Healthcare in the Digital Age

Healthcare in the Digital Age

As part of an OECD Forum series, the virtual event Healthcare in the Digital Age​ took place on Thursday, 3 December.

This event has now ended and registration is closed – but don't worry, you can still watch the replay!

This session was an opportunity to discuss the role of data and AI in the COVID-19 response (e.g. understanding the virus, accelerating research on potential treatments, improving disease detection and early warning tools), and the impact of the pandemic with regard to the significant scale-up of telemedicine. It explored how we may best go about harnessing the benefits of digitalisation in heath by ensuring privacy, liability, fairness, and trust, whilst improving data quality, interoperability and security through better data stewardship.

Unlocking the Potential of Connected Health

The devastating impact of Covid-19 has compelled the healthcare leaders around the world to revisit the current healthcare systems in terms of response to the crisis in the new post-pandemic reality. It requires the redesign of healthcare systems by introducing new care models to address primary, secondary and acute care. Patients are demanding continuous access to healthcare services in a safe and convenient way and also demand a more agile, inter-professional delivery of care with empowered frontline staff leveraging technology. This further need a new framework to enable healthcare organizations to orchestrate the myriad interconnected changes required to sustain virtual care. The framework needs clinical and corporate strategies to ensure full connectivity between the core clinical workflows, supporting operations and technology platforms. Here, connected health, a widely used term in public health studies,  have the capability of providing cost-effective solutions at a time when the demands on healthcare services continue to increase due to the world’s growing and ageing population, the rising costs of advanced medical treatments, and severely constrained healthcare budgets. Although the challenge is that the connected health solutions are technology-driven processes, hence, needs skill and willingness to engage with technology. This becomes crucial at a time, when the scale and pace of changes are high. Here the concerns are education and training. Education, training and widespread access to broadband technology can not only improve accessibility to connected health devices but can also be crucial in addressing gaps in our existing healthcare system. There is no doubt, that the technology has the power to improve access to healthcare services for people with mobility problems. Mobile technology is empowering patients and care givers by giving them more control over their health and making them less dependent on healthcare professionals for health information. With the help of digital technologies, they can not only search information online, but can also share their experiences and identify diagnostic and treatment options. An integrated healthcare system can exploit these technological opportunities further. Connecting patients to information, advice, and support can move the patient as a passive recipient of care to one where they are actively engaged in their own care. Despite, that the connected health covers a large number of patient care points, the two central points witnessed across the globe are – patient access to care and patient empowerment. The connected health tools in recent times have not only improved patient care access and self-efficacy, but also delivered on central tenets of patient engagement. Connected health allows patients to connect with their medical providers more quickly and conveniently than ever before. The tele-health facilities allows patients to directly speak to their providers using video-conferences and at the same time it can connect the providers with one another to share consults, expertise, and knowledge during patient care. The benefits of connected health go beyond the logistic factors also – such as, it improves the way patients interact with and perceive their healthcare. When patients manage their own health using connected health tools, patients’ empowerment and self-efficacy increase. It further put patients’ in-charge of their own care. A fitness wearable helps a patient set her own fitness goals and track her progress towards those goals. A remote patient monitoring system alerts a diabetic patient when his sugars are too high, allowing the patient to make his own adjustments. It is an appropriate time to unlock the immense potential of connected health to explore a new phase of patient centricity, where the patients are becoming more and more responsible for their own healthcare thus creating enormous opportunities for engagement.    

Data Governance in Healthcare

Covid-pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on health systems across countries. Both public and private healthcare sectors had struggled and are still struggling to respond to the impact of the pandemic. The struggle is to adopt diverse healthcare responses in terms of cutting-edge technological tools and innovations in the areas of public health, medicine and wellness to take prompt decisions to address the after-effect of the pandemic. In such scenario, digital health has emerged as a solution for healthcare challenges. It encompasses areas like wearable technology, telehealth and telemedicine, mobile health, health information technology, and personalised medicine. However, revisiting and reopening the realm of ‘digital health’ in the policy and public discourse is an emerging concern. As the healthcare world becomes increasingly digitized, care and service providers rely more on data to drive their decision-making. This has made data governance in healthcare a growing interest as health information becomes an essential tool for diagnosis, treatment planning and after-care. However, it is now the responsibility of healthcare organisations to guarantee that patient data is handled and managed appropriately in order to uphold patient privacy and data governance's confidentiality, as the latter can provide users a great deal of power.
Aug 07, 2022

The Dangers of Streaming Content

I witnessed my young cousins experiencing their first mental breakdown during the first wave of Covid Lockdown. Not being able to go out and play with their friends had a big impact on their mental health. As the lockdown went on for longer than we had expected, we had to come up with a way to ensure their mental well-being. We observed that the type of movies they were watching had a big impact on their mental health. We had to keep a close eye out of violent content in the movies my cousins were being exposed to. Here is one insightful article which I stumbled upon; it sums up the impact of movies on the mental health of children. It is not only about watching movies with your kids anymore. It is more about what movies you pick to watch.

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This event has ended and registration is now closed—but don't worry, you can still ► watch the replay!