Digital health predictions for 2022: looking to a better future



Healthcare systems have had to face a myriad of challenges ranging from the new waves of the COVID pandemic, the implementation of mass vaccination programs at scale and speed, coping with declining workforce and a burden. significantly increased noncommunicable diseases as an unexpected consequence of the pandemic.

The last year has been remarkable because the elements of digital transformation have appeared all over the world and in some places have gone beyond telehealth to include data-driven decision making. The next four major areas will inevitably become the main areas of interest in the coming years.

The urgency with which governments around the world seek to transform their services to be more sustainable has accelerated as the climate emergency becomes more real and the effects of climate change more pronounced. Healthcare delivery is an important component of a country’s carbon footprint, and it is not surprising that sustainability in healthcare delivery is now an important element.

Despite advances in making therapies more sustainable and less harmful, exemplified by changes to inhaler propellers, for example, there is much to be done. Digital modalities and combined approaches to care management will help reduce unnecessary patient travel, and there are changes that will no doubt be needed for supply chains and to better manage the ever-expanding clinical waste fed. by COVID. There are governments that make these changes a priority, and there will certainly be more.

Security is now growing and gaining interest as a result of the pandemic. Health security is largely the responsibility of governments whose pact with citizens includes keeping them safe from public health incidents, whether infectious, such as COVID, or chemical or radiological. The growing adoption of digital modalities has increased the potential for more joint surveillance and preparedness, and we are seeing examples of cross-border initiatives to ensure that we are better prepared for the impending pandemic. Health security also includes better management of antimicrobial resistance. Unfortunately, just because our attention has been elsewhere, this growing and global problem has not gone away.

It is inevitable that labor shortages will continue to be a high and growing priority. Caregivers have had a torrid time in recent years as a result of VOCID and depletion rates have risen as a result. In addition, the usual waves of migrant labor have been less available, deterred from crossing borders and, in some cases, exhausted and eager to stay in their home countries with their families. Hasty digital implementations have aggravated these already challenging jobs and we still do not support our workforce as effectively as we could or train them in the new skills needed to deliver personalized, combined healthcare. developed worldwide.

  • Lifelong approaches to better managing noncommunicable diseases

Health systems are inexorably moving from “remedying” symptoms and disease to including delayed symptoms, and in some cases diseases themselves, as they better meet people’s needs. This trend is being shown around the world and disease prevention and financial metrics are driving health systems to deliver better value rather than volume, the new frontier. All this is possible thanks to the growing distribution of health information exchanges, some within health systems and others within countries or even beyond.

Digital transformation and deployment make these changes possible, and as a result, completely new industries have emerged that support health and well-being, involving more people and enabling them to take more responsibility in managing their lives. . We will see more large-scale attempts to foster these trends, some of which will also include gamification to be the impetus to provide extrinsic motivation until people develop their own internal motivation to better manage their healthy behaviors.

What will the new world be like?

We can expect a world where the benefits of artificial intelligence and a better understanding of all the factors that influence health will lead us to have the opportunity to lead a healthier and more productive life. Health systems will be customized to support all of these changes. Not everything is colored, though. We still have to accept this pandemic and prepare much better for the next one and we still have very important inequalities to overcome both nationally and globally. Only in this way can the vision of HIMSS be better offered: to reach the full potential of the health of every human being, everywhere.

Dr. Charles Alessi is the clinical director of HIMSS.



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