We are witnessing the birth of a new cultural, organizational and technological paradigm destined, in the next few years, to significantly change healthcare at an international level.
The phenomenon of Digital Health has revolutionized the way in which a patient accesses medical information: first the only intermediary was his own doctor, today anyone can become aware of any type of therapy.
But what is Digital Health? Is it really the medicine of the near future?
Well, to explain what is meant by Digital Health we must refer to the now consolidated concept of Patient 2.0 , let’s talk about patient centric approach, the person becomes the center of the health system.
The advantages for clinical research
In particular, Digital Health has brought in the clinical research a real revolution; in fact, if in the past the recruitment process passed for hospitals, for posters posted in universities, recently, with the new options introduced by Digital Health, the times are drastically reduced, up to a few months, thanks to the use of social networks.
Sponsors and CROs increasingly use social networks during this phase, rapidly reaching populations with specific characteristics, such as rare diseases.
Another advantage in recruiting through social networks is the possibility of the participant to receive more information in real time , read the experiences of other patients and in turn give potentially useful feedback to the experimenter.
Patients often feel isolated and without help, but with the advent of the social network in clinical practice communication and the creation of online communities are encouraged able to generate a sense of aggregation.
Digital tools shape a new paradigm in the world of research where previously strictly confidential information is available to everyone.
Digital Health is changing the way in which the experimenters collect the prevenient data from the participants in the clinical study.
Patient monitoring and personalized medicine
Through the use of wearable medical devices, sensors and smartphone applications, the experimenter can collect remotely and very often in real time, determinant data for the conduct of the study . This determines an improvement of the experience of the trial participants, but above all, of the experimenter’s work, cutting costs for visits and reducing the need for manual tracing of data .
The remote monitoring of patients can occur through bracelets, patches or pills with sensors and smartphone applications. In this way, the experimenter receives real-time parameters useful for the study, such as sensors for measuring pulse and blood pressure, important information for studies on hypertension and heart failure.
A change that pushes more and more towards the centralization of the patient , through digital tools that can make the difference in clinical trials and real-time health monitoring. And in the same way they make the patient more conscious, through a greater flow of information.
An example of patient centric communication is well represented by the two new services recently launched by the platform Paginemediche :
Patient Kit – informs a note – is a tool that allows the doctor to send their patients information packets about a specific health problem. A service that responds to a specific need: that of being able to suggest to the patient in-depth analyzes of his interest and to share information and advice, in a standardized manner. Patient Kit also allows the patient to access qualified and controlled information on the pathology, therapy or diagnostic test. In fact, on the Net, it is possible to find a great deal of information, and it becomes very difficult for users to select the trusted ones.
Digital Therapy is the other novelty available on Paginemediche. The service allows doctors to prescribe to their patients the best applications and digital services (mobile and web) available on the market to support therapies and prevention. The Digital Therapy section, in fact, offers a selection of App and digital services, ordered on the basis of therapeutic objectives, whose validity and effectiveness have been previously verified. Patient Kit and Digital Therapy have been designed to allow an effective exchange of information between doctors and users, with a view to better adherence to therapies and constant monitoring of patients’ health conditions.
Why is digital health the medicine of the future?
The answer, therefore, to the initial question, now appears sufficiently clear: the medicine of the person, or personalized medicine, is the medicine of the digital age and is also the possible solution to the challenges of the future.