Digital health is very broad and has several definitions. It is defined as using computer-generated software to increase the overall quality of life by enhancing wellness and health. According to Tan (2019), the digital health market has been growing in recent years, reaching $11.1 billion. According to the National Health Expenditures (NHE), a projection in price growth for medical goods and services is expected to accelerate averaging 2.4 percent per year for 2019-28. The Health share of the economy is projected to rise from 17.7 percent in 2018 to 19.7 percent in 2028.
We have also seen a rise in wearable medical devices which help collect health data. According to Digital Authority Partners, a recent report shows that the market for wearable medical devices will be reaching 27 million by 2023.
Elaborate on how digital health impacts healthcare.
Include the following aspects in the discussion:
1) What are some current innovations in reference to digital health?
2) What are some advantages and disadvantages to digital health?
3) What are some of the advantages of using wearable technology?
4) Discuss the impact of wearable technology in healthcare.
REPLY TO MY CLASSMATE’S DISCUSSION TO THE ABOVE QUESTION AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE. (MINIMUM OF 200 WORDS)
Digital health impacts healthcare on every level and in every function in today’s day and age; from the adoption of Electronic Health Records to include thousands of CPT, HCSPCS, and ICD-10 codes that all correspond with specific definitions, sides of the body, specific organs, limbs, etc., to the innovative wearable technology that tracks our steps, heart rate and sleep patterns. In a world that is constantly connected, it is no surprise that digital health technology has conformed to the luxury of user-friendliness, convenience, and accessibility that culturally we have adopted into our lifestyles.
According to Forbes, one of the five trends in digital health technology transforming how healthcare is delivered today are consumer [Artificial Intelligence] or AI. Not only can the help of AI help with complex challenges in population health management, but it can also create personalization in terms of wearable tech to better health outcomes in individual consumers. This article mentions Google Fit and AppleHealth Kit that “provide individuals with an in-depth picture of their health and wellness through tracking data, which can potentially help them better understand their conditions.” (Gupta, 2021) Even further, many health insurance companies have adopted AI to aid their employees in choosing appropriate benefit plans that suit their financial and health needs, like Humana and IBM’s Watson’s AI-enabled virtual assistant. (Kepnes, 2021)
There are many pros to wearable health technology, like the ability to monitor and track physical activity, food and water intake, menstrual cycles, and sleep patterns from the convenience of the wearable device that transmits data to a user-friendly app on a smartphone. This can lead to a positive impact on those actively working towards health and fitness goals and keep those individuals connected on a bigger scale to a support community of other consumers using the same devices and tracking methods. On a bigger scale, tech companies are taking steps to further medical wearables that can monitor and solve medical problems, like an artificial pancreas, being developed for diabetics, which can monitor blood sugar and supply insulin automatically. (GFC Global, 2021)
Unfortunately, for others, specifically those with unhealthy disordered eating or obsessive tendencies, going back to the tracking wearables, this tech can do more harm than good. A web-based survey given to 647 first-year university students, 33% of females and 9.5% of males who reported the use of wearable tech were more likely to report fasting, skipping meals, excessively exercising, purging, and using supplements. (Samantha L.Hahn, 2021)
GFC Global. (2021). GFC Learn Free. Retrieved from CGC Global: https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/wearables/
Gupta, A. (2021, October 21). Five Trends In Digital Health Transformation. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/10/25/five-trends-in-digital-health-transformation/?sh=5d42e4fbe3c8
Kepnes, A. (2021, February 11). Humana and IBM Watson Health Collaborate to Simplify and Enhance the Member Experience for Humana Employer Group Customers. Retrieved from Humana: https://press.humana.com/news/news-details/2021/Humana-and-IBM-Watson-Health-Collaborate-to-Simplify-and-Enhance-the-Member-Experience-for-Humana-Employer-Group-Customers/default.aspx#gsc.tab=0
Samantha L.Hahn, K. R. (2021). Relationships between patterns of technology-based weight-related self-monitoring and eating disorder behaviors among first year university students. Eating Behaviors: An Interventional Journal.