In 30 years, most of us will be healthy, one medical industry optimist told us. But for this, in 20 years, individual means will become available: literally personal pills, personal prostheses, courses, diets, recommendations. But before that, in 10 years, the entire healthcare sector should be completely restructured and personalized in focus and preventive approach. And to make this happen, some have created recommendatory AI platforms, others have launched telemedicine startups, and others have implemented electronic dossiers and built hybrid computing systems. We talked with experts – renowned doctors, heads of state and commercial clinics, and pharmaceutical companies, about what is happening in the industry today and how it will develop in the coming years.
Ideally, medicine should not cure diseases but maintain health – this idea was expressed by many of our interlocutors. This approach requires a restructuring of all the processes of the entire industry and all participants, by the way, including patients, many of whom still diagnose themselves through an Internet search engine, and turn to the clinic when the disease progresses to a severe stage. And it would be nice if the advice was given by a special software assistant created by medical specialists for primary diagnostics. It would be totally modern. But so far, this is not the case.
Contrary to popular belief that “anyone can teach and heal” when it comes to serious diseases, we are trying to find the best, a qualified doctor and rely only on his experience and expertise. The transformation of the healthcare sector for many people will transform life in every existing field. The main idea of the coming changes in medicine is the prevention of diseases and health maintenance.
The transformation is already underway.
Patients do not come to a medical facility because it has the most advanced information system. They go to the doctors. And if we manage to use technology to make it more convenient for the doctor to work, the patients will be satisfied.
The past year has shown that when epidemic situations arise, each doctor’s load is seriously increased, so it is essential to provide serious technological support to specialists. It is not possible to increase the number of people working in the healthcare system overnight, but technology can be scaled up. New solutions remove routine operations from doctors and become assistants in analyzing research results and decision-making. New gadgets, monitoring, and analysis systems will soon simplify intermediate health control, leaving doctors with those cases when their expertise is really required. Modern IT tools make it possible to work more efficiently with existing data and provide patients with access to the necessary resources and useful information. Technology is already buying us the time it takes to save lives.
We live in an era of information surge in medicine. If 20 years ago, the industry was not considered an area for large-scale computer computing applications, then 10 years ago, according to some estimates, the healthcare system generated 30% of the world’s digital form data. Today, new medical data is constantly emerging in volumes comparable to all the series that the entertainment industry is stamping.
Most experts believe that healthcare is the area where information technologies and digital transformation can produce the most tangible positive effects for society.
Transformation challenges and trends
Healthcare is a strategically important industry for Microsoft. Microsoft works with more than 160,000 healthcare organizations in 140 countries and highlights four key areas for the industry:
- Patient-centeredness (integrated management of human health instead of referring to individual doctors).
- Data centricity (analytical tools for making informed decisions based on large amounts of data).
- Prevention (increasing the role of prevention, early detection of diseases, and creating conditions for maintaining a healthy lifestyle).
- Value-based healthcare (dissemination of models that simulate medical organizations to maximize the ratio between the cost of providing medical services and the results achieved).
- Soon, healthcare organizations that can work with patient data and their own work and create more personalized offerings will be in the strongest position in the market. They will be ready for any population and technological shifts.
The Future of Health through Digital Medicine
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