A commentary found recently in Forbes magazine lists Telemedicine, Data Sharing (think Apple Watch or Fitbit), and Artificial Intelligence(AI) as the top three trends in Digital Health. I would agree with all three. In particular I agree with Telemedicine and AI. Data sharing requires the patient to participate in collecting the right data and be willing to share the data. Additionally, it requires the abundant amounts of data to be correctly processed into a usable format and then the recipient of that data must be willing to incorporate that information into their regular workflow and also to know what to do with it.
Telemedicine on the other hand is as easy to accept for patients as Skype or Facetime has become. There are a multitude of layers of advanced telemedicine beyond that but the acceptance and take off of telemedicine is here.
Artificial Intelligence similar to Data Sharing does require significant amounts of correctly processed data, but the potential rewards of this task is so outstanding that this trend is worth pursuing full-tilt. I would dare you to find a doctor that is capable of analyzing the full history of research and patient case reports to provide you with a solid recommendation based on your specific situation and all of that data. These doctors are quite rare, the rest mainly practice based on relatively limited textbook and research article memory. Many of the recommendations doled out are based on training that may have occurred decades ago and occasionally based on bad information and habit. AI on the other hand has the potential to digest and codify decades of research and provide well validated advice based on your personal story. Of course, having a personal connection with a healthcare provider is important. They need to mediate the connection between you and the AI program, then to help you decide on the correct course of action if multiple options exist (there are usually many options to consider), next to implement that action as appropriate, and lastly to analyze the results to make sure that the outcome is as expected and readjust if needed.
Below is a snippet of that commentary originally penned by Amit Phull. See the source link below to read the full article.
Telemedicine is taking off—for real this time
Remotely diagnosing and treating patients via telemedicine (the use of telecommunication and IT to provide health care) will grow fiercely in 2018 and impact nearly all facets of health care. More doctors will be able to see more patients in a much shorter timeframe, irrespective of their physical locations. As telemedicine adoption expands, it will be driven by stronger electronic health record (EHR) integration, and the growth of urgent care operations.Patients will see big benefits. Telemedicine will provide greater convenience and better access. Patients won’t have to take time away from work to be seen by a doctor, and those located in rural areas—where physician shortages are very real—will enjoy similar access to high-quality care regardless of where they live.