Digital Technologies and Healthcare

The largest employer in life sciences, Healthtech, the ABHI (Association of British Healthtech Industries) recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, and during its time the industry has gone through significant changes. The future lies in incorporating the fields of science, digital data, artificial intelligence, and robotics. ABHI represents 280 member companies whose devices, diagnostics and digital technology have become sophisticated that they can deal with cancer and stroke more effectively. But, chronic conditions caused by poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle cause a great stress to an over-burdened healthcare system. The industry must now identify, diagnose and treat patients in holistic ways to manage diseases.

ABHI believes the answers may lie in utilizing digital solutions and data-driven products to draw upon the wealth of information from the NHS. They believe with the right use of technology, they can provide alternate forms of care that can be done at work or in the home. This technology can give people self-care management, through predictive algorithms and practicing prevention and protection. 10,000 Healthtech employees are working in the U.K., applying their trade to creating hospital and GP information systems. Such systems enable the NHS is utilizing their largest asset which is data. Being the world’s largest single-health payer system in the world, the NHS has amassed a significant amount of such data, and it can be used for more specific and individualized care.

The data pool that will be created cannot be developed without the patient’s consent. Before this revolution of digital health will take place, the public must be informed of its potential benefits, especially with concerns to privacy and private companies having access. ABHI is working with organizations to ensure that regulation of data security is an essential part of the framework going forward.

The sharing of health data needs further regulations to provide assurance for the public. To truly put this digital health concept into place, the support of the NHS, companies, regulators, and patients will be required. This support will revolutionize the health system as digital technologies can make care more convenient and responsive to patients. ABHI sees it as a chance for population health management and engaging citizens to prevent chronic conditions. These potential digital technologies will change the delivery and structures of current health and care systems.

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