That’s what a connected health ecosystem is all about – a network where smarter, faster, and more accurate interactions between people, devices, data, analytics, and apps are transforming the way healthcare is delivered.
A connected health ecosystem involves connecting physicians to data, connecting patients to healthcare providers, and connecting practices to networks – all with the goal of delivering better, more integrated health and care outcomes. So as the sector becomes more interconnected, a network of intelligent communication and information sharing intended to improve patient outcomes is transforming the way healthcare is delivered.
While a connected health ecosystem builds on decades of specific healthcare expertise with mobile health and telehealth solutions, it is powered by a rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT) connecting sensors, devices, software, and smart grids to over the internet.
What is the potential impact?
Some see the healthcare industry, known for its slow adoption of information, to undergo dramatic change quickly. However, powerful drivers and enablers are converging in ways that indicate that a tipping point is indeed on the horizon.
– Health care is a priority on most national government agendas: there is a growing consensus in governments regarding the urgency of moving the needle on seemingly impossible to access health, access and quality challenges.
– Aging populations and chronic diseases: two determining factors are aging populations and the high incidence of chronic diseases, which consume a disproportionate amount of health resources.
How can organizations prepare for a connected health ecosystem?
– Too Much Data, Too Little Information: As healthcare becomes more interconnected with the growing adoption of telehealth, mobile health, and IoT-enabling technologies to digital sensors, data challenges must be addressed to fulfill the promise of connected health: bring patient data from all health services to the right people at the right time.
– Lack of integration and interoperability: Interoperability is defined as “the extent to which systems and devices can exchange data and interpret that shared data.” For two systems to be interoperable, they must be able to exchange data and then present it. The lack of interoperability between devices and systems exists either because they remain closed systems and / or because they contain non-standardized data.
– Security first, last and always: Cybersecurity tools and privacy protections should be incorporated when building the digital infrastructure. The security architecture should encompass data governance and security requirements between users, applications, and devices, and see how authentication and validation will be managed.
– A new world of technology: Human-machine partnerships are changing the way we share medical information, treat disease, and discover new therapies with greater precision. Recent surveys of healthcare business leaders revealed a divided view of the future, but agreement on the need to transform and how to get there. 60% of healthcare business leaders report that their organizations struggle to keep up. But they all agreed on the need for transformation and are optimistic that they can provide essential infrastructure to achieve your digital business goals in the next five years. The data is hugely positive and indicates that the industry is poised to move forward as 89% of organizations expect to complete their transition to a software-defined business with 80% using artificial intelligence (AI) to avoid patient demands.
To conclude, the healthcare market is about to jump, but there is a critical step that must occur before digital transformation can be fully realized. Achieving true transformation requires healthcare organizations to bridge the digital divide – the gap between connecting IT transformation (modernizing infrastructure) with business transformation (being efficient in analyzing and digitizing operations).