faster approvals in manufacturing health products, benefiting the industry by mitigating investment risks in new product developments.
  • Regulatory mechanisms would become sophisticated as governing bodies hire experts from diversified backgrounds and thus focus on automating regulations and strong surveillance.
  • Finally, countries would strive to frame common technical standards for reducing bureaucracy and red tape, to enhance the quality of new drugs and medical devices, and health apps being built. This would also reduce time on factory unit inspections and finally assist firms in smoothing their supply chain logistics.

The healthcare industry has made tremendous improvements in the last ten years. Drug and medical equipment manufacturers have shifted towards an inclusive approach, actively seeking to meet the needs and demands of consumers. Going forward, stakeholders would keep a keen eye on the capability of the health industry, to be transparent in pricing as well as drug development.

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