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Digital Health

The healthcare industry is going through a massive amount of change and much of that is being fuelled by transformation in technology. The pandemic itself contributed to a lot of changes. There are quite a few ways in which technology is being used to drive new change and improvements in the healthcare industry.

There is a fair group of people that think that doctors may go extinct due to the growing advancements in automation technology. According to these individuals, doctors are subject to fatigue, stress, and errors. The main objective for them to achieve is to make doctors more consistent between each other and improve their accuracy.

One of the more recent developments in the healthcare space is the concept of telehealth. Ever since the covid and pandemic began in the early 2020’s, we saw a big massive shift towards more telehealth. Telehealth is essentially being able to get care or an appointment from your doctor without physically going to see them and being able to interact and engage with your healthcare provider. This phenomenon has been fuelled by the pandemic but it wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the technology that enables that. Telehealth is one of the biggest advancements seen in the last ten years.

Another trend that has been in the making longer than telehealth is the concept of electronic health records. This allows hospitals and other healthcare organizations to capture information about the patients, what kind of care they are receiving, what kind of prescriptions they are receiving, who their doctors are, billing, insurance etc. 

One of the best applications of digital health is the way seizure prediction is being solved, taking advantage all different aspects of digital health. It is not just limited to developing machine learning or AI algorithms but also includes taking advantage of cloud computing to make data available for other researchers around the world. By linking all the algorithms together, one is able to work towards solving a really hard problem in epilepsy, which is seizure prediction. A clinical trial was run in Melbourne of a seizure prediction device that had the device implanted for up to three years in duration. With that device, doctors were able to get long term data and therefore be able to get enough seizures from each patient to develop reliable algorithms. The predictions could be used to activate a brain implant that could electrically stimulate the brain or deliver drugs to stop the seizures from happening.

Apps are being created that can determine the nutritional value of a plate of food from a photo taken with a smart phone. New courses are being introduced for artificial intelligence. There are also telemonitoring devices being made which measures the sugar levels of the people. This information could be analysed and on the basis of that, advice on diet, medication and treatment can be given more appropriately. Different computer programs are being developed which can be integrated with digital images to help doctors to detect diseases more accurately.

However, electronic information is quite controversial. The main concern regarding it is its falling into the wrong hands. One of the other challenges is that there’s not a universal description and understanding of what digital health means. There is no framework that exists which comes from an established institution like the United Nations or the World Health Organization.

Digital health and other topics are discussed at the Pharmacy College at Amrapali Institute, Haldwani. Amrapali Educational Institute is a top ranked institute in Uttarakhand.

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