2018 was a year of evolution for Digital Health, with a focus on improving mobile health and increasing personalised care at the forefront of growth. Digital Health tools have become a necessity for success in the Healthcare industry, and medical platforms, big data and healthcare analytics are playing a major part in improving the lives of people around the world.
So – what’s next?
Here are five Digital Health trends to look out for in 2019;
Digital Health tools, including mobile health apps, have become a part of our every day lives. Users are now used to accessing their health data through the use of various mobile health apps, to the point where the use of these tools has tripled from 13% in 2014 to 48% in 2018.
Mobile health apps have changed the way people tackle their own health, giving them the power to self-manage. SlowMo, for instance, supports people who suffer with Paranoia to ‘slow down’ and manage their thoughts, helping to improve their condition for the long term. Research-led mobile health apps that improve the health of users are evolving all the time – so expect to see more of the same in 2019.
The impact of Brexit
Brexit, in whatever form it takes, is likely to have a huge impact on the Digital Health landscape. If 2019 is indeed the year the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, expect to see changes to the NHS and it’s surrounding markets, including Digital Health.
Whether these changes are positive or negative, we are yet to find out.
AI-based technologies, including Machine learning, have already made huge improvements to the healthcare industry. Artificial intelligence help healthcare institutes to save a great deal of time and money, whilst improving patient outcomes in the long term.
This year, AI will be at the forefront of evolution once more, and trends such as early diagnosis and medical research will be greatly improved. AI will reduce human errors in diagnosis and allow doctors more time to work with patients who genuinely need their care.
Artificial intelligence may begin to transform the way healthcare providers operate, as well as the way patients experience healthcare.
Prevention and Digital Health
Back in early 2018, we saw the Health and Care social secretary Matt Hancock deliver a speech about the vision to help people make healthier choices and put care into their own hands. This is a topic that may be pushed even further in 2019, with Digital Health giving people the knowledge, skills and confidence to take control of their own health and empowering them to take better care.
Currently, £97bn is spent on treating diseases with only £8bn spent on preventing them in the first place - this is unsustainable. Prevention is better than cure, and Digital Health may become the leading support for prevention in 2019.
With data protection becoming a major focus in 2018 - especially with the introduction of GDPR - Blockchain is becoming more and more popular in the Healthcare space. The ability to be able to secure data and protect it from breaches means Blockchain could become the way forward for healthcare providers to share medical data safely and securely.
2019 may well see Blockchain finally explode on the healthcare scene, allowing healthcare providers manage endless streams of patient data, and keep it safe and encrypted.
The battle against Mental Health
Last year was a big year for Mental Health. The stigma is now shifting, and people are realising the importance of looking after their own mental health – and Digital Health tools, including our own product Lumien, may well be the future.
Mental Health is just as important as physical health – so why isn’t it treated like it? 2019 looks likely to see the continued push on making Mental Health a priority – and we are likely to see the digitisation of mental health treatment.