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Is it enough?

10 September 2014 | Opinion | By BioSpectrum Bureau

The author is the Editor of BioSpectrum

The author is the Editor of BioSpectrum

There's no doubt that the healthcare industry is witnessing a tectonic shift. Digital health, which is the convergence of genetic and digital platform technologies, will become the new norm in healthcare. Especially with the cost of genetic testing coming down. One significant trend to note at the moment is the fact that the pharma industry is evolving into something new. The old business models are no more applicable as every player is thinking about better patient outcomes and at affordable cost. The direction according to industry observers is movement of companies to services-cum-product portfolios, rather than just product only route.

This edition is a special issue and we sought insights from various quarters across the globe to present the emerging trends in the digital health space in the region. The articles range from mobile health initiatives to big data revolution to new health systems to wearable devices and integrated healthcare approaches. The section also has views on healthcare policy management, digital patents, information optimization, efficiency creation, home services, connected healthcare, digital solutions, connectivity, privacy, among other subjects.

The goal of this exercise was to capture the key trends and have views from experts all over the world as they see the trends unfurling in the region. Here is the gist of the key trends.

• A new community - SoLoMo - that is embracing Social, Local, and Mobile throws up various opportunities for healthcare, right from collecting Big Data to behavioral targeting health marketers. mHealth initiatives will see a big change in the near future in Asia. Both healthcare and technology companies are teaming up with mobile app developers to develop specific health apps.

• The digital patient is pushing the biopharmaceutical industry to make fundamental changes, many of which present solutions to a number of industry's biggest challenges. Harnessing the digital universe can not only help to save money from the healthcare system, but also improve patient outcomes.

 

• Personal, real-time health data, is being delivered in a way that maximizes patient engagement, enabling individuals to take a bigger role in their own care.

• Digital technology and connectivity have revolutionized the way we live. The Internet appears ubiquitous, but the number of objects or devices connected to the digital network are still greatly inferior to those that are not connected. The coming revolution will result from the need to replace disconnected objects with connected ones, and making these objects ever more intelligent, and aware of their surroundings (using sensors). The resulting network promises to create disruptive business models.

• The sick-care system will be replaced with a new healthcare system that would be designed to address the key challenge of chronic diseases we now face, it should be based on signature technologies of the era in which we now live.

These are some of the several ideas that BioSpectrum has featured in the print issue. We will carry many other articles on our website. Happy reading!

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