There are apps to log the pitch of your snores. There are apps to guard you from life-threatening disease.
And there are apps for everything in between.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare was on its way to a smart revolution, with institutions and consumers alike embracing technology to help them live, work and play.
For ordinary people, this came twinned with our modern desire to optimise, quantify (and often brag about) every facet of our lives.
Hence the slew of sleep, diet, exercise, meditation, muscle growth, brushing one’s teeth, having sex, talking to a professional about your mental health and, we sh*&t you not (that’s their job) stool-tracking apps.
For institutions and brands, however, this change was more than skin-deep.
The NHS Covid-19 App is perhaps the most well-known example of a major institution adopting a digital-native approach to health. But even before the pandemic, healthtech was radically transforming the way services were accessed and delivered.
IoT (Internet of things) devices were added to important assets like X-rays, CT scanners, and in some cases, people, allowing providers to slash maintenance costs, and ultimately save lives.
Likewise, the less-Orwellian result of everybody’s data being up for grabs is the opportunity to get a fresh pair of (virtual) eyes on matters, with AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) services able to spot patterns, casualties and correlations invisible to the human eye.
More broadly, the digital healthcare revolution is empowering communication and collaboration in new clinical settings, (see: online doctors visits) improved analytics and visibility in population health, and the universal adoption of telehealth (see: online doctors visits, again).
But with healthtech growth forecasted in the tens of billions over the next five years, it’s safe to say these trends are only going to accelerate.
So, how can healthcare providers and healthtechs best ride the wave?
The answer, in a lot of cases, is to align themselves with those disruptive forces in tech that have provided the springboard for the greatest advances in healthcare technology.
By embracing cloud-native tech (including AI/ML, image processing and big data), and making a commitment to stay at the forefront of innovation, healthtechs and healthcare providers can ensure they keep every competitive innovation at their fingertips.
And this is where working with a partner is key.
Specialised managed service providers, transformation partners, and assorted cloud-native helper-outers have a vital role to play in this ongoing healthcare revolution.
We are subject matter experts. We are often the people building the solutions. And we are providers of the next-gen support services required for applications that are quite literally a matter of life and death.
‘Mission-critical,’ move over.
Though on a slightly lighter note, it’s much the same in the world of B2C self-optimisation.
Working with The Body Coach, we saw firsthand what a difference a cloud-native infrastructure and true full-stack support (that’s a support service able to monitor and triage the Barrier-Reef-sized ecosystems of third-party services and APIs) can make.
But this is just one example of the kinds of relationships that can help healthtechs keep moving into the future.
The bottom line is that there are major advances to be made in healthcare right now, and the most tech-savvy companies will be the ones to do it.