Two Major Trends in Digital Health

Today I was invited to give a presentation to the Danish health management organization “Region of Southern Denmark” as part of their strategy conference on digital health.

I used my old paper on “Pervasive healthcare as a scientific discipline” as an outset to discuss where I see healthcare is moving – based (of course) on our research into digital health at DTU Health Tech and CACHET. Here I identify seven major trends, which I still find to be relevant. These seven trends are shown on the slide below (click on the image to download the entire slide deck).

In the paper I write:

“On a longer term basis, pervasive healthcare technologies will be part of a fundamental change in the delivery of healthcare services, supplementing the highly centralized and specialized model we have today with a much more decentralized and personal model. Clearly, this will not be achieved just by research into technology – essential issues like health management, organization, and medicine need to be researched too – but technology will be the enabling factor.”

Which I still find to be true.

I used our recent work on the mCardia technology as an example of how pervasive healthcare technologies can change the monitoring, prediction, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular diseases to a whole new scale in terms of time and number of patients. My main message was that:

#1 – Patients are very engaged and motivated to use such kind of “personal” health technology. For example, the feedback from our usability testing showed an overwhelming interest and engagement from the patients’ side to use this type of continuous, ambulatory monitoring.

#2 – This kind of technology enables the healthcare system to be much more proactive (rather than reactive). For example, our DeepAware algorithm can automatically detect atrial fibriliation (AF) with a 98% accuracy, which again be used for automatic monitoring of patients in an ambulatory setting. This enables scalability of cardiovascular treatment to a whole new level.

We hope to be able to continue our REAFEL (Reaching the Frail Elderly Patient for optimizing diagnosis of atrial fibrillation) project to show this in clinical practices. Below is a movie on the REAFEL project (in Danish).