Anyone in the healthcare sector is aware of the many problems that lie ahead – limited budgets, increased illnesses due to poor lifestyle choices and an ageing population. Simply put, the demand for services is experiencing exponential growth but the resources available are limited.
Though it is still a nascent market, digital healthcare utilises technology to promote sustainable healthcare solutions amid the growing issues. It champions this by enhancing efficiency in current medical and administrative procedures, advocating for positive health-focused behaviour change and boosting the productivity of therapeutic procedures and processes. Read this guide by Ideal Health Consultants to find out more.
We have all heard about apps that provide incentives to people for positive habits, web portals that facilitate the booking of medical appointments or ordering drugs and gadgets that monitor and check on patients remotely. Despite the crucial need and the rapid rate of innovation in the sector, the digital healthcare market is not accelerating as quickly as expected.
One of the contributing factors is the immense size and complexity of the NHS, this means the adoption of digital healthcare solutions can be sluggish but steady. Leadership can only be provided from other players in the sector if this market has to expand enough to for the advantages of economies of scale to kick in.
The Demand For Healthcare Is Increasing
My view is that leadership within the digital healthcare space will originate from unexpected players such as the general public, the high street or the third sector. As the demand for health services surges, patients will be more open to using emerging, unconventional methods to fulfil their needs. The third sector will play a significant role in availing care, health and wellbeing services to the public. Concurrently, the high street will offer a different and new type of healthcare hinged on consumer demand. Those who have the resources will adopt it, while those with resource constraints will seek healthcare from community networks such as patient groups and housing associations.
Currently, this is already beginning to occur. For example, in the north of Scotland, a social landlord is creating a smartphone application that will help the vulnerable and elderly to access elementary support services, allowing them to preserve their independent way of life. Likewise, high street pharmacies and supermarkets throughout the UK have begun to provide self-help kiosks and drop-in facilities.
All the same, existing and upcoming challenges mixed with technological advances are attracting new entrants to the health and care market place, each providing understanding, creativity, resources and innovation and also various points of interaction with people.
Through blending everyday consumer gadgets like tablets, smartphones and televisions with healthcare, people will soon get valuable health care services that are specialized, efficient, effective and convenient, however, we will be in an excellent position to tackle the escalating medical and social problems of modern society such as diabetes, loneliness, mental health and obesity if this innovation is immediately created instead of waiting until the public is incessantly demanding for services.
This projected market growth for digital healthcare relieves pressure on the current health and care infrastructure that is turning out to be unsustainable.
Bridging The Gap Is Essential
By bridging the gap between private and government provision, emerging providers using digital healthcare can promote a future in which the entire public receives healthcare in a manner that accommodates their financial resources and lifestyle.
It is unsustainable for future populations to continue relying on one point of health and care with the challenges that lie ahead. New and emerging providers must be allowed to usher healthcare into the digital era.