It should come as no surprise that forecasts for digital health’s short-term future predict a renewed focus on making technology more and more person-centric.
It’s a continuation of trends I’ve observed over more than two decades spent working in the healthcare sector, with recent years seeing digital transformation bringing increasingly profound and radical changes to how we experience and think about health.
One of the drivers for this is the growing demand for personalised services and care pathways that can be tailored to the needs of the individual. A key factor in this is the centrality of people – be they patients, doctors or health professionals.
It’s a trend with echoes in last year’s 2025: La Salute che verrà report from Farmindustria, in which the Italian pharmaceutical association stressed that people, rather than technology on its own, will be the driving force behind the development and growth of our industry.
It’s an idea that fits neatly with our belief at Healthware that the future lays in putting the patient and his or her needs at the centre of healthcare, using new technologies to achieve this by making medicine more accessible, sustainable and collaborative.
Big data and tailored therapies
A prime example of how health tech is facilitating better care is by its ability to trace and analyse in real-time the huge amounts of data that are now available. In this way it contributes to the creation of innovative treatment paths that can be tailored to individual patients.
But we can go further still, with newer technologies gearing up to have an even stronger focus on the individual’s characteristics, needs and lifestyle.
It is therefore not surprising that next generation therapies are designed to provide tangible answers to the real needs of patients, as is already happening with the development of CAR-T cell therapy and combination therapies in oncology.
In this context, digital therapeutics can play a crucial role in helping personalised medicine to reach its full potential for both individual patients and the healthcare systems that serve them.
Appropriate use of this new generation of medicines can reduce the associated costs of care by, for example, reducing admissions, preventing diseases or slowing down disease progression.
At Healthware we strongly believe in the great opportunities associated with the development and adoption of digital therapies and that is why we are a founding member the Digital Therapeutics Alliance. We share its global commitment to expanding the understanding, adoption and integration of clinically-evaluated digital therapeutics into healthcare systems.
Digital health has a central, supporting role in the future of health and, as such, new technologies are estimated to grow at around 484%.
As the era of connected care continues and develops we are all called upon to be actors of this change, whether we work in a life science company, clinical centre of excellence, start-up or university.
All players across the health ecosystem can be supported to implement innovative technologies available today, from electronic medical records to monitoring apps, telemedicine to wearable digital devices. But whatever technological solution can prove itself appropriate for a particular situation, it must always focus on the patient and his or her specific needs.
Alongside these changes, all stakeholders across the entire drug supply chain are being challenged to redesign not only the processes of production and service delivery, but particularly the ways in which people can receive better healthcare.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the centrality of the patient in the care pathways leads us to be thinking in terms of value-based care. It’s an approach for which healthcare systems must ensure care, and not only medicine, is accessible and economically sustainable.
To make the most of these changes as they emerge it is crucial that improvements in digital health literacy continue to ensure that patients are placed at the centre of their care with sufficient understanding to become true healthcare partners.
Today, forward-thinking companies will be able to promote the advancement of digital therapies and innovative solutions that focus on broader concepts of health and wellbeing.
Farmindustria‘s glance towards 2025 provides a timely invitation to focus on innovation on a human scale, something that can be achieved by combining strategies, processes and abilities to create synergies across the entire healthcare ecosystem.
Partnerships, open-mindedness and a true ecosystem culture are all fundamental elements if we are to see the digital health of the future become an integral part of everyone’s healthcare.