Home / Blog / Lights and Shadows of Covid-19 on Digital Transformation – XVII

Lights and Shadows of Covid-19 on Digital Transformation – XVII

A very simple to use medical exam kit can let your doctor visit you from remote. Image credit: Tytocare

The ongoing  epidemic is placing healthcare infrastructures under stress and unless it is absolutely necessary you are asked not to go to a hospital but stay isolated at home. Doctors will be providing support by phone, telling you what to do. Clearly, it is a different quality of care from being at the hospital where one can be monitored continuously.

Here comes Tytocare, an electronic kit flanked by powerful software that lets a doctor perform a number of medical tests on your body, as he would be doing if he where at home with you.

Tytocare is a handheld device that can be coupled with a variety of sensors to examine ears, lungs, throat, heart, skin, abdomen, oximetry, temperature… In addition it couples to your smartphone to establish a connection with your physician that will guide you in carrying out the exams and will get the data from them, prompting you to move the sensors around to get more data.

In a way it is like having your physician at home.

Tytocare was not designed as response to the current crises. It is part of a general trend in the Digital Transformation of healthcare. There are a number of companies that are exploiting the possibilities provided by tele-medicine as these are getting more and more effective as more and more sensors can detect data in a seamless way. Wearables for sure will accelerated this trend. Besides, the analyses of data generated by these sensors, sometimes continuously, as the ones that can be generated by a smart watch (like heartbeats coupled with the level of ongoing activity), can be performed by an AI algorithm that will take into account your medical history, along with the kind of drugs you may be taking and that will signal a red flag to your physician in case of need.

The epidemics is accelerating this shift. Remote monitoring can be used by people that are in quarantine, those that have been infected but whose clinical status does not call for an immediate hospitalisation as well as people that are only indirectly affected by the epidemic, like those with some chronic condition that would normally require some periodical hospital checks and that now prefer to stay away from hospital given the risk of infection.

We can rest assured that professional healthcare at home will increase in the coming years and might be one of the inherited habits created by the epidemic.

In this decade we can expect a growth of proactive healthcare as well as the uptake of a variety of remote medical services based on continuous monitoring and data analytics with first level of interaction involving chatbots and only in a few cases involving a human doctor.

The flow of medical data and the specific analytics on these data will become an integral function of personal digital twins that we can expect playing a major role in healthcare by the end of this decade.

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 New Initiative Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He is a member of the IEEE in 2050 Ad Hoc Committee. 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.