3 Principles Digital Health Innovators Must Follow

By Rebecca Lam

17 September 2018

Despite understanding the benefits, healthcare systems are struggling to convert the potential of digitalisation into a reality. High quality and sustainable healthcare depends on a reliable IT-enabled service and a strong digital platform, but healthcare systems are unsure as to which area they should focus their investments for a strong return, and which technologies can provide the most benefits for their patients. Here are four principles that any digital health leader should follow, to ensure they build a platform that will capture the interest of healthcare stakeholders.  

 

Patient privacy

Any IT platform must make the security of patient records a priority. In an age of GDPR regulations and data-protection awareness, organisations must eliminate any risk of data breaches. Patients report that they are skeptical of providing access to IT developers of their medical records. Despite this, patients have suggested that they would be willing to share their data if app developers can assure them that it will be beneficial for their health.

 

Platform ownership

Patients have state that they are comfortable and place their trust in public health institutions. Therefore, ownership of any digital health platform should be given to the national health system to drive innovation forward. The owner must understand the gravitas of protecting sensitive patient data and healthcare delivery.

 

Regulation

In today’s digitalised world, clear regulations have been lagging behind. Many countries have significantly different rules on healthcare regulations, as there are varying levels in how much data a patient can share with their doctor through different mediums. Developers of medical apps must consider following pharmaceutical companies and report the side effects of the advice they provide. Global governments must discuss the laws governing the use of privacy and patient data.

 

Digital health partnerships between app developers and health systems will enjoy a more sustainable business model. It is hoped that with this approach, digital health innovations will lead to an all-round more efficient and effective health system.  

 

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Rebecca Lam