Emerging Trends in Digital Health and Care : A Refresh Post-COVID

Morrison, Ciarán and Rimpiläinen, Sanna and Bosnic, Iris and Thomas, Jennifer and Savage, Jamie (2022) Emerging Trends in Digital Health and Care : A Refresh Post-COVID. Digital Health & Care Institute, Glasgow. (https://doi.org/10.17868/strath.00082203)

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In the lead up to the pandemic, the implementation and use of digital health solutions and awareness of the field were steadily on the rise. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic saw an unprecedented hike in the provision and the use of digital health and care solutions. This was a direct response of the health and care services globally to the various national lockdown measures implemented at the time. While such high levels of use of digital tech in health and care delivery are expected to fall post pandemic, the levels will remain much higher than those observed before the pandemic. This pandemic-accelerated proliferation of digital health and care solutions predictably pushed the sector onto the world stage, as the underlying infrastructures, legislation and guidance for these solutions needed to be realised. This report has been informed by large-scale desktop research of academic and grey literature, drawing information on post-COVID developments in digital health and care from international sources and across all levels of government, academia, business, and industry. The report begins with a looking at the enablers and drivers affecting the digitalisation of health and care, followed by a digital health and care market overview. After this, the report is organised into two parts: Part 1 reviews the various technical developments and Part 2 examines softer developments in digital health and care post-COVID. These developments are presented under overarching themes of the transformation of health and care services, migration from analogue and legacy systems to modern digital approaches, the acceleration of digital innovation in health and care, and the acceptance of digital in health and care. The primary takeaway from this review of the emerging trends in digital health and care is that there is now an established acceptance for digital health and care solutions as part of health and care service delivery. The pandemic has acted as a catalyst for change in the sector, with citizens expecting digital technology to play a part in the delivery of their health and care.

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