The Digital Healthcare Ecosystem is Here

display image
Sarthak Bhattarai
Lead of Content and Communications

What is a Digital Ecosystem? 

A digital ecosystem is a dynamic, continually evolving integration of various channels and product lines that ensure a single-channel customer experience and real-time data collection. Examples of digital ecosystems exist across many industries including banking and online market, and healthcare. With the penetration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into the various expanses of our life, the scope of what a digital ecosystem can become is immense. However, the biggest impacts that digital ecosystems bring in the long-term are at large, societal than to the benefits of individual businesses. The integration of multiple realms of innovation and the unique functional character of any digital ecosystem(s) can enable them to tackle problems and challenges better than unrelated ventures. 

Tech in Health: A Forced Hand

As technology continues to expand its reach on all sectors of our life, health could not remain unique. The collective push towards a digital healthcare ecosystem requires all stakeholders including patients, pharmacies, clinical and care institutions to also embrace technology so our vision of a sustainable, self-sufficient healthcare ecosystem can truly be realized.

The need for digitization of the healthcare industry as we know it, within its inherent complexity was ruthlessly exposed during the pandemic. Both patients and healthcare professionals have become more open to accessing services due to their hands being forced as the socially distanced interactions became the new reality for everyone. We are left in what is a situation where technology led approaches are our only answers in delivering efficient healthcare.

Setting the ground rules: 

Establishing a healthcare ecosystem requires us to set up a few ground rules.

  • Put the Patient at Center: An ecosystem includes a rather large number of players at any point in time. However, as the overall goal of improving healthcare through this process is to benefit the recipients of services, patients are always at the center of anything we build. 
  • Ensure Data Ownership: Healthcare Eco-systems should provide the patients an ability to easily access their digitized health records. Healthcare leaders (both clinicians and policy leaders) should also focus on leveraging data ensuring user privacy and accessibility.
  • Build a Knowledge : Clinical knowledge is critical to delivering effective healthcare. Each part of the ecosystem, at its center should orient itself to contribute to the production and sharing of knowledge relating healthcare, improving diagnosis and prescription among others.
  • Leverage Technologies:  A digital healthcare ecosystem must be a place to maximize the both the individual and the community’s ability to leverage emerging technologies and make them mainstream. Technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), and wearables can constitute health tech and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can be used for data analytics that can be used to improve processes, say, drug development.

What Builds a Digital Health Ecosystem?

  • The Existing Human Resource in Healthcare               
  • Digital Technologies
  • The User

Is a Digital Ecosystem possible in Nepal?

It is estimated that about 34% of the Nepali population already has an access to stable internet connection (World Bank, 2020). With mobile connectivity reaching ever higher and mobile tower expected to have covered almost 96% by the end of 2021, expanding access to digital healthcare is not as tall an order as one might think.

Fitness bands, Smart watches and Healthcare Apps are all parts of the burgeoning trends towards digital healthcare. There are exemplary health systems that facilitate doses of medication prescribed, send regular alerts, and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) solutions. These technologies already enable the healthcare professionals to monitor the patients in real-time. Even in Nepal, institutions within the government and outside are already leveraging technologies in Data Collection and Analysis and producing Digital EHRs. These advances have proved rather beneficial in increasing access to better health, reducing of costs of diagnoses and improving patient care. And a complete digital Healthcare eco-system isn’t far behind.

At Amtrix, It’s not just possible, it’s already happening.

Building a Digitally-first Healthcare Ecosystem (March 2, 2021), eHealth Network,

DigitalHealth.Wales https://digitalhealth.wales/information

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

DigitalHealth Ecosystems EHRinNepal HealthCare TechinHealth