New technology is everywhere, including in the healthcare industry. Although a great deal of that technology has to do with testing, diagnosing, and treating patients, other technological breakthroughs affect how patients interact with healthcare providers and receive care. Digital health is a prime example of that.
What is digital health?
Digital health is a relatively new term, and there may still be quite a bit of uncertainty about exactly what it means. Basically, it’s the range of services and technologies that allow patients to seek help without physically going to a hospital or clinic. It may be helpful to break that down a little more: the term includes health information technology, wearable devices, personalized medicine, telehealth, telemedicine, and mHealth or mobile health.
Digital health builds on some existing technology and involves the use of some new technology, as well. Many medical devices now have the ability to connect to and communicate with other devices or systems. Devices that are already FDA approved or cleared are being updated to add digital features. New types of devices that already have these capabilities are being explored.
How can digital health help individuals?
What difference can digital health make for the average person? It can do a few important things: keep patients motivated and engaged, make data accessible immediately, save time and effort, and reduce costs. Each of these can make a difference, but together they can be life-changing.
Digital health is focused on the individual, and that means it can take the concept of personalized care to a whole new level. It will help in early disease prediction that will lead to behavioral changes that prevent and eliminate system costs. It will also allow patients to compare provider quality and prices and make informed choices. The possibilities are endless.
How can digital health help in a broader sense?
Just as digital health can make a tremendous difference for individuals, it can also have a major impact in a broader sense. Consider people who are at risk of developing a condition such as Type 2 Diabetes. One program, utilizing digital health, made significant strides with the 120,000 prediabetic participants. That approach offers an important lesson: it demonstrates the potential of digital health services, and its approach can serve as a model for applying such services to other chronic diseases.
The possibilities don’t end there, and they go beyond chronic conditions. Consider the use of digital health in post-surgical care. Digital health can help both providers and patients manage their health outside the hospital. By monitoring patient-generated health data, care teams can spot any troubling trends in health and intervene early to prevent a hospital readmission.
Are you looking for your next assignment?
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. Digital health is here to stay, and you may have the opportunity to work with it in your next assignment. We’d love to help you find that assignment, so give us a call at 310.436.3650!