Digital Health – healthy by information – efficient by eHealth Services
Solutions for digitization constitute main drivers to a massive increase in quality and efficiency in healthcare. Digitization will change health structures and also in part completely transform them. The spectrum to this comprises the different facets: Altered process structures for service providers or payers, new forms of treatment, personalized medicine by data availability and analytics, improved doctor-patient-relationships, new services and offers for insured persons or completely new forms of access to prevention and health for individuals. These are just some examples of changes that will give healthcare a new appearance.
Fraunhofer ISST promotes a Digital Business Engineering for the new, digital healthcare. We support payers, providers and companies in the healthcare industry in their digitization strategies, design and develop digital products and services and assist in the transformation from existing analog to digital-based processes. Examples are:
- eHealth infrastructures – digital communication for effective cooperation
Cooperative treatment structures, intersectoral medical care, case management and other new supply models require efficient ways of an electronic exchange of health data of a patient – networking structures, interoperability concepts and filing systems (e. g. electronic case records) are digital building blocks for an effective exchange of information.
- eHealth services – telemedicine as a building block of digital cooperation of doctor and patient
Prevention, therapy and aftercare can be taken to a new quality and efficiency level by techniques for digitization. Both in the doctor-doctor-relationship (e. g. consulting, second opinion tools etc.) as well as in the doctor-patient-relationship (support of specific treatments such as obesity therapy, medication support, etc.), IT-based applications can encourage medical treatments or support provision processes that prevent or delay the emergence of symptoms.
- mHealth – man as manager of his own health
Fitness Tracker, Smart Watches and similar devices can help ensure that today a large number of vital parameters can be easily detected and visualized. Each of us can thereby get a direct feedback to a part of his behavior (e. g. to one’s individual motion intensity), can implement this for example in personal fitness programs and also enter the data as input into medical diagnoses.
- Digital assistence – participation and supply in the demographic change
The demographic change inevitably leads to an increase in the elderly and thus to a growing need for medical and nursing care. Technical assistance systems, IT-based (service) deals for care and social participation, care journals and telemedicine applications may be digitizing components for efficient support with viable cost.
- Personalized medicine – strategies for individualized treatments based on massive data availability and analytical evaluation
Digital health technologies lead to a large amount of data on each individual. Analyzing them and compiling them to cohort relevant information creates the possibility of aligning medical knowledge and medical treatments more and more to a specific group of people. By this personalization, the treatment quality for the individual is increased.
- Digital medicine products – rule-consistent processes for regulated products
Digitization leads to technical systems that, unlike the earlier medical monolithic “large appliances generation” (ultrasound, CT, MRI etc.), consists of an integration of different system components (proximal sensors, analytical systems, primary systems, etc.). Also, the share of software in these distributed, networked systems will rise. For all these systems, there is the question of the medical device and thus also of the production according to the Medical Devices Operator Regulation.
- Hospital Engineering – management and transparency in hospital
A functioning hospital requires an orchestrated interplay of various processes. In addition to medical treatments (clinical pathways) it is to optimally arrange supply and disposal processes, sterile goods processes, logistic processes (e. g. patient transport) or processes in specific functional areas (e. g. surgery, cardiac catheter laboratory etc.) to achieve a smooth and cost-optimized organization of the system hospital. Moreover, operation and billing economic pressures require an increasing transparency in hospital to perform e. g. case-related (material) recording and cost/proceeds assignments. New technologies (for example, RFID) are important building blocks to increase coordination and efficiency technically based.