How the Pandemic is Driving Innovation in Digital Health

Some very helpful analysis and summaries this week in two articles from the latest Economist on innovation in the digital health.

In “how covid-19 unleashed the NHS” there is a good discussion of the way that many of the bureaucratic constraints on the NHS. Much of the analysis is about remote care and the realization that there are huge benefits by enabling remote access to constrained resources, remote real-time monitoring, and remote collaboration across disconnected teams. And allowing this has not had detrimental effects many feared. The big challenge they now have are clear: which of these innovations make sense beyond the pandemic, and how do they maintain the burst of innovation over the longer term.

In “The dawn of digital medicine” the focus is that the pandemic may well be clearing the way for “the next trillion dollar industry”. As we have seen, a lot of new money is being invested in digital health solutions from the Big Tech companies (Apple, Amazon, and and a wide variety of VC firms. As well as the obvious barriers being broken recently by telemedicine and AI-based diagnosis, there is also a major push to align on standards for data sharing and management, and agreements being formed between the big players on security, privacy, and ethics.

All this looks very promising for digital transformation in healthcare. The main challenge we might face is the trust factor for individuals….who do they believe have their best interests at heart? Governments? Healthcare providers? Big Tech companies? Digital health startups?

Leave a Reply