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2022 trends: Digital Healthcare and Innovation

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The future of healthcare is digital as patients and providers gravitate towards innovative models of care.

Practitioners predict that digital healthcare is here to stay and will grow exponentially within the next few years. The transition in adopting new methods has been challenging, however, innovation has followed suit, “we have witnessed in the past years, technological innovations, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI) will continue to influence procedures and solutions in the health sector. The sector has made advancements in robotic surgery, and this will remain one of the trends to look forward to in the coming year,” said Dr. Zbiggy Brodzinsky, Consultant Orthopedic Spine Surgeon at Valiant Clinic Hospital.

Bold plays in digital can help health systems solve a range of clinical and operational challenges and unwrap opportunities to move them along the path to the Future of Health, according to Deloitte’s global healthcare outlook report for 2022.

The report further comments that for healthcare to improve digitally, existing resources should be used, additional resources bought, or partnerships made to source what is needed. Practitioners have also recommended automating routine processes as it provides cost-efficient scalability for the future. “For instance, health systems can move non-core functions— training databases, testing environments, and disaster recovery backups—to the cloud; this helps in learning how to work with the capability, and, over time, migrate mission-critical systems.”

Digital healthcare can provide essential data to clinicians and patients, maximising the quality of care and efficiency of care delivery. In the UAE, for example, the Dubai Health Authority launched Doctor for Every Citizen telemedicine service which has provided 83,000 telemedicine consultations during the period from January 2020 to January 2021.

During the ongoing pandemic, several healthcare providers have integrated telemedicine to continue to safely care for their patients remotely. “Video consultation is a small fragment of digital transformation. The future is based on automation of data collection, documentation and coding; remote patient monitoring to better understand patient status, adherence, and crisis prevention,” said Michele Tarnow. President and CEO at the Alliance Care Technologies International.

Another example of creating databases, in the UAE is Riayati, a digital healthcare platform for the National Unified Medical Record (NUMR) program. Riayati aims to transform the current UAE healthcare landscape through the centralisation of medical records and the delivery of an innovative, fully integrated, digitised clinical information system.

A KPMG study, 'Who cares, Wins' predicted that by the year 2030 the world would be short 80 million physicians and nurses which means the healthcare system must innovate to ensure that they can work effectively.

“In the areas of diagnostics, leveraging AI and machine learning to provide decision support tools can be key in speeding up and improving the accuracy of diagnosis,” said Tarnow. She added, “leveraging data from wearables, implanted devices, and bidirectional communication between patients and providers will empower patients to take control of their health engagement while being monitored by their providers.”

Tarnow explains that all the technology required to accelerate digital transformation in healthcare is in place. The key to success lies in building solutions that seamlessly integrate into hospital systems, improving provider workflow efficiency and increasing capacity.

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