15 Mar 2019
Earlier this week, ORCHA was delighted to be part of Health Tech Digital’s digital transformation series. Our CEO, Liz Ashall-Payne, discussed the benefits of choosing the right healthcare app, how to find the best apps for individual health needs, and how digital healthcare can be incorporated into care pathways by health professionals. Read on for an insight into the landscape of digital health, and watch Liz’s interview with Health Tech Digital below to find out more.
Here at ORCHA, we aim to help activate patients, professionals and populations to find the best health apps, in order to achieve better health outcomes. With over 327,000 health apps to choose from, empowering people and professionals to know which apps are safe and trustworthy is essential. This presents a challenge which ORCHA breaks through by increasing awareness of and access to apps, fostering trust for consumers and professionals, and providing a way in which to regulate the vast array of health apps on offer. Our App Finder scores health apps according to according to their Data and Security, Clinical Assurance and User Experience, thus empowering users to discover the best apps for their own, personal needs.
In recent years, the huge surge in smartphone use and increased engagement with digital health has indicated that people are ready to take the opportunities offered by mHealth. Further to the large quantity of health apps on the market, five million people download a health app every day, with over 90% of health professionals thinking that apps could help their patients. As such, it is clear that digital health solutions are becoming more embedded in everyday life and health practice.
The challenge remains, however, that both consumers, and the healthcare industry, need to change the way they fundamentally think about health. Digital healthcare demands a focus on health, as opposed to ill health. Could it be, then, that the barrier to healthcare adoption is the ability to change the cultural mindset surrounding health, rather than the technology itself?
Our interview with Health Tech Digital raises the question of how to embed apps into health pathways. Liz emphasises that, whilst there is an app for almost any condition, the crucial factor is empowering consumers to use good, safe, trustworthy health apps. As consumers’ expectations are constantly changing, there is an onus on industry to adapt to the needs and wants of the end user, as well as to realise that one app does not fit all.
Health apps are infinitely useful as education tools, allowing users to obtain medical information and monitor trends to track individual progress or manage a condition. It is important, therefore, that they are integrated into health pathways in such a way that provides the most effective care for patients. So, as Liz proposes below to anyone thinking about using digital health: the landscape of health apps should be embraced, and we shouldn’t be afraid to start the journey of using these technologies. The introduction of digital health may not be perfect the first time, but its potential to yield so many otherwise undiscovered benefits for healthcare providers and consumers alike surely makes any challenges worthwhile.
Watch Liz's interview with Health Tech Digital below. You can also download our Digital Health Checklist here.