Digital Transformation of Healthcare – technology alongside people

Oliver Diaz is a researcher at the University of Barcelona in Spain in the field of Artificial Intelligence with a focus on its application to Medical Imaging and Medical Physics. He is also the instructor of the Essential Skills for Innovative Healthcare Module of the Fraunhofer Transformative Digital Skills for Healthcare program. Here, he shares some thoughts on the future of healthcare:

How can the digital transformation reduce the strain on hospital personnel and improve their work?

Many healthcare professionals are buried with repetitive tasks in their clinical routine. Such tasks could be automated by using digital technology. For example, smart machines could work alongside physicians and medical staff to reduce the physical and mental workload. Healthcare professionals could then skip such tasks and focus their work on giving their patients more personal attention. It is not about technology for its own sake, but technology easily and well integrated to serve a higher purpose. This is the so-called “humanizing technology.”

What do you consider to be the most important step towards attaining digital health?

Digital transformation does not refer only to technology, but rather must also involve people. When people are well informed, equipped with a good understanding of digital technologies and properly trained, they are motivated to use the technology. We can then also empower patients and make them aware of their health and how to improve it.

What is your vision for the future of healthcare?

The future of healthcare will probably focus on “personalized medicine.” The term has been used for several years now to describe a paradigm shift in medicine towards considering each patient as an individual rather than a statistical mean value. We humans are all different from each other; therefore we need different diagnosis and treatments. We need personal solutions that are developed from data analysis based on many sources of health data. Diagnosing diseases would thereby be improved and this would allow for more precise therapy with fewer side-effects that is more cost efficient.

Would you like to learn more about the module? Visit M1 | Essential Skills for Innovative Healthcare

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