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Digital Health: the impact of Technology on Healthcare

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"Digital health", or "e-health," represents the dawn of digital technology in medicine. In an increasingly connected world, technology is transforming many aspects of our lives, and health is one of them.

This article explores the state of the art of digital medicine, analysing how it is changing the health landscape and the technologies available.

Digital Health: The Digital Revolution in Medicine

In recent years, the digital health sector has seen significant global growth, with investments estimated at over $95.3 billion. By 2030, global spending on digital health is expected to account for 8% of all healthcare expenditure, compared to the current 3.2%.

The vast availability of health data and technologies such as artificial intelligence and telemedicine have the potential to bring positive changes to healthcare and influence future medicine, with new treatments, better patient outcomes, earlier diagnoses and prevention, more effective treatments, and higher quality and efficiency of healthcare. This is highlighted by the Global Health and Healthcare Strategic Outlook report of the World Economic Forum, which outlines a global picture of health and healthcare until 2035.

Reducing Healthcare Costs

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According to the report, digital health can help reduce overall healthcare spending and increase efficiency. The National Health Service (NHS) in England, for example, states that telemedicine – which involves the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients – could reduce patient care costs by 25%. The possibility of early healthcare provision, obtained through digital and AI-enabled health approaches, has the indirect consequence of cost reduction.

The digital health sector is rapidly evolving, thanks also to the recent arrival of generative AI platforms like ChatGPT and Med-PaLM. The latter has been announced as the ChatGPT of medicine, designed to be able to respond to general health and medicine queries with a degree of accuracy comparable to that of a human with expertise in the field.

Moreover, up to two or three generations ago, taking care of one's health meant "curing the disease," a system that incurs enormous costs for the healthcare system. Today, people are more proactively engaged in staying healthy: they use wearable devices for fitness and other tools for daily wellness, preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Wearable devices and dedicated health apps also provide biomarkers of wellness and illness to allow users a view of their health trends and highlight risk factors.

Digital Health Means Personalization

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Digital healthcare is also contributing to improving the quality of care. Thanks to digital devices, doctors can collect more accurate data on their patients, managing to get a more precise picture of their health status and create personalized treatment plans. This means better and more effective care, tailored to the specific needs of each patient.

Services such as digital medical records and diagnostic apps collect, store, and analyze patient data, helping healthcare professionals in diagnosis and in the development of tailor-made treatment plans. Advances in big data and artificial intelligence promise the possibility of prescribing treatment plans that take into account a multitude of factors, including genetic predispositions.

Digital Health Equals Accessibility

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One of the major impacts of digital technology in medicine is the ability to access healthcare more quickly and effectively.

In recent years, social distancing imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in more telemedicine consultations. Telemedicine allows doctors to provide healthcare remotely and patients to access healthcare services from anywhere. This is particularly useful for people living in remote areas or who have difficulty moving. Moreover, telemedicine can reduce the burden on healthcare facilities, allowing doctors to focus on more urgent cases.

Telemedicine can also compensate for the shortage of medical personnel. In many parts of the world, there is a shortage of healthcare workers, and video conferencing is one of the best ways to integrate local healthcare services with telemedicine. Telemedicine has achieved significant results as a means to prevent virus transmission during Covid-19, allowing patients to receive care through video consultation, rather than physically going to a clinic or outpatient center.

Safer Access to Medical Records and Data

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One of the most important advantages of the digital revolution is data storage and access. Patient data can now be stored and retrieved by healthcare professionals quickly and securely.

Digital transformation allows doctors to access a patient's medical history in seconds and share medical information quickly and easily, leading to more efficient care delivery. Moreover, the advent of digital technology has facilitated the management of medical records.

Electronic medical records, in fact, allow centralized storage of patient data and better access, which translates into better care. Medical billing is also made simpler, quicker, and more convenient with electronic medical records.

Apps Dedicated to Health and Wellness

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The digital revolution has led to the development of hundreds of health apps. Patients can use these apps to monitor their health, find medical information, view the results of tests performed, and receive reminders when it's time to undergo routine check-ups.

The market for health and wellness apps continues to rise and is estimated at $1.6 billion globally.

A New Way to Communicate with Patients

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In the era of the digital customer experience, customers expect quick and valuable interactions. In recent years, virtual assistants and AI-based conversational chatbots have taken center stage, appearing in hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and even nursing homes. Chatbots are automated tools designed to simulate an intelligent conversation with human users and represent the new frontier in virtual customer service, as well as in planning and management within a healthcare company.

AI-based healthcare chatbots are capable of easily handling simple requests. In many cases, these tools also represent a more personal way of interacting with healthcare services compared to navigating a website (according to Salesforce, 86% of customers would prefer to receive answers from a chatbot rather than fill out a form on a website).

The benefits of chatbots in healthcare are manifold. Let's look at some:

  • 24/7 availability - which allows immediate access to medical care whenever patients need it;

  • shorter waiting times - chatbots can answer questions much more quickly and sometimes better than a human;

  • quick access to critical information - including information about medical facilities and nearby pharmacies, opening hours, etc.;

  • improved patient experience


The future of digital health looks bright for healthcare professionals and patients, thanks to technologies that allow secure data storage and access and the development of AI-based technologies that guarantee an advanced customer experience.

For this reason, more and more healthcare facilities are turning to Run 2 Cloud to integrate new technologies into their digital agenda, with results ranging from lower costs to reduced downtime, from boosting staff morale to a far superior patient care service. Are you a healthcare director or do you manage a medical clinic?

Discover how Run 2 Cloud uses AI-based applications in healthcare companies to ensure a more enjoyable and quality experience for patients and operators.

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