Life in Numbers 5
«Building bridges between industrial and academic research»
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Digital health describes the convergence of computational technologies with healthcare. Digitalization in the health sector is enabled by internet, communication and sensor technologies that now allow data from disparate sources to be aggregated in a virtual database. Digital health promises to place the person at the center of healthcare by better understanding the preconditions of the individual as well as those that are prevalent in the wider population.
Artificial intelligence, big data analysis, and statistical methods are key to gaining an empirical understanding of data, for detecting biomarkers, optimizing procedures and providing clinical decision support. Genomic analysis, disease modelling and simulation techniques have the potential to make medicine more precise, personalized and preventative.
Digital health offers enormous opportunities for addressing the well-being of the individual, rather than simply curing diseases. It also has the potential to save costs by commoditizing procedures, improving triage for diseases, allowing diseases to be detected early, through the use of wearable technologies, and generally supporting public health by preventing diseases.
A paradigm shift to data-driven healthcare will, however, also create systemic challenges for regulators, healthcare providers, the device industry and insurance companies that need to reconsider many relevant issues, such as ethics, security, privacy, device clearance, billing systems and standards, among others. Individuals will have to cope with the continuous permeation of digital technology through lives. As a result, people want regulations that guarantee they will be treated humanely and non-exclusively, that also ensure they receive personal care.
Digital health is innovating the healthcare sector and many players are entering the domain, from start-ups to multinationals. Switzerland provides an ideal ecosystem for digital health solutions to thrive, with its dense network of world-leading med tech players, clinicians and universities. Innovation happens here.
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