Digitization in Healthcare

Trends shaping the future of medtech

The last two years were challenging for the world. This was especially hard for healthcare, and it was a matter of pride for us in MedTech to work side-by-side with healthcare providers in fighting the pandemic and keeping the day-to-day operations running. During this period, we learned that our healthcare systems need to become even more efficient, and this journey will not be possible without digital technology and healthcare innovations.

AI and data, cybersecurity, patient twinning, precision therapy, smart sensing technology, robotics, are key trends to enable the transformation of healthcare. This transformation will help healthcare providers to fight the most threatening diseases, enable efficient operations, and expand access to care.

Digital, data and AI, are already shaping the future of healthcare, contributing to better diagnosis, linking diagnosis with therapy, and guiding treatment. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, globally 463 exabytes of data will be generated each day, while other studies highlight that the healthcare industry generates about 30% of the world’s data volume.

AI-powered solutions are using the power of data and AI to help health systems increase efficiency, minimize errors, and reduce unwarranted variations in care delivery. They provide imaging decision support to increase diagnostic precision when interpreting medical images. They also improve workflow efficiency by reducing the burden of basic repetitive tasks. They also uncover actionable insights, to facilitate personalized and standardized decisions along disease-specific care pathways.

In the future, “Patient Twinning” will drive the personalization of diagnosis, therapy selection, therapy guidance, after-care, and managing health. Advanced digital technologies will help in building a “patient twin,” a digital copy of a patient to support clinical decision making, help predict outcomes of procedures or aid in providing the next therapy option.

Smart sensing technologies such as photon-counting CT scanners enable drastic improvements, including an increase in resolution and a reduction in radiation dose. This is a huge step in furthering patient care in a wide range of clinical domains by effectively revealing aspects previously not possible with conventional CT scans, while putting less strain on patients.

Precision therapy is the key for improving outcomes in the fight against the most prevalent diseases – whether it’s cancer, cardiovascular, or neurovascular diseases. In the future, therapies will become even more precise, for example in radiation therapy by exactly targeting tumors while sparing healthy tissue, or in image-guided and minimally invasive procedures, and with robotics by precise realization of interventions.

Over the next ten years, robotic systems and imaging devices will be increasingly integrated. Image-guided robotic systems will be able to assist and even collaborate inside and outside the operating room – and eventually, inside and outside the hospital. Thanks to innovative robotics, distance will no longer hinder people from having access to expert care. To realize this, however, we need to ensure that the necessary secure digital infrastructure is in place.

Digital health platforms provide a secured and regulatory-compliant environment. These platforms enable innovative solutions along the entire patient pathway with the goal to turn data into better care and cost savings through improved effectiveness and efficiencies. It’s worth noting that medical information is doubling every 73 days and therefore the need of future is innovative, digitalized solutions, that allow healthcare data to be harnessed effectively.

Healthcare is one of the top targets for cyber-attacks. According to studies, data breaches in healthcare cost almost twice as much as the global average across industries. Hence, cybersecurity readiness becomes very important, right from secure development and design, to maintaining secure operations. We constantly improve our systems and processes and train our teams in cybersecurity, so that cyber threat awareness always remains top of mind.

We believe that these technologies are critical for pioneering breakthroughs in healthcare and will play a crucial role in fighting the most threatening diseases, overcoming productivity challenges and staff shortages, and bringing healthcare to the over three billion people living in places where they do not have access today.

— Dileep Mangsuli, Head, Development Center, Siemens Healthineers.

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