Home News Adopting digital health to unlock $230 billion market over next 5 years: A WGS-McKinsey & Company report

Adopting digital health to unlock $230 billion market over next 5 years: A WGS-McKinsey & Company report

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DUBAI, 6th July, 2022 (WAM) — Increased adoption of digital-health technologies are expected to unlock an estimated US$230 billion globally including US$10 billion in the Middle East over the next 5 years, a new report entitled, ‘Digital Health: How Governments Can Accelerate the Value of Digital Health’, revealed.

The report was produced by the World Government Summit (WGS) in collaboration with McKinsey & Company and released as part of a broader knowledge partnership, outlines how governments can start implementing digital-health solutions now.

According to Mohamed Yousef AlSharhan, Deputy Managing Director of the World Government Summit Organisation, “Empowering governments and enhancing their readiness for the future is a priority for the WGS. Healthcare will play a significant role in building and empowering the new generation of governments, to leverage on this opportunity; proactive research on the global transformations and trends globally will support in developing future strategies, exploring opportunities and challenges, and developing effective solutions for the betterment of society.”

Although there are tremendous opportunities for digital adoption in the healthcare sector, a recent McKinsey study found that the healthcare industry was in the bottom three of 20 sectors in digital advancement globally. This is due in part to nonexistent digital-health laws, ambiguous existing laws, limited reimbursement terms, and a lack of regulations governing what may occur online related to digital health. However, improving technologies and the need to rethink systems during the pandemic are creating momentum for systems to embrace digital modalities.

According to Dr. Panco Georgiev, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, “Digital health can unlock tremendous value for governments in enhancing health systems’ operational efficiency, patient experience, and patient outcomes. It can also address some of the key challenges in the healthcare sector, like increasing access to care and mitigating rising healthcare costs. This report highlights some of the key actions governments can take to scale their digital health services.”

The report offers six options in innovation for governments to consider; the first using algorithm-based approvals systems – This could ensure that robust regulations are in place without unnecessarily slowing the pace of innovation. For instance, an algorithm-based system could expedite approvals by detecting and pre-approving approaches already vetted by national health bodies.

The second option is combining urban planning with public health – Although these two fields are often considered in isolation, a more integrated approach could contribute to smarter cities and more healthful environments. For instance, planners could leverage machine learning to identify communities at higher risk of heart disease and ensure that walking trails, parks, or fitness centres are available to form part of holistic prevention and treatment strategies.

The report highlighted the importance of creating a lifetime digital twin for every resident – In healthcare, a human digital twin is a virtual version of an individual that enables simulations of his or her health over time through modelling of complex physical and biochemical processes. It can be used to predict disease risks and personalize preventive interventions and treatment plans, particularly when equipped with data from wearables.

The report further explained that the fourth option is sponsoring global and intelligent patient passports – A unified ‘patient passport’ would eliminate redundancies and provide practitioners with a fuller picture of patients’ health leading to better outcomes. This could be achieved through inter-system data sharing (interoperability) that would allow data entered in one system to populate other relevant systems (liquidity).

The fifth option is supporting next-generation learning powered by analytics – Next-generation learning systems can be deployed to maintain continuous and targeted upskilling of the health workforce. For instance, such a system could curate a feed of courses to a radiologist based on the frequency and rarity of cases he or she has seen over the past few weeks based on case descriptions.

Lastly, creating digital health bonds – Government healthcare authorities could issue bonds for building digital-health infrastructures to attract investment and improve digital adoption. The bonds could be linked to specific patient outcome targets, such as the digitization of medical records or a reduction in prescription errors and patient adverse events. Reimbursement could depend on how quickly results are realized.

The full report is available at the following link: https://www.worldgovernmentsummit.org/observer/reports/2022/detail/how-governments-can-accelerate

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