Yehya Mohamad, researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, expert in digital health, author and lecturer of the module Integrated Healthcare of the Fraunhofer Transformative Digital Skills for Healthcare program today shares his thoughts on integrated healthcare:
Where do you see the greatest challenges for digital health?
Today we see multiple great challenges in digital health. The need of making digital health technologies deliver affordable, easy-to-use healthcare solutions to a growing and aging population is important but still hard to achieve. Also, everyone is involved in solving the issues around collecting, storing, and analyzing health data. The standardization, privacy, data protection – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) must be considered while developing and implementing digital solutions. As well as all participating stakeholders must be able to access the medical data to enable them to beneficially use them for their work.
Artificial Intelligence in digital health is becoming more of a topic in care. However, clarification of its role and explanation of its values for the healthcare system must be thoroughly conducted. Finally, the integration of genomics into routine medical care will help to provide personalized treatments improving personalized medicine for patients. These challenges must be met with a differentiated approach from different perspectives of various experts and personnel in healthcare.
How can one evaluate the level of digital transformation for example in hospitals?
The evaluation of digital transformation in hospitals is a complex task that needs to be divided into several subtasks utilizing different tools and methodologies: Operational, where workflows and skills of the staff using digital technologies will be assessed. Technological, where digital health technology is already in use will be assessed according to compliance to international standards, terminologies, and value sets. This will enable the evaluation of digital transformation and to identify areas for improvement.
Which benefits will digital technologies offer to patients?
Digital technologies will enable patient empowerment by using data which reflects patient-reported experiences and outcomes. Hence, involving patients in the entire cycle of treatment, care and in the design and implementation of new solutions. The building of patient communities and portals to exchange experiences on treatment of diseases will help to further improve the data basis for interdisciplinary healthcare. In the end, of course finding the best doctor or hospital for the treatment of the individual will be possible and directly effect patients.
The Fraunhofer FIT has the resources and personnel, that can support industry, hospitals, or other digital health stakeholder in mastering all the above-mentioned challenges.
If you want to know more about integrated healthcare module visit: M7 | Integrated Healthcare (fraunhofer.de)
Jutta Haubenreich ist bei der Fraunhofer Academy für Bildungsmarketing und geförderte Bildungsprojekte verantwortlich. Außerdem betreut sie die Fraunhofer-Institute, die im Bereich Energie und Nachhaltigkeit Weiterbildungen anbieten.