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Digitised Databases for the Future of Healthcare

Telehealth or telemedicine has recently emerged as a critical technology, owing in part to the COVID quarantine and the decrease in medical services provided by health professionals during this time period. As an outcome, with out-patient clinic consultations closed from March to September, patient telemedicine consultations became a necessary practical innovation. Originally, doctors appeared to be hesitant to engage in telemedicine consultation due to the limitations of diagnosing without a physical examination and clinician comments about the lack of a payment mechanism following consultation.

“It has become critical now more than ever in medicine and diagnostics. The newest innovations in diagnostics have allowed us to more precisely identify tumours, viruses, diseases down to its molecular level,” a clinical data analytics company founder and CEO told in an interview.

After compiling all of the information from the diagnostics and organising it according to disease and patient profiles, the CEO stated that the company can now create a database that will serve as a guide for future patient treatment.

This data mining will almost certainly confirm and quantify known risk factors for many diagnoses. This quantification could be used to improve computer-aided diagnostic tools that weigh risk factors and provide decision support to health care providers. The company anticipates that the creation of these databases will spur the development of computer-aided diagnostic support tools, which will become an essential part of modern medicine.

“Technology allows us to learn more precisely about diseases, and diagnose and treat patients with much more accuracy,” he pointed out. He was also one of the panel reactors in the “Tita Hope Talks” as part of MSD Philippines’ multi-stakeholder advocacy campaign on cancer diagnosis and treatment.

With today’s diagnostic technology and real-world information and data readily available, the company CEO believes that physicians no longer have to rely on “trial-and-error,” relying on “clinical intuition” in what they learnt in medical school and possibly outdated or non-applicable studies to the same patient profile and situation.

When it comes to treating potentially terminal diseases, the company’s CEO emphasised that patients cannot afford to rely on “trial-and-error”. For the medical community to make the most informed decisions possible about patient care, he added that the medical community must be able to collect and have readily available as much scientific data about the individual patient and his/her medical profile and history, and the specific disease. “With the technology available, doctors are able to perform these functions,” he said.

Despite the pandemic’s devastation and tragedies, the CEO remains optimistic because it also provides an opportunity for all tech and digital providers to help society. He noted that the medical industry rose to the occasion, adding several new tele-med and e-consult features to aid in the continuity of care between physicians and patients.

“Although our core business focuses on treatment and research in cancer, diabetes, and other non-communicable diseases, we expanded into Covid-19, respiratory, and infectious diseases due to the opportunity to help and contribute directly to the biggest problems we face today,” he explained.

Opengov Asia had reported that the demand for smart healthcare, which includes telehealth and telemedicine, is increasing globally. From the distribution of electronic medical cards to personal consultations, telehealth is one of the newest industries to use AI extensively. As the field of telemedicine and telehealth evolves with increasing adoption, the role of AI in telemedicine, too, will grow substantially.

Telemedicine is practically the country’s healthcare sector’s future, and the Philippines government will need to consider it as a key component of universal health coverage. As there are not enough doctors in the country, utilising technology to distribute medicine is necessary for the country’s healthcare sector to improve.

In contrast, modern healthcare organisations may be able to revolutionise medical therapies and personalised medicine with strong integration of biomedical and healthcare data.

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