Technology is rapidly changing the patient experience. A smart watch can detect heart rate, an app can serve as a way to log health symptoms, a phone can provide a convenient symptom diary, a social media group can offer support from others impacted by a disease, a telehealth platform can bring care into the comfort of the home and a patient portal can be used by a health care provider for follow up. These are just some of the critical tools in today's technology driven health care system.
Utilizing technology can help create a health care system that is more efficient, convenient and patient-centered. Technology can help achieve a system that can streamline burdensome administrative duties so providers have the opportunity to spend more time with their patients, which in turn can lead to improved patient outcomes. It also can be used to generate more and new kinds of data in new ways allowing us to better understand diseases and patient symptoms, define the issues driving health inequities, and help knock down health barriers.
We have just reached the beginning of the potential for technologies to be leveraged in new ways to change almost everything about the patient experience. A new educational website launched by PhRMA explores the ways that digital health technologies (DHTs) are currently being used throughout a patient's journey through the health care system. A DHT is a system that uses computing platforms, connectivity, software, and/or sensors, for health care. Some examples of DHTs include digital therapeutics, wearables, electronic medical records (EMRs), online patient portals and telehealth platforms.
Not only can DHTs help patients in their treatment journey, they can also be used in clinical trials — enabling the use of decentralized clinical trials, which can help facilitate greater participation from diverse patient groups.
A policy environment that allows technology to be leveraged throughout the health care system will solidify the U.S. as a global leader in biopharmaceutical research and development and ensure that patients can continue to benefit from these new tools well into the future.
Explore the digital health landscape here.