Digital Health innovations 2023

Looking forward to the next year the question regarding which are the digital health innovations 2023 keeps popping up. Many visionaries share their light on this issue and so did Dr. Anita Gupta from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in a recent Forbes article.
Her first comment before she dives into the digital trends is the warning that this digitization can further increase the gap in healthcare accessibility. Already in the USA a significant part of the lower income populations does not have access to a smart phone. A such a pattern can be expected in other parts of the world.

This hurdle immediately relates to the first trend in digital healthcare innovation Gupta sees: Connected digital Care. Remote patient monitoring supported by smart devices, wearable sensors and other tools will increase and will be used for a growing number of diseases moving beyond the chronic diseases domain. The technology will more and more embed critical values to send of warning signals when this is needed.

The growing use of AI in healthcare is the second trend Gupta mentions. Until now the use of AI in Healthcare is limited and in its early stage of adoption. AI has the promise to process and analyze large amounts of data, to identify patterns, make predictions and suggest treatment options.

A third trend is the growing patient engagement through the use of technology. This technology can support tracking their lifestyle, their diet and medications. A growing number of apps is being developed to support the lifestyle tracking, deliver remote coaching or to create patient communities. And in the back end of these apps data can be collected and shared with physicians. Applying these engagement technologies may support both the patient clinical benefit and reduce costs on the part of the healthcare providers.
With all this mentioning of huge amounts of patient data the fourth trend is a obvious one: increased data security for digital health data. We can expect much more focus on encryption and regulation to reduce the dangers of data falling into the wrong hands. This security trend will impact both patients and healthcare providers.
Finally the growing volume of telehealth services is another trend mentioned. Remote patient monitoring, online doctor visits, virtual wards has taken a flight because of the pandemic and is here to stay and get better. It combines with the other trends mentioned: connections, AI, Data and security.

Digital health innovations 2023 show an optimistic future

The digital health innovations 2023 listed by Dr. Gupta underpin the overall trend of moving health data collection outside the hospital. This is easy as long as the data and the applications used are either in the domain of just patient doctor interaction or remain at the gadget level. When we want to move to clinical acceptable data collection and data processing and analysis we think there’s still a long way to go. Delivering evidence on the quality of this type of data collection and the data processing, especially when AI is used, faces the FDA clearance challenge. And this process is characterized by the lack of high volumes of qualitative data which is needed to train and test AI based innovations. Software as a Medical Service is still unknown territory for most healthcare domains. Therefore we think the trends mentioned for 2023 are showing directions but will not lead to a large bundle of innovations in the next year. The most likely way forward is indeed high quality data processing out of the hospital and use the safe connections to process the data still at a central point at which a trained physician is still part of the assessment processes. In our own cardiovascular domain we expect a further growth of single of dual lead ECG recordings from wearables or smart devices where the data analytics will be limited to a few heart rhythm disorders for which quantifiable patterns and norms are available. Our work in this field will be focused on offering digital solutions to support both the standardization of ECG waveforms (and this way pattern recognition and norm assessments) and offering this type of service remotely (and safe).

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