How Fast will the World Adopt Digital Health Applications?

by | Jul 23, 2020

Take a trip to the past with me: imagine hearing about a sickness just as a major war is winding down. You’re getting pieces of information from a foreign news source, but the effects seem far away since it can’t possibly transfer to your country. Soon enough, major cities begin to close down schools and movie theaters, citizens are fined for not wearing masks in public, and there is a shortage of healthcare workers and hospital beds. Did you transport back to 1918 during the Spanish Flu...or 5 months ago?

The desperate demand for technological innovation has, and unfortunately, is an oversight in how to prepare for major crises such as these pandemics. Untitled Kingdom, a health and IoT development firm, has built multiple projects from the ground-up for healthcare devices, let alone designed software solutions to monitor and track data. From their experience, they have 7 reasons why healthcare will, if not quicker than ever before, will be digital.

“We are getting very little encouragement to expect help from the outside,” McCall said. “The other states have many demands at home for their nurses and doctors.” - Governor Samuel McCall (Governor of Massachusetts, United States - quoted by the Boston Daily Globe on October 4, 1918)

1. Rising Demand

Untitled Kingdom asserts that 7 out of 10 of Google’s searches are related to medical issues; as a more troubling stat, a study in Australia found that 58% of the time the correct diagnosis was listed in the first ten results of searches. As our partner claims, this shows that people need access to digital healthcare not just to confirm their symptoms with a professional, but monitor their health at home and safely share the data with a doctor.

As people demonstrate their curiosities and fears within search results, there is the demand of having accurate information.

2. The Convenience of Mobility

Take another, quick trip back in time with me (albeit, a less meta time traveling trip) : in the midst of 1865, when chemist Jutus von Liebig developed, patented and marketed instant, baby formula. This invention addressed multiple issues regarding pediatric health and women’s rights, yet the most amazing solutions were: giving mobility for mothers to join the workforce, provide more time in the day, and help mothers who couldn’t breastfeed in the first place.

The Elvie Pump is a well-designed hardware device and mobile app to help mothers
Why take this second trip in history? Untitled Kingdom worked on the Elvie Pump, the world’s first, silent wearable breast pump, that allowed mothers to be mobile as they worked during the day and save an estimated average of 28 - 35 hours a week.

Technology opens the floodgates for productivity and mobility, and Untitled Kingdom makes an excellent point on how this not only gives us free time for fun, but more time for innovation.

3. The Growing Interest of Preventative Care

There are some health conditions that people can less-likely contract such as decreasing their chances of lung cancer by not smoking or eating a handful of cheerios to lower cholesterol (that may be a little facetious on my end, but I’m sure it’s better than eating Pop-Tarts every morning)

Preventable care tactics are mostly small, but effective, habits that can alter a person’s health. In the digital world, forming habits is very easy. Imagine applying that same power for the good of developing healthy habits through digital devices.

The Elvie trainer contains a charger, device, and mobile application to accompany for exercises
Untitled Kingdom worked with Elvie again to develop the Elvie Trainer, a kegel exercise tracker. Women are able to improve their pelvic floor muscles through multiple exercises that can help prevent injuries caused by childbirth, sports injuries and aging.

4. Lowering the Costs of Healthcare

Related to point 3, the cost of preventative care is much less compared to reactively treating a condition. At least in America, the costs of healthcare is rising per year; the average cost was $11,172 per person in 2018 (I’ll leave it up to you if that “average person” had insurance or not)

By having more efficient and less-frequent visits with the doctor, people can personally save more money and hospitals can efficiently and tactfully apply time and energy into improving their care.

5. Having Access to Real-time Data

As Untitled Kingdom can speak to, a patient can be empowered by their health data to make better decisions for their healthcare. The data received in real-time, let’s say by measuring vitals such as their heart rate, can provide patients a sense of relief by seeing the information as soon as possible. If there are red flags, they can call upon their cardiologist and share the data almost instantaneously via telecommunications.

6. Having Access to YOUR Data

Health records will be available online from Sweden’s, Germany’s, and Denmark’s national health centers as soon as early 2021. There will obviously be tight security measures that the governments will have to deploy to make this successful and safe for all citizens; though I’m a little scared for them, I can appreciate the transparency that they are providing patients to their own health information which would otherwise be locked away in a filing cabinet, in a computer (and from my experience, those machines look pretty ancient), and/or in a database that patients wouldn’t have access to.

7. Caring for the Whole Picture of Health

As a final note, Untitled Kingdom mentions that beyond just the physical tracking, there’s other effects on a person’s health such as diet, interpersonal contacts and place of residence. These factors play larger roles in our health than we realize and as we grow older, our dependence upon technology is going to be one of those factors. I wrote an article on building technology for the elderly, and how we are trying to develop technology for physical ailments that could help us with mental, emotional and other facets as well. By using digital applications for health sooner rather than later, we can help the next generation live a more comfortable and safer lifestyle.

I speak on behalf of Ioterra when we wish you all safety during this time; it’s partners like Untitled Kingdom that make us grateful for visionary devices that can transcend time and help people take better control of their health through digital applications.
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