Growth in the use of Digital Health: What expectations do healthcare professionals have for the long term?
As we are able to see, the management of healthcare is increasingly digitalized. Among other reasons, this acceleration is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased physician and patient acceptance of this digital transformation.
In this day and age, the traditional medical model, in which medicine is reactive or curative and the patient comes to the physician and is treated, is no longer sufficient. Now medicine does not just cure, but tries to prevent, improve the quality of life, adapt itself to the individual, predict the evolution of the disease, and put the patient at the center.
Life expectancy in developed nations is increasing, having reached an average of 81 years across Europe, according to the Spanish National Statistics Institute in 2018. However, this increase in life expectancy is accompanied by an increase in chronic diseases and the related healthcare burden. This makes it ever more important to make healthcare processes more efficient.
More and more today, technology is present in our lives. It helps us to facilitate and optimize procedures and tasks of everyday life in a more efficient way. In the healthcare environment, this process optimization has even more impact and relevance for medical professionals and patients.
During the last year, most of us had to visit the doctor; some for regular check-ups and others for more urgent reasons like cancer treatment. Due to COVID-19, not everyone felt comfortable constantly entering a hospital where many people go in and out on a daily basis. Digital health applications became a good alternative, while maintaining healthcare standards.
We are becoming more accustomed to hearing people talk about the importance of involving patients in the management of their illness, making them participants in the clinical decision-making through the information and tools that facilitate that throughout the course of the healthcare process. Today we will consider the already-known idea of patient engagement.