For those who are still grappling with the idea of digital transformation, there is bad news! I recently read a report published on the Accenture website that we are entering the post-digital era. My advice to them will be there is still time to get engaged and delve into the world of disruptive technologies to understand how the clinical practice is changing and become immersed in its use for the benefit of the patients.
The same report highlights that there are five technology trends that are transforming all industries including healthcare. These include Artificial Intelligence as a part of the workforce, immersive remote connectivity using Extended Reality, integrity, and robustness of Data is driving data-driven autonomous decision making, bringing efficiency through Blockchain collaborations and finally use of robotics and machine learning through the Internet of Things.
There are some very exciting examples of solutions in each of these technological trends.
AI: Virtual Nurses: Tavie is an artificial intelligence based application which has clinical validation for its support for patients during their journey. These virtual nurses are not avatars but matched to the patient’s choice of ethnicity and age preferences. The virtual nurse is a constant companion supporting the patient with medicine management, compliance, and behavioral changes. It can be connected to the physicians as well as pharmacies. Its versions in HIV and chronic disease management aim to reduce relapses and hospital admissions as well as reduce the financial burden on the healthcare provider in many ways.
Remote access extended/augmented reality solutions: Here I came across a cloud-based augmented reality software solution which enables local and global transfer in expertise in a secure, responsive and scalable method called Proximie. As a gynecologist, I can see its value in peer to peer training for emerging surgical techniques such as use of robotic surgical skills training. I was impressed to read that the innovator behind this award-winning solution, Nadine Haram, is a surgical trainee herself and took the initiative to find a solution for the training needs that she was going through.
Big Data: There are many examples of how the data can drive precision and personalized medicine. The example I want to share here are the solutions that cater to predictive analytics to provide the clinicians with accurate decision
Blockchain: BC is defined as self-service data analytics mechanisms for analysts to prepare and blend data from all relevant data sources. Being a digital ledger of transactions between public networks of computers, the blockchain allows each participant (through complex algorithms and cryptography) to securely manage their own data, without the need for a central authority. Its use in mitigating drug counterfeiting is described. Similarly, it can give patients access to their own records to have control of their own data.
Robotics: There is a whole new sub-specialty in surgery named as digital surgery. It deals with not only the technological tools that are used in surgical procedures but a new way of pre-operative preparation, utilization and team performance to facilitate enhanced safety and productivity.
Signing out now,
Naila is a senior clinician affiliated with the NHS for almost 26 years. Her career has evolved not only in her specialty (Gynaecology) but also in medical education, patient safety and informatics in healthcare. She has held several senior leadership posts such as Associate Dean London Deanery, Associate Director for Medical Education and Lead for OBGYN undergraduate course at Imperial College. She is a champion for embracing technology in the delivery of high standards of healthcare and is a frequent speaker on disruptive technologies and their place in futuristic healthcare. Recently she was interviewed by HIMMS TV at the UK eHealth week, where she delivered two talks which were very well received.