By Hana Anandira
Experts question digital progress in health industry
Global healthcare experts on day two of the 4YFN programme put the focus on how smart technology is being deployed in the industry and opportunities for future uptake, while addressing key barriers facing the ecosystem.
As tools like AI, machine learning and robotics become ubiquitous within the medical field, session moderator Andy Bleaden, Communities Director of the European Connected Health Alliance Group (ECHAlliance), questioned whether technologies “have been overpromising the transformation of healthcare” and if their application has led to satisfying results.
Jon Warner, President of ORCHA, an organisation which evaluates digital health services, said the sector “has the potential to really power ahead” due the availability of digital platforms aiding health professionals in serving communities, but stated the industry needs to “catch up” with technological developments.
Warner pointed to the Covid-19 pandemic as a defining moment which accelerated the sector’s digital transformations. “Healthcare was a neglected field in the broader tech ecosystem,” he lamented. However, due to staff shortages and remote-working transitions, digital health trends started to pick up steam.
Chairman of the Digital Health Society UK, Bleddyn Rees, believes “digital has the potential to cultivate the highest standard of care”. Use cases in this space include: AI in data science to improve monitoring and assist implants and diagnosis; apps delivering personalised diet; and digital platforms to secure and manage medical information.