It is no secret that healthcare is ripe to be reformed for the modern era. While billions of dollars in investments have been made in the administration of healthcare IT (EMR, ERP, CRM…), both the patient and provider experiences are hindered by fragmented point solutions. None of this has yielded an impact on the delivery of care and patient care still looks the same as it did in 1980. So, it is no surprise that we seem to be moving into the age of digital healthcare.
Age of Digital Health
As a citizen of the digital age, we have come to expect two-way communication digitally to most, if not all, of our daily personal and professional requirements. While email and the rise of mobile phone access has become ubiquitous, the availability of new apps has proliferated into areas that historically have been reserved for personal interactions. One of the most impact areas in these times of COVID-19 is the healthcare arena and more specifically, the rise of digital healthcare. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers this as a description of digital health:
“From mobile medical apps and software that support the clinical decisions doctors make every day to artificial intelligence and machine learning, digital technology has been driving a revolution in health care. Digital health tools have the vast potential to improve our ability to accurately diagnose and treat disease and to enhance the delivery of health care for the individual. Digital tools are giving providers a more holistic view of patient health through access to data and giving patients more control over their health. Digital health offers real opportunities to improve medical outcomes and enhance efficiency.”
To take this discussion a step further, a Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) article titled “Digital Health, Digital Medicine, Digital Therapeutics (DTx): What’s the difference?” offers this observation on the rise of digital health and the difference between that and digital medicine:
“Digital health products have become integral to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of health and disease. Consumers rely on digital health apps to improve their focus, track their fitness, and optimize their wellbeing. Clinicians use digital health products to gain insights on patient outcomes, conduct telehealth visits, and treat aspects of diseases otherwise unaddressed by traditional medications.
In theory, consumers and clinicians know that there is a difference between these products. But in practice, how do they differentiate between products that accurately collect health information versus those that do not, or those that provide clinicians with informational versus actionable insights?”
These questions are core to the understanding of not only the difference between digital healthcare and digital medicine, but also the significant value they bring to modernizing healthcare in general.
The Rise of Digital Medicine
Fundamentally, digital medicine is the segment of evidence-based digital health tools that measure and/or intervene in the service of health care. Digital medicine supports the practice of medicine broadly to include treatment, recovery, disease prevention, and health promotion for individual patients and across large populations. The National Library of Medicine offers a paper titled “What is digital medicine?” and describes the state of digital medicine today as:
“Changes in health care are a fundamental part of social and intellectual evolution. The modern practice of scientific medicine depends on the existence of the written and printed word to store medical information. Because computers can transform information as well as store it, new digital tools cannot only record clinical data, they can also generate medical knowledge. In doing so, they make it possible to develop "digital medicine" that is potentially more precise, more effective, more experimental, more widely distributed, and more egalitarian than current medical practice. Critical steps in the creation of digital medicine are careful analysis of the impact of new technologies and coordinated efforts to direct technological development towards creating a new paradigm of medical care.”
Whether you are fee-for-service, largely value based or transitioning to at-risk models, now is the time to evaluate what digital medicine can do to improve the cost, safety and efficacy of care to your ambulatory patients.
Digital Medicine At Your Fingertips
Understanding that healthcare delivery is dynamic, not only in the types of patients you see, but also in the different forms of reimbursement schedules you adhere to, is the first step to preparing for the introduction of digital medicine into your practice. Implemented correctly, digital medicine will be like house calls, but better.
Noteworth modernizes digital medicine delivery operations. Our innovative cloud-based, HIPAA compliant, platform provides unprecedented healthcare data collection, assessment and proactive intervention for remote patient monitoring, condition management, home health, behavioral health, telemedicine and care coordination as well as patient engagement. Noteworth enriches the ambulatory patient experience and allows clinicians to practice at the top of their licenses by easily and effectively producing and managing the data that confirms superior clinical outcomes, reducing cost of care and improving patient safety and satisfaction.
Digital medicine isn’t as elusive as you may believe. Now is the time to better understand how you can provide unrivaled confirmation of superior clinical outcomes, reduce cost of care and improve patient safety and satisfaction by enriching the patient experience and allowing clinicians to practice at the top of their licenses or better yet, request a demo today.