Digital Healthcare Platforms for Healthcare Improvement

As healthcare takes on unprecedented digital transformation, platforms are set to take center stage in the sector over the next five years. With infection risks abound under the Covid-19 paradigm, people are wearier than ever of visiting a doctor/hospital, or even a pharmacy. Much like with shopping or business, consumers are choosing to go online where they can.

Digital healthcare platforms are online services that provide access to health information, diagnosis, treatment, and care delivery. They can include websites, apps, telemedicine, wearable devices, and electronic health records. Digital healthcare platforms have the potential to improve national healthcare by enhancing the efficiency, quality, accessibility, and affordability of health services.

Some of the benefits of digital healthcare platforms are:

  • They can reduce costs and save time for both patients and providers by eliminating unnecessary visits, tests, and paperwork.
  • They can improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction by providing personalized and evidence-based care, as well as facilitating communication and feedback between patients and providers.
  • They can increase access and equity in health care by reaching underserved populations, such as rural areas, low-income groups, and people with disabilities or chronic conditions.
  • They can support public health and disease prevention by enabling data collection, analysis, and sharing, as well as promoting health education and awareness.

However, digital healthcare platforms also face some challenges and risks, such as:

  • They require adequate infrastructure, regulation, and security to ensure the reliability, safety, and privacy of health data and services.
  • They depend on user adoption, engagement, and trust, which can be influenced by factors such as digital literacy, usability, affordability, and cultural preferences.
  • They may create ethical and legal issues related to data ownership, consent, liability, and accountability of health providers and platforms.
  • They may have unintended consequences or negative impacts on health care quality, such as overdiagnosis, overtreatment, or reduced human interaction.

A handful of big names are already leading the way in this space. Outside of this elite club, however, many platforms are emerging around the world that are successful, but limited in the scope of healthcare services they offer.

The strategy and management consultancy firm, Roland Berger, surveyed more than 500 healthcare experts around the world to portray the digital healthcare landscape. The key finding from their analysis is that the disruptive power of the majority of platforms lies in very limited areas – mostly outpatient services such as early diagnostics and consultations.

Integration is crucial, both across online services and between the online and offline spheres, and platforms are expected to make this realization. For example, patients may choose to access a video consultation via a diagnostic platform, but if this is insufficient for a valid diagnosis they will need to be transferred to a specialist for a physical examination. Ensuring that this transition is smooth will be critical. Therefore, there is a need for universal healthcare platforms with seamless transition between online and offline spheres.

Therefore, digital healthcare platforms need to be designed and implemented with care and caution, taking into account the needs and preferences of users, providers, and policymakers. They also need to be evaluated and monitored for their effectiveness and impact on national healthcare.

Digital platforms for healthcare can be more effective in achieving the desired goal of universal healthcare platforms if the platform is planned and designed by practicing doctors, the prime provider of healthcare, partnering with a good software developing organization taking care of the technology aspects. Digital healthcare platforms can be a powerful tool for improving national healthcare if they are used wisely and responsibly.

6 thoughts on “Digital Healthcare Platforms for Healthcare Improvement

  1. Sunil Grover

    Nice post on digital healthcare apps. You’ve rightly mentioned that there should be a seamless transition between online and offline services for a holistic healthcare ecosystem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sanchita Ghosh

    Quite informative. Why don’t you young doctors make a universal digital healthcare platform? This sector is growing.


  3. Nilanjana Moitra

    Informative post on digital platforms for healthcare. National Health Mission has started ABHA and document vault. Hope the platforms will leverage the present technology, AI, and government initiatives to come out with beneficial and cost-effective platforms in the coming months/years.


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