Nowadays, it is increasingly critical to enable professionals to adjust and improve care and treatment plans, providing more personalised solutions for each patient and improving population health. An integrated and interoperable digital health infrastructure is key to developing tailored care options while releasing some of the economic and resource pressure on healthcare systems worldwide.
The pandemic has accelerated debates around access to care and the digital transformation of healthcare services. Health systems increasingly consider the uptake of technology and digital health solutions as an option to refocus healthcare on the needs of the individual patient and the quality of care. But it has also become clear that a true digital transformation will require more than just investments in technology. It needs to also encompass changes in organisational culture and engagement with all participants of the healthcare system, including patients, professionals, service providers, the industry, payers and policy-makers.1
The availability of
To make the most of current and future digital health solutions, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that a safe and secure infrastructure for data sharing and analysis, which adheres to the highest privacy standards, is in place and available to healthcare professionals, patients and other relevant players in the healthcare system.
Part of the solution to achieve this vision is
Over time, the digital ecosystem will build a repository of information and data, which can help increase the effectiveness of personalised patient healthcare as well as disease management and prevention measures. Through this, digital ecosystems offer society new ways to organise and deliver healthcare, and most importantly, new ways to improve patient care and overall population health.
In its Global Strategy on Digital Health, the WHO describes the best-case scenario for the digital transformation of healthcare. In this scenario, digital health will be valued if it is accessible, enhances the efficiency and sustainability of health systems in delivering high-quality and equitable care, while respecting the privacy and security of patient health data.
Digital health solutions can radically change individual patient care if essential investments in people and processes are made. The digital connection of the various building blocks of the healthcare system, including healthcare facilities, the healthcare workforce, financing and information systems, medicines supply and governance structures has the potential to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of care, allowing for new business models in the delivery of services.4
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