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Digital HealthEcosystems

September 26, 2022Reading Time 4 Minutes

Have you ever heard of the concept of the network effect? This concept describes internet systems that become more valuable to users as the network evolves. As networks grow, the quality of service provided and their interoperability increase. In addition to networks such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform, the health technology sector also benefits from the network effect.

Until Covid 19, health services were carried out in more traditional ways, but as of 2020, we have witnessed the shift to digitalization in the health sector. The fundamental of digital health technologies is data, as in other digital ecosystems. Accurate data must be collected and appropriately processed to create technologies that work well. Keeping health records electronically relieves the work of the health sector, as it provides ease of access to the patient's past medical records. Chronic or recurrent diseases can be diagnosed easier with previous records.

Every step to improve the digital health ecosystem benefits existing users while increasing digital adoption. As in other revolutions, it is not easy to predict where the health revolution will take us. But still, let's think about it:

Let's assume that you think you have a problem in your heart, so you go to your primary care physician. Your doctor is not a cardiologist but can evaluate your ECG through a digital health portal. If anything out of the ordinary is detected, he or she may refer you to a cardiologist, submit your medical records, and schedule your appointment through the same portal.

Also, your doctor may want you to link a smartwatch, such as the Apple Watch, to your digital health account. Thus, your phone collects your real-time ECG data to be reviewed by your doctor in your next appointment. Do you think such information would not make a difference in early diagnosis and treatment of diseases?

As in the example above, seamless transitions in patient care were previously only possible in large hospitals which use shared networks. Today, it is easy to turn into standard applications that are widely used and can communicate with each other.

We mentioned that the most fundamental component of digital ecosystems is data. Platforms like AWS and GCP are successful because they collect appropriate data and process it well. In addition, they enable systems to work together. Ultimately, healthcare will have to do the same.

It is a truth that the future of the health sector passes through digital health technologies. Digital health innovation; will lead to more effective treatment methods, earlier diagnosis, and more transparent practices.

Health technologies need two things to develop: adaptation and investment. Investments in this field are increasing day by day, and health services are changing shape with the increase in adaptation.

As patients, doctors, service providers, pharmaceutical companies and other parties of health sector adaptsto digital technologies healthcare services may become more accessible.

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