The Keys To Building Digital Health Technology
Health care is changing through innovative digital health technologies. Learn how the latest trends are leading to the evolution of the health care ecosystem.
Few industries have experienced the level of disruption felt by the digital transformation of the health care system. It wasn’t long ago the phrase “digital health” didn’t exist. Yet today, providing digital health solutions is not only a standard service, it’s a market differentiator.
Health tech startups are continually emerging and health care companies often team up with technology innovators to deliver innovative solutions before their competition.
The scope of digital health services is vast, including both patient-facing technologies and services for health care professionals such as physicians, researchers, facility administrators, and more. Far from a COVID-19 pandemic trend, health care tech is just getting started.
By the end of this article, you’ll understand the scope of digital health and some of the popular digital tools and technology trends today.
The Value and Importance of Basic Digital Health Services
While it’s a simple and common form of digital health, telemedicine is vitally important for some consumers. When searching for a doctor or medical office, patients now actively seek providers that offer at least basic digital services.
Digital health offers improved solutions for effective treatment, digitized health records, and a more efficient patient-provider ecosystem.
For many people living in rural areas or low economic neighborhoods, seeing a health professional means lengthy travel or a ride on public transportation when they’re not feeling well. Some may not be able to go at all, risking worsening health or further aggravating a chronic condition.
For the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions, a virtual office visit allows those patients to stay isolated, protecting themselves and anyone they come in contact with during an office visit.
Emerging Digital Health Technologies
Taking a leap beyond the basics, digital health service innovations monitor issues like heart disease, persistent pain, chronic conditions, and even breast health and fertility. These treatments use wearable, implantable, or ingestible devices that provide digital health companies with real-time data through wireless technologies.
To help you grasp the scope of health tech devices and emerging technologies used in digital health care services, consider these areas:
- Mobile health (also called mHealth) such as implantable or wearable devices that track and monitor vital functions, allowing doctors to monitor vital data over longer periods and creating more personalized health care.
- Artificial intelligence technologies applied to data stored in electronic health records (EHRs) worldwide for improved global health.
- Virtual tools to allow broader participation in clinical trials, including the use of wearables and sensors for faster and easier data collection.
When it comes to patient care, these digital health technologies and devices give insight into more patient data, leading to better and faster diagnoses. For example, instead of measuring a heart rate once a month at a scheduled appointment, a medical device can transmit that data every hour, 24 hours a day. Specialists can monitor the data between in-person appointments and get a more holistic view of the patient’s condition rather than a point-in-time glimpse into their condition.
Digital Health Improves Data Sharing While Maintaining Patient Privacy
With EHR’s (electronic health records), patients no longer need to request their medical records, pick them up, and distribute them to each of their specialists. The interoperability of digital health records makes it easy to share data between physicians, offices, and hospitals as patients grant access.
And while the personally identifiable information in a patient’s digital health record follows strict cybersecurity protocols and functions in compliance with HIPAA regulatory standards, health information about symptoms, conditions, and diseases can be gathered and stored in a global database for researchers’ analysis and study.
By creating a single repository of health data collected from all over the world, researchers could use machine learning and artificial intelligence on a global worldscale to discover new ways to identify pre-disease indicators, achieve earlier diagnoses, and develop more effective treatments.
The vast amount of data contributing to these studies could greatly increase the possibilities of identifying trends or patterns that would go unnoticed with fewer data. A patient’s private information stays private, yet they receive the collective public health benefit of group analysis and diagnostics.
Digital Health Tech Requires Rigorous Standards
Digital health technologies are vital for both patients and health care providers. They’re so critical to the health care industry that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has created a Digital Health Center of Excellence “to advance health care by fostering responsible and high-quality digital health innovation.”
Digital health care services reduce health care inefficiencies and offer a more convenient and accessible way for patients and doctors to communicate.
Using a tech partner with knowledge and experience in digital health is critical to:
- Ensuring your technology abides by HIPAA regulatory standards when it comes to sensitive patient data stored in electronic health records
- Creating QA standards and documentation for the FDA’s approval process
- Building iOS and Android platforms that leverage the latest platforms and tools available in the mHealth ecosystem, including Apple HealthKit and Google Fit that are helping to standardize health data and storage mechanisms
- Developing designs and tech solutions for a variety of stakeholders with varying needs in the sensitive field of health care
December Labs offers extensive experience in the critical areas of digital health and health care technology. As an expert in health care and wellness technology, we understand what it takes to deliver digital health technology in this unique vertical. Whether you’re just getting started on your digital transformation or need technical resources to take your digital health solutions to the next level, our experienced team is ready to guide you. Email us today!