Digital Health Trends in 2021
1. Wearable devices
Sales in wearable devices, beyond just smartwatches, sky-rocketed in 2020. Devices started to also include blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, and even ECG monitors. People are becoming more invested in their health and using these wearable devices to track their health. Many of these devices also connect with mobile apps, allowing patients to view their progress over time. Remote patient monitoring is also growing, as doctors are tracking their patients’ vitals through dashboards linked to wearable devices. Convenience is a huge factor for patients willing to purchase a wearable device and use it. The pandemic continues to validate the need for such digital health initiatives, leading to the new normal
2. Mental health apps
The COVID-19 pandemic and isolating lockdowns have amplified the mental health crisis at a global level. Even as countries reopen and decrease restrictions, there is still a vast number of people having depression and anxiety, among other conditions. The need for virtual therapy has exponentially gone up and is still at an all-time high. Many platforms offering virtual care have specifically opened services for behavioral health, and have made them accessible through mobile apps on Android and Apple stores for easy access. It brings credibility to the experience, and also makes it more user-friendly for the patient having 24/7 access to therapists on their phone.
3. Cloud-based data storage
One aspect that has grown during the pandemic is the storage of patient data in the cloud in HIPAA-compliant environments. Many health systems and doctors with private clinics are turning to these cloud-based solutions to store patient data, whether it be teleconsultation recordings, patient records, and prescription details. Here at DrCare247, we offer our telemedicine platform to our clients with enterprise-level security settings. This helps to ensure completely secure and safe teleconsultations, bringing peace of mind to both the doctor and patient. When using digital health technologies, the patient must have confidence in the platform, otherwise they will not be so invested in them for the long run.
4. Virtual reality technology
Treatment methods for various conditions are going through drastic innovations in this new era of digital health. Doctors can now get trained on the latest surgical procedures through virtual surgical training, that gives an extremely realistic experience of operating on a patient in real-time. An interesting innovation is empathy simulators for doctors, which can help them experience what their patients with a behavioral health issue is going through. This will help address the condition and allow for the correct medication to be prescribed.