Building upon my first video, What is Digital Health? — which provided a succinct definition and consolidation of the underlying lexicon — I’m excited to bring you this new video, which illustrates and educates us on the profound value that digital health brings to consumers, patients, and the healthcare system.
Transcript for Story of Digital Health (Part 1)
In the early days of the automobile there were few instruments providing information to the driver and none guiding us to our destination.
Fast forward to the driving experience of today, and we have a wealth of digital information at our disposal, providing us real-time status on how our car is performing, how fast we’re going, and alerting us to real and potential issues.
Most of us have also used Internet-connected GPS systems, which show us our current location relative to our destination, inform us how long it will take to reach our destination, provide us with turn-by-turn directions, and even advise us on alternate routes to take based upon changing traffic conditions or the status of the road ahead.
We’ve come to rely upon all of these tools in our cars and we’re now poised to enter into an analogous scenario with respect to our health.
And just like the modern driving experience, when it comes to our health, we should also have a predetermined destination in mind that is augmented with ongoing digital information about our body plus critical updates on our health status plus details on the progress we’ve made towards our planned destination.
And while all of this is possible today, the reality is that most of us don’t use or have access to anything like the digital tools and information readily available to us while driving our car.
Instead of ongoing insights into our health status, the healthcare system is typically characterized by episodic annual check-ups, which provide only an intermittent status update on our health.
The exception is when something unexpected triggers a visit.
For the most part, consumers and our healthcare providers are largely unaware of our health status except on an intermittent or emergent basis.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is an alternative to this health and healthcare status quo. As we have seen, the digital revolution has brought us many powerful technologies; smaller and more powerful computers, the Internet, cell phones, cloud computing, and social networking.
The digital and genetics revolutions are changing how we and our healthcare providers diagnose, monitor, manage, and improve our health.
We all want to be healthy, and many of us want to perform better at sports, possibly lose weight, sleep better, and avoid or reduce the risk of contracting preventable diseases, plus monitor and improve existing health conditions.
The tools in the digital health bag are diverse.
Smart phones and other wireless devices, plus mobile apps and desktop applications provide the ability to monitor, analyze, report, and securely transmit fitness and health data.
Wireless wearable and implantable sensors provide the ability to continuously and remotely monitor vitals such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and more.
This information can be available to us in real time as well as connected to healthcare providers, no matter where we are.
This reduces the need to visit our doctor or healthcare facility for intermittent vital sign measurements that provide insights into our health.
Self-monitoring allows us to clearly see trends and patterns, thereby painting a much more comprehensive and relevant picture of our health.
As we see with our smartphones, smaller and more convenient devices are being enabled by the increasing power and shrinking size of electronic circuits and microprocessors.
The Internet is the enabling infrastructure that allows all the technologies and relevant data to be connected.
Mobile and body area networks allow wireless devices and sensors to connect to the Internet and then be incorporated into healthcare information systems. These systems analyze the health and medical data, providing health insights back to consumers and their healthcare providers.
Cloud computing allows for secure, HIPAA-compliant collection, analysis, processing, and sharing of data.
Social Networking allows us to network with one another, compare wellness info, health and disease states, and gain additional insights on our health. We also benefit through supporting and motivating one another to make healthy behavior decisions.
Tremendous strides in molecular biology are driving the genetics revolution, a major component of digital health. Just like the 1s and 0s of binary computer code, our DNA is a code comprised of four chemical bases: Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, and Guanine.”
Personal genetic testing reports are now available directly to consumers or through our doctors.
Empowered with insights into our genetic code and genes, we can make lifestyle changes that reduce our risk of certain diseases while optimizing our health.
Population genetic data can be aggregated, analyzed, and interpreted in ways that benefit individuals and society.
Combining population, personal genetic plus other digitally-derived physiological health data, helps drive a more individual-centric approach to medicine known as “precision medicine”.
Our health and healthcare experience is fundamentally transformed by the data we collect about ourselves.
With digital tools we are now empowered to self-monitor and engage with the healthcare system. We become the main player in our personal health and wellness team.
This ultimately is the incredible power of the digital health revolution.
Digital health gives us tools empowering us to better track, manage, and improve our own—and our family’s—health, as well as intelligently and cost-effectively choose and access healthcare services.
Best of all, we don’t have to sit idly by. YOU can catalyze the digital health revolution! Take action: Share this video with your family, friends, and professional colleagues. And, of course, become an adopter of any of the many digital health solutions available!
The world of digital health is changing rapidly, but you can stay up to date on the latest advancements by liking the Story of Digital Health on Facebook, joining the Digital Health group on LinkedIn, and following Paul Sonnier on Twitter at Paul underscore Sonnier.