Healthcare is a major part of the global digital revolution. Healthcare professionals and institutions either are implementing solutions or feeling nagging guilt the longer they wait. Digitization is no longer an option; it’s a must. And digital health and health informatics are two ways DX is rapidly advancing.
BUT…many companies, however, struggle with language and with communication of their science. This is where Scize wants to work with these companies – scientific communication. That’s what Scize Marketing does for healthcare companies, scientists, and tech firms.
The digital health movement spans broad areas, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), and healthcare directly, such as electronic health records (EHRs). In Asia, especially in digitally progressive countries with strong government initiatives, like Singapore (Singapore Smart Nation) and Indonesia (Digital Indonesia Roadmap), we see ample evidence.
The following five areas dramatically change healthcare in 2023 and will continue to expand. Scize is looking to actively work with companies in any of these areas – helping build their digital marketing footprint in English. Plain English. Effective and clinically intelligent English that connects with media, academics, businesspeople, and the general public.
1. Electronic health records and cybersecurity
Electronic health records (EHRs) are crucial in forward-sighted medicine. EHRs allow the recording, retrieving, and sharing of clinical data. Ideally, they contain relevant patient data, including diagnoses, allergies, immunizations, and test results. This aids in coordinated patient management across facilities, and cost reduction.
EHRs can also save physicians time (and save trees) by limiting paperwork. Beyond the individual level, aggregated EHR data can show health patterns in a community.
The downside to EHRs is that they’re attractive targets for hackers. They’re rich in personal information, and they can facilitate malicious service disruption. This has put EHRs in high demand on the so-called dark web. Relatively low cybersecurity knowledge among healthcare workers increases cyber-attack risk.
Hackers can steal and/or corrupt data, as well as individual medical devices, directly harming patients. The 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack stopped critical systems from functioning in England’s National Health Service (NHS), and lasted 3 days. Affected institutes (~20% of the NHS) couldn’t access EHRs, leading to canceled appointments and delayed surgeries.
The more digitalized a clinical setting, the more vulnerable it becomes to cyberattacks. Suitable cybersecurity measures are therefore needed to deter or diminish such attacks and to protect personal information.
Asian company to watch
ezCaretech, headquartered in Seoul and with offices abroad, offers an EHR system tailored to global standards, which is critically important, as EHRs are better the wider they can be applied. The company stresses its information security efforts.
2. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to all the physical devices connected to the Internet. These devices can communicate with one another. They remove the need for human-to-human or human-to-computer interactions, making communication basically instantaneous.
Healthcare IoT (HIoT) uses systems such as wearable and embedded health sensors to collect patient data. You’ll find these sensors in devices such as smartwatches, cardiac monitors, and non-invasive glucose level monitors.
These sensors, called “publishers,” make up HIot’s primary layer. They collect large amounts of data and transfer it over the internet to the secondary layer devices, called “brokers.” From there, selected and analyzed data goes into various dashboards of the healthcare professionals (third layer: “subscribers”).
A smartwatch (e.g., Apple Watch) can collect data such as body temperature, oxygen saturation, heart rate, and sleep times. It can also record ECG changes. A wearable monitor can reduce the need for hospitalization, as it enables remote/home monitoring.
Asian company to watch
Singapore’s KaHa, makers of the COVE platform of IoT wearables, appears to have been recently acquired by boAt (parent company: Imagine Marketing). This was a savvy acquisition, as KaHa is emerging as a strong player in wearables using AI and machine learning, and aid remote monitoring of people’s health conditions.
3. System compatibility
In advancing health informatics, one challenge is keeping things compatible and interoperable. This is a chronic problem in advanced and developing economies alike. Clinical systems should communicate with EHRs and public health systems. This requires compatible hardware and software components.
For example, a laboratory information management system (LIMS) collects data from lab equipment like hematological and chemical analyzers. Ideally, these data automatically feed into patients’ EHRs.
But without compatibility, data must be manually entered into the EHR, which defeats the purpose. It also increases manhours and the chance of human error.
Healthcare networks need standards, such as the international Health Level 7 (HL7), to overcome such potential obstacles. Italy’s Lombardy region, described in this study, is a good example, as connected healthcare providers across the region led to full access to records, including lab results and prescriptions.
Asian company to watch
India-based Agaram Technologies offers its Qualis LIMS and a suite of other intelligent lab-informatics software. It’s been around since 1998, but its products should see increasing demand. With an office in the U.S., it’s well-positioned for growth.
Telemedicine has been in practice for many years now. It can eliminate the need to be physically present with a doctor. This made it especially attractive for extending healthcare services to remote and rural communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought incrementally greater demand for telemedicine, as people were reluctant to access healthcare in person. For one, they feared exposing themselves to the virus while seeking care. Facilities themselves may not have been equipped to accommodate infected patients. Virtual care could be a literal lifesaver.
Telemedicine is especially useful in such situations. Health professionals can serve patients one after another without exposure to risk for the patient, doctor, and anyone else in the chain of contact.
The care can also extend to testing and analysis. A pathologist can report on slides from many hospitals, or a radiologist can report on MRIs delivered from another country.
A futuristic step would be to have surgical teams operate through robots and remote machinery using online systems. Telemedicine gives patients more options to choose from. Telemedicine reduces healthcare costs and helps cut down long waiting times for patients.
Along with patient–physician communication, telemedicine lets physicians cooperate in providing care – sharing patient data and enlisting specialists. Telemedicine services have huge room to grow, which they most likely will.
Asian companies to watch
HonestDocs is a Bangkok-based company that’s popular across Southeast Asia. It also aims to be a one-stop solution for all medical needs. High attention to localization and a clean UX make it an investor favorite. Singapore’s Doctor Anywhere and Indonesia’s Alodokter are also notable in this space.
5. Big data and predictive models
EHRs generate many data elements. It’s a vast data set when you multiply that by the number of events and number of patients. Traditional data analysis software can’t handle what is known as “big data.”
Dealing with big data is an integral part of health informatics and all data-driven and data-underpinned health processes. That’s because this data holds keys to understanding both individual and public health developments. When you apply machine learning algorithms, these data can create complex predictive models. Python and R are popular programming languages for developing these models.
For an individual, big data can predict disease progression. Analyzing big data can indicate how effective a treatment is and the chances of developing complications. Such analysis leads to personalized treatment options.
At a community level, aggregated data can show patterns, such as disease trends or antibiotic resistance. Such data is vital to policymakers and health administrators. Adaptation of that data poses challenges, as shown in this study in Malaysia.
Asian company to watch
Singapore’s Holmusk is a continually growing platform for health data analytics, specifically related to behavioral health. It uses AI in its analytics as it facilitates evidence accumulation.
As Scize seeks to expand its portfolio, we hope you’ll consider us for your marketing needs including:
- Marketing and press releases
- Original blog content
- Website enhancements, localization, and SEO