What will the future of digital health look like?

Nov 15, 2021 - Reading time 1-3 minutes

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically accelerated the adoption of digital health technology, given further impetus to long-term trends that were already underway. Digital transformation is now top of mind for healthcare leaders as they seek to build resilient and future-proof healthcare systems. Yet challenges remain. In our new position paper, “Digital transformation: shaping the future of healthcare”, we outline what is needed to drive adoption of digital health technology at scale.

Digital Transformation

When COVID-19 first swept across the globe, healthcare providers rapidly scaled up their virtual care capabilities. Digital triaging apps helped healthcare providers prioritize care while keeping their staff and patients safe. Telehealth consultations and remote patient monitoring turned from a novelty into a necessity. And faced with an acute scarcity of resources, healthcare leaders saw an urgent need to facilitate data sharing and care collaboration across settings. Central hubs or command centers were set up to help steer clinical and operational decision-making in real time.


As countries seek to strengthen their healthcare systems while adapting to continuously evolving demands, there is a unique opportunity to embed such digital, data-driven practices into everyday healthcare operations, and to rethink how and where care is delivered. Patients are asking for it. Growing staff shortages demand it. And technology enables it.

An intelligent network of care centered around the patient

At Philips, we envision the future of digital health as a connected and highly accessible network of virtual and in-person care, with real-time and predictive insights supporting care collaboration across the patient journey. In tandem, AI-enabled workflow optimization can help improve operational efficiency so that healthcare professionals get to focus on what they do best: providing patient care. And by enabling people to take better care of their health and well-being, with personalized digital health solutions, we can promote a shift from sick care to true health care. Taken together, that’s how digital transformation can support better health outcomes, improved patient and staff experience, and lower cost of care.


But to turn this vision into a reality, healthcare leaders need to overcome several barriers. In our Philips Future Health Index 2021 report, healthcare leaders cited difficulties with data management (44%) and lack of interoperability and data standards (37%) as the biggest barriers to adoption of digital health technology in their hospital or healthcare facility, followed by a lack of training on how to fully utilize digital health technology (32%).


In our new position paper, “Digital transformation: shaping the future of healthcare”, we explore:


  • How healthcare will become increasingly distributed, connecting patient data from the hospital to the home and community care settings
  • How healthcare leaders can tap into the power of data, AI and cloud-based digital platforms to improve patient care and streamline hospital operations for increased efficiency
  • What is needed to bring this vision of digital transformation to full fruition

Digital transformation: shaping the future of healthcare

What will the future of digital health look like? And what is needed to turn this vision into a reality?

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