Health Tech companies, also known as digital health companies, utilize various forms of technology, such as applications, databases, wearables, and mobiles to enhance healthcare provision, ease the payment process, and most importantly care reception. All this ultimately contributes to overall pharmaceutical innovation and market invasion.
Defining healthcare technology is challenging since there are so many different processes, services, and players involved in the healthcare industry. However, we can differentiate many industry areas that are included in the digital health revolution: first and foremost, insurance, then hospitals and medical professionals, pharmaceuticals, consumer-facing services and the government.
In addition, reports imply that the trajectory of the growing connection between technology and the health industry is more promising than either consumers or businesses are currently aware of. Therefore, it is up to them to realize the potential that this relationship holds and discover the most efficient ways to put it to use in order to fulfill their responsibilities.
Health care affordability, inequity in access, variability in outcomes, and the ever-increasing demand for services brought on by larger populations and longer life spans are all challenges that health care systems face all over the world.
Health information and digital technology are one way to address these challenges. They also enhance the customer experience, help achieve population health goals, and provide new insights into medical disorders. So far, several cases of public and private sector programs that offer fresh approaches to old problems, proved to be instructive case studies for other groups. The results give us a peek at the potential features and capabilities of a future healthcare system.
How rapidly is the field of health technology advancing?
Usually, decades of continuous growth were necessary for many different industries to reach a point in the process at which they are able to readily incorporate modern alternatives and adjust appropriately.
The Health Technology industry, on the other hand, has not experienced such a period: in the five years leading up to 2016, venture capital increased by 200%, resulting in an infusion of US$11.7 billion towards health technology companies from a total of over 30,000 investors.
By the end of 2015, the total value of the industry in the United States was estimated to be $7.2 trillion. Regulatory shifts in the United States have also contributed to the expansion of the health technology industry in its largest market.
The fundamental shift in financing, restructuring, and modernization that has taken place here has a straightforward explanation: it was essential. Still, back in 2010, half of US doctors used paper and pencil for patients’ health records. The situation was similar in Europe and Australia. The health industry was too dependent on ineffective and outdated methods of operating. When compared to other sectors, healthcare was among the last industries to adopt new technologies. Digital health is the shock to the healthcare business that consumers, investors, and startup founders are all immensely interested in materializing.
What are the primary factors driving the implementation of digital health?
A variety of significant factors contributed to the expansion and growth of the health technology industry. The major cause of growth is the behavioral shift, which has come about in two distinct phases. To begin with, customers became accustomed to witnessing technological disruption in other industries, such as the sharing economy, and this has given them the confidence to look for a better experience in other industries as well. The consumer market has responded to this shift in focus, with a surge in interest in wearables during 2014 and 2015.
Secondly, the increased focus on health among consumers has coincided with the introduction of digital health services, especially in the United Kingdom and Western Europe.
Also in 2009, American Congress passed the HITECH Act (full name: Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) with the goal of increasing the adoption of electronic health records and the requisite infrastructure. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had a similar effect on private US healthcare institutions, encouraging them to adopt and employ software. Meanwhile, the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom is working to acquire partnerships with businesses and organizations in the technology sector.
The aging of both the global health infrastructure and the worldwide population has created a challenging situation for the medical community around the world. As a result of these demands, cutting-edge medical technology has emerged to address these and other problems in the healthcare system.
What challenges will Health Tech have to tackle in the future?
The protection of personal information is proving to be a significant barrier to the advancement of health technology. If the sharing and distribution of data are restricted or prohibited, the digital healthcare industry runs the risk of being deprived of the foundation it needs for the advancement of future technologies.
The proliferation of data is extremely significant for the future of health technology, and it is essential for the continued development of solutions to problems related to illness prevention, patient communication services, and consumer wearables technology. And in contrast to many other fields of work, the stakes in the healthcare sector are significantly larger.
However, the fail-fast philosophy that many new businesses have embraced cannot simply be applied to the healthcare industry or digital health startups. Many new industries have a tendency to become complacent with lean approaches to innovation. When viewed in this light, the ethics of health technology have no bearing on the ethics of other digital domains.
The final significant obstacle is determining how the health technology business intends to expand internationally, beyond domestic or national borders. There are a lot of businesses that have the potential for their services or products to be utilized within hospitals all over the world, or to give information to patients in other countries, but the legislations that govern healthcare are different in each region. The only way for health technology to become genuinely global is for it to be able to meet the standards that are established in each country.
Where will healthcare technology go from here?
In conclusion, the Health Technology business is in an excellent position right now, with financial and consumer support promising steady and continuing growth during the course of at least the next couple of years.
The revolution in digital health is well-positioned to not only develop solutions but also provide them, making good on the promise of technology in both areas. This will be accomplished by making effective use of the well-positioned digital health ecosystem. The medical care industry is going to need to adjust in order to keep up with the growing demand for resources. Potential for technological advancement and improvement coincides with this requirement.
Although the health technology industry is expanding, it is still very young and very fragmented in its current state. If the existing Health Tech sector is going to expand, particularly the regulatory framework will need to advance in tandem with healthcare technology. This is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that the general public will obtain the benefits that were initially expected to be delivered by both sides.