How the Digital Revolution can Improve Access to Healthcare
A digital revolution is taking place in Healthcare. However, new medical horizons remain opened by big data, mobile technology, and other advances; this tendency has been particularly apparent during the COVID-19 epidemic. For example, smartphone applications monitor the virus’s spread, and artificial intelligence (AI) assists medical professionals in looking for pneumonia symptoms in people’s lungs.
Beyond the pandemic, digitization in Healthcare remains anticipated to enhance various outcomes, including nursing care and the prevention and treatment of disease. In addition, as societies age, it will enable national health systems to employ resources more effectively, enhancing their efficacy and sustainability.
Benefit from the Digital Revolution
A major conceptual shift will be necessary to benefit from the digital revolution fully. According to utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, most health systems aim to ensure that a vast population of individuals receives uniform care, or “the greatest happiness of the greatest number.”
It’s a strategy that made sense in the analog era when developing medicines specifically for each patient was challenging and expensive. But the game is shifting due to digitalization. Now that highly personalized medication is feasible, a completely new method of providing Healthcare is possible. “The greatest happiness of the greatest diversity” describes it.
We have been focusing on enhancing the use of data and technology in Healthcare at the World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Manufacturing Revolution in Japan. To maximize health and wellness, we think it’s essential to move away from a one-size-fits-all strategy and toward one that places a stronger emphasis on diversity. The campaign to bring about the “maximum happiness of the greatest diversity” has already started. Therefore, it is not only an ideal for the far future.
What would the healthcare system look like if it was Data-Driven and Diversity-focused?
The potential for bespoke Healthcare keeps growing while costs decrease thanks to developments in data, AI, and other technologies. It opens up various opportunities, from creating the most effective prevention and treatment plans for each individual to better accommodating personal preferences concerning a risk or medical interventions.
What obstacles face the development of such a Healthcare system?
For starters, combining the digital and analog worlds is necessary to close information gaps in Healthcare. It is both a challenging and up-and-coming area. For instance, Taiwan has been among the best-performing states at containing COVID-19. In the pandemic, Taiwanese authorities used National Health Cards, cashless transactions. And the country’s universal health insurance program to reduce medical supply bottlenecks and provide masks to those in need.
Which companies are succeeding in using this Hybrid Approach?
At the Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution Japan. In our report, we reviewed several initiatives by companies involved in Healthcare that succeeded precisely through this hybrid approach. Healthcare and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Understanding the ‘greatest happiness of the most incredible diversity.
Takeda Pharmaceutical: Japan’s largest Pharmaceutical company. In a pilot project, Takeda used wearable plans and telemedicine to monitor Parkinson’s virus patients. As a result, Takeda discovered the possibility of decreasing the burden of illness management and hospital visits.
Salesforce: the cloud-based software giant. It improved healthcare providers’ operational efficacy and engagement by centralizing digital patient data.
SOMPO Holdings: a Japanese insurance group. Leveraged data to address staffing lacks and is developing more personalized nursing care services.
The knowledge was to strengthen and complement traditional “analog” services with data and technology. This hybrid approach allowed health suppliers to respond to particular needs and social challenges in ways. That would have remained impossible through analog or digital means alone.
Also read: Home Cooking Good for the Soul