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The Age Of Digital And Health Care

There's no getting away from it any longer: digital makes life easier. And why would anyone want to get away from it in any event? To say that wearables and the internet of things has changed the way we live life is almost stating the obvious a bit too much in this day and age and has become a bit like saying that water is essential for sustainable life.

Digital is simply no longer remarkable. We use our smartphones for everything from playing pokies online to making calls to sending emails, and when we find ourselves in the unlikely situation of having no connectivity, we are genuinely surprised. Technology has shaped and moulded the way that we go about doing everyday life. But more importantly perhaps, it has changed the way that we do service delivery. This includes service delivery from commercial businesses, government and health care practitioners and the healthcare industry in general.

It's All About The Patient

Connecting the various constituencies in the healthcare system has become a necessity for effective patient care. And really, a patient-centric system is the only effective way of administering a working health care system. With the advancement of mobile technology, the digitization of health of health care is improving general health in ways that we never dared imagine was possible before.

Getting Around

Patients attempting to navigate any health care system face three tiers, or challenges: health insurers, health service providers and the providers of pharmaceuticals. Each of these three tiers have its own unique set of challenges. Pharmaceutical trials, for instance, are costly and a lengthy process, especially the procurement of study participants. An example of the role of digital in this particular tier would be to use social media in order to gather study participants and other important role players involved in pharmaceutical trials.

Lowering the costs involved in the initial procurement immediately has a slam-dunk effect on the cost of developing and distributing new pharmaceuticals in general, something which is well-known to be horrendously costly in the greater scope of the evolution of health care.

This is but one small example of how digital is able to play a role in streamlining a process that is absolutely critical to effective and affordable health care for all. If anything, it certainly broadens our horizons. The Zuckerberg data scandal suddenly seems rather small and insignificant when considering the role that social media is actually able to play in critical system environments such as health care.

Access To Critical Information

Another important consideration is constant inter-connectivity. When accessing a patient's health care history and general data, it used to be a case of only really being effective when a patient had been seen to by a single health care provider. Network systems were for the longest time only available to health insurance providers and even then, at times, it became necessary to verify details telephonically with providers.

Full digitisation not only eradicates the need for these measures of validation and confirmation, but also ensures that every health care specialist now has access to a patient's full medical history. As far as medical service delivery goes, it simply does not get any more effective than this.

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