Digital medicine is no longer science fiction, but a real dimension of medical care
In just one year, the global Covid-19 crisis has led to a digital transformation on an unprecedented scale. The digitization process has most extensively involved medical care. Over the course of several months, a lot of the systemic solutions that experts had been discussing for at least a decade were put in place. The introduction of e-prescriptions and e-referrals, which had been in the pipeline for many years, was only the first step in the digital transformation of medical service providers, triggered by the effects of the pandemic. Currently, medical facilities have time until July 1 of this year to implement the possibility of exchanging patients’ medical data (medical history) contained in the Electronic Health Records with the central system.
The first lockdown forced strict isolation and reduced economic activity in many industries, including a significant reduction in patient access to medical consultations in Primary Health Care and specialist offices. A new era of telemedicine appointments has arrived, with appointments mainly in the form of telephone consultations. According to a survey of private healthcare providers: at the end of the first quarter of last year, between 70 and 75% of consultations took place using telephone calls or video chats with doctors. In the fall of 2020, it was 30-40%. Among patients under the care of one of the market leaders in private healthcare, as many as 74% of those surveyed said they would like to take advantage of telemedicine even after the pandemic is over. This form of patient treatment is preferred by physicians in about 40% of cases. According to the results of the Central Statistical Office distributed by the Supreme Chamber of Physicians: currently as many as 90% of Poles want to take advantage of e-appointments and remote medical consultations.
This impulse has influenced the development of a broader mindset concerning digital communication between the doctor and the patient, as well as remote monitoring of patient health parameters and diagnostics conducted on this basis. For today’s 70-year-olds, it’s a revolutionary phenomenon; for their grandchildren, it’s an obvious way of receiving treatment that they will enjoy fully and freely when they reach their grandparents’ age. The scale of any business growth is best demonstrated with hard numbers. Among them are the results of MedApp S.A., a technology company operating in the area of technological solutions dedicated to modern medicine. Its innovative solutions are revolutionizing the ways lives can be saved and patients can be treated. The company develops technologies to support diagnostic imaging and next-generation digital medicine. With the pandemic, the company saw a revenue increase of 87% and net income increase of 185% in 2020.
– We achieved record results and permanently exceeded the break-even point. The outbreak of the pandemic has rapidly changed the way medical services are provided. There has been a significant increase in demand for digital medicine services and solutions based on artificial intelligence or mixed reality that we use in our solutions – emphasizes Krzysztof Mędrala, CEO of MedApp S.A.
The global Covid-19 pandemic crisis has given a spin of the innovative business of the techmed segment. In the case of MedApp, this was an extension of the functionality of the CarnaLife System. The application makes it possible to conduct remote consultations with specialists, patient diagnostics anywhere and anytime, and ongoing verification of test results using artificial intelligence algorithms. The company is working on solutions that will enable patients themselves to receive medical services using the CarnaLife System (through the Digital Clinic). The main idea is to make it easier for patients to access healthcare and take it to the next level – comprehensive digital medicine. The premise of the solution is also to maximize physician support in the healing process, especially for chronically ill individuals. The gap in the knowledge about the patient’s condition between the patient and the doctor is also bridged by the possibility of continuous contact.
Currently, the CarnaLife System offers such functionalities as a calendar of appointments interacting with the video consultation module, a convenient database of drugs and a tool for detecting interactions between them, as well as a survey module. The key advantages of digital medicine solutions, as exemplified by the Digital Clinic, are high availability of appointments, consultations in the form of tele-conversation, chat or video chat, as well as convenient and secure access to medical records. A unique feature is the possibility to remotely monitor a patient’s condition. Additionally, the security of the processed data is ensured by Microsoft Azure cloud.
The medtech industry offers numerous innovative telemedicine solutions. In the case of MedApp S.A., they include unique software solutions to support diagnostic imaging and next-generation digital medicine services. The key solutions offered by MedApp S.A., in addition to the CarnaLife System and the Digital Clinic are:
- CarnaLife Holo – a 3D imaging system supporting precision, comfort and safety of medical procedures,
- HoloComm – a unique solution for remote product demonstration in 3D using mixed reality in support of medical education, sales or training, among others.
CarnaLife Holo is a breakthrough technology for 3D visualization of imaged medical data which supports the planning and performance of medical procedures. With the help of Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, the physician can see in real space a three-dimensional hologram reflecting the structure of the imaged anatomical area. The doctor can interact with the projected hologram: rotate it, scale it, move it around, or even go inside anatomical structures using gestures and voice commands, without losing sterility or having to work with an additional technician. The goggles provide an auxiliary interactive screen to be used during procedure planning as well as anywhere in the operating theater at any time during the procedure.
Another solution using 3D imaging is HoloComm – a tool for presenting image data, which in an unprecedented way engages the user in the process of analyzing three-dimensional images. In the field of medicine, HoloComm has applications in medical schools that provide training in anatomy, physiology or specific clinical specialties. With the help of Microsoft HoloLens 2 mixed reality gogles, the application allows the user to see different anatomical structures in real space and interact with 3D holograms that realistically simulates the structure, organs and layout of the body. It is a cutting-edge solution that makes content-based classes more attractive and gives students and other medical personnel a chance to learn more effectively.
These digital solutions, which support both diagnostic imaging and digital medicine services, are a perfect match for the needs of patients and physicians in a reality changed by the pandemic. The systemic challenges that remain are social digital education, universal access to the Internet, and the belief that digital medicine in any form is beneficial to support the processes of diagnosis, treatment, or monitoring of patient health.
More information about the company and the innovations it develops is available at www.medapp.pl and LinkedIn.
Last Updated on April 21, 2021 by Karolina Ampulska