By supporting the creation of virtual resources that deliver maximum value with minimum materials, digital tools and software allow us to ‘dematerialize’. In healthcare, we see this driving a shift from resource-intensive clinical facilities to networked lower-cost settings and the home, thereby expanding access to care.
Today, patients often have to attend multiple appointments for diagnosis, treatment and monitoring. This can involve repeated, sometimes arduous, journeys. The adoption of digital technology and network infrastructure supports prevention and telehealth, or ‘virtual care’, by enabling remote interaction between patients and care givers, thus avoiding the related travel and CO2 emissions.
We also see dematerialization in the form of the transition to cloud-, service- and software-based solutions, which supports savings on the materials required for on-site enterprise hardware and a reduction in CO2 emissions. Studies have shown that power consumption decreases by 84% when customers use large, centralized cloud-based data centers instead of on-premises infrastructure .
Software can also maximize the utilization of hardware. In radiology, for example, Philips PerformanceBridge helps imaging centers get more value out of their systems. This web-based, real-time data platform aggregates data from multiple sources and integrates with the hospital’s image viewer, giving staff the data they need with context. Operational data is clearly presented, making it possible to identify outliers and improvement opportunities, also in energy/material usage.