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The WEF addresses the challenges of digital transformation in the world of healthcare

The impact of artificial intelligence on patients and healthcare personnel.

In recent years the healthcare sector is increasingly oriented towards the adoption and use of digital technologies and artificial intelligence.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) held in January presented a report on digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare titled: Transforming healthcare: navigating digital health with a value-driven approach.

The main obstacles of the SS to digital transformation

As reported by Agenda Digitale, during the meeting, WEF examines the three main challenges facing the healthcare system in digital transformation.

The problem is limited to resources. In fact, the continuous growth of costs associated with the management of healthcare personnel, together with the increase in chronic diseases and inequality in access to healthcare services, translate into disadvantaged situations for some patients.

According to the WEF, the main problem would not be the lack of innovation, which in reality is already taking hold by transforming the accessibility and personalization of assistance, making it available 24/7 and taking it beyond geographical borders.

However, healthcare challenges that focus on the lack of qualified personnel, rising costs and the challenge of offering an equitable and universal service cannot be replaced or overcome solely by technological innovation.

Despite progress in the adoption of technologies such as AI, cloud computing and IoT in the healthcare sector, structural problems remain unresolved.

The WEF stipulates a list of 4 factors that the digital transformation of data and artificial intelligence applied in healthcare must take into consideration:

  1. Technologies for the patient: digital applications and tools to make healthcare more accessible and personalized.
  2. Technologies for healthcare personnel: applications that optimize and improve the efficiency of healthcare and healthcare processes.
  3. Life sciences and pharmaceutical technologies: digital applications to accelerate the development of more precise drugs and therapies.
  4. Data, AI and Security: All of the above applications must be supported by accessible, quality data, allowing AI to create added value and ensure data security and privacy.

The analysis of digital transformation

The report divides the analysis of digital transformation into two main aspects:

  • Front-end digitalisation: consists of the digitalisation of the patient journey through digital technologies, data and artificial intelligence such as the use of FSE (Electronic Signature), IoT (Internet of Things) and telemedicine to improve healthcare.
  • Back-end enhancement: aims to optimize the efficiency of all healthcare and life sciences processes that are not directly patient-facing, using digital data and artificial intelligence, for example the analysis of epidemiological data in real time to better address health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

To improve the patient experience through digitalisation (front-end), the WEF proposes a diagnostic, therapeutic and care (PDTA) path that includes the use of digital technologies.

Instead, as regards the back-end, he suggests placing the patient at the center of an integrated system that makes treatment more effective and efficient.

In order to strengthen healthcare systems through data and artificial intelligence, the World Health Organization (WHO) has defined a program with the aim of developing a national digital strategy to improve healthcare globally.

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