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Platforms, present and future VIII

Personal Healthcare platforms can be a significant part of the future in Healthcare. Image credit: Fujitsu

5. Healthcare platforms

In yesterday’s post I discussed smart cities platforms noting the importance of privacy as in smart cities we deal with personal data. Well, increase those concerns by a few orders of magnitude and you can step in the domain of healthcare platforms.

We already have several healthcare platforms in operation supporting hospital processes and healthcare processes in general, but the future is about healthcare platforms supporting people’s health.

The ecosystem of digital health with companies clustered in various areas. Image credit: CBINSIGHTS

The healthcare is undergoing a digital transformation but so far real transformation has been slow. Gartner estimated a penetration of Digital Transformation in Healthcare to be around 10% (compare this to the music sector that is almost at 100% or entertainment, 50%. Even Industry has progressed faster, with an estimated penetration of 20%, low but still double of healthcare).

This does not mean that computers, data, automation…. have not spread in the healthcare space. If you look at the figure you can see over hundred companies supporting digital healthcare in various areas: care management, practice management, clinical decision support, appointments and referral, patient monitoring, clinical decision support, pharma. And, of course, you find plenty of computers to assist in surgery, infection control, radiology, …

The digital transformation in healthcare requires more than that. It needs to leverage data to support the business processes and the business intelligence on one side (see the SAP HANA Platform in the figure) and the creation/leverage of data for personal healthcare.

General Electric is betting on digital twins as a way to link patients, people actually, to healthcare services and is creating an ecosystem of partners to work in this area. Fujitsu has launched a Solution Healthcare Personal Service Platform that seems to me the direction for a future made possible by the

Data generated by IoT (wearable, diagnostic and monitoring devices…)are leveraged to support healthcare business intelligence and processes, each one feeding the other in a never ending loop. Image credit: SAP

Digital Transformation.

One of the way to address the issue of strong control on data, privacy and at the same time to open data so that community healthcare can benefit from personal data of thousands, millions of people is to create personal platforms, each one containing and managing the data of a single person (its Digital Twin) and sharing those data on specific conditions, controllable by the owner (the person). The physical location of these personal healthcare platforms are not the point, obviously, although some may claim that at least as an intermediate step the smartphone may serve as our personal platform. The reasoning is that the smartphone is already becoming a hub for wearables and these wearables are providing health related data about ourselves. Of course the smartphone has its twin in a (trusted) cloud but the perception is that I will be able to hold my healthcare data in my hand.

The smartphone can also be the gateway to access healthcare services provided by chatbots (read Cell for a scaring side of this possible evolution).

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.