The Post-COVID Revolution: From Traditional to Platform Thinking
Authors 4 July 2023
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The COVID-19 pandemic caused an urgent need for innovative approaches when dealing with patients and health information. A transformation in the health care industry is required, specifically by the emergence of platform thinking and innovation around health-systems. This new paradigm has been embraced as a revolutionary force, facilitating a major shift away from traditional, siloed healthcare systems and toward a more interconnected, efficient, and patient-centric digital ecosystem. Defying conventional norms, platform thinking acts as a potent disruptor, and it lays the groundwork for innovative approaches that promise superior outcomes for Care providers. An insightful projection from a 2020 report lends weight to this perspective, anticipating that digital platforms may mediate up to 30% of global economic activity—equivalent to an astounding $60 trillion—within the next six years. It's an inevitable trajectory that modern healthcare and Clinical decision support systems must follow.
To cater to these evolving expectations, healthcare organizations must leverage an integrated strategy that harnesses the capabilities of digital platforms and Healthcare technology for enhanced service delivery. This shift not only equips healthcare providers to navigate the changing landscape but also fosters an environment conducive to innovation, consequently leading to superior Clinician and Patient outcomes. The age-old wisdom, 'Change is the only constant,' resonates deeply within the current landscape.
II. The Implementation: Measures for a Platform-centric Healthcare
Platform thinking is being actualized in healthcare through various measures designed to enhance interoperability, accessibility, and efficiency. Key examples include:
The European Commission's recommendation on the Electronic Health Records (EHR) exchange format, fostering cross-border interoperability across the EU and enabling a secure flow of health data through secure Her systems.
The crucial role of active patient and clinicians engagement, including national competence centers, healthcare professional organizations, national authorities, and patient groups, in driving this shift.
The X-eHealth project, planning to establish a practical, interoperable, and cross-border exchange format, thus forming a harmonized digital health platform.
This shared framework for laboratory results and medical imaging will streamline information flow and medical-records across health entities within neighbouring countries and EU member states.
Building on these existing initiatives, emerging technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are expected to play significant roles in the future of healthcare platforms. Analysis of EHR data can lead to the discovery of critical health trends, improve Primary-Care and ultimately, more personalized and effective patient quality-care. The possibilities of predictive analytics within the realm of healthcare are vast - from early detection of diseases to the optimization of treatment plans - and the application of these advanced technologies to platform-based healthcare could further enhance their transformative potential.
III. The Patient Experience: How Will It Change?
The shift to platform thinking is set to revolutionize patient experiences and Healthcare service with focus on care delivery. In this new era, patients will transition from being passive recipients of care to active participants in their health journey. Changes that patients, clinicians and ultimately clinics can anticipate include:
Unprecedented control over their health care information through digital healthcare platforms, empowering patients to share their Personal health medical-records and clinical data with medical professionals as needed.
Enhanced continuity of care through the ability to securely access and exchange health data anywhere within the EU, particularly benefiting those who travel or reside in different countries.
Improved patient experience with the introduction of a shared framework for laboratory results and medical imaging, promising faster and more accurate diagnoses, and quicker treatment initiation.