The Future of Healthcare is Self Care

By the year 2050, over 50% of the world population will be above the age of 60 and the healthcare industry as we know it today will not be able to deal with the demand. The healthcare industry will undergo a dramatic shift from personal care with a physician to a myriad of digitized options that offer patients a self-care solution. AI is set to improve healthcare with the potential to reduce costs by as much as $150 billion annually by 2026. For instance, an AI-based medical evaluation tool Quantum Satis, which is used by doctors to identify potential Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) can also be used strategically across whole organizations ensuring that the quality bar is raised whilst simultaneously driving down costs and risk. At the center of this transition is the personal digital twin technology that will be a digital representation of the human counterpart. This technology offers us the chance to become Ai enhanced humans and build the healthcare we need. The future of healthcare is quite possibly an AI enhanced self-care.

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The Future of Healthcare

Currently, the healthcare industry is outdated and suffering due to budget constraints and a lack of workforce. The healthcare industry is tremendously expensive and more than half of the people in the U.S. don’t even have health insurance. This means that millions of Americans have no access to basic care and many of those that do aren’t receiving the attention they need. In developing countries, an estimated 1 billion people lack access to healthcare. When you add this number up to the entire world population that is at least 4.2 billion and the numbers begin to tell a dire story. A fundamental problem for healthcare is the lack of innovation in the industry.

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Personalized Digital Twin Technology

Tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, tracking disease progression and cancer treatment. The opportunities of digital twin technology are virtually limitless but this technology cannot and will not be successful unless it is well integrated into clinical practice in order to make it a seamless part of healthcare delivery. A doctor, for example, spends approximately 16 minutes with each patient. It takes a psychologist weeks to make a prognosis for the patient. Doctors would be able to provide better and more personalized care if they had more information on the patient’s previous or current mental state, while patients would even be able to care for themselves. Therefore, personalized digital twin technology would fit within this paradigm by allowing patients to learn more about themselves and share that information with doctors.

Self-care and AI

On the whole, there is an array of self-care applications that depend on the patients’ ailments. As evidence, a study suggests that social cognitive theory (SCT)-based self-care intervention for rational antibiotic use has reflected positive impacts. As a result of this educational program, the adults who attended health centers to obtain routine health services learned about the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic use. This way self-care based on social cognitive theory constructs knowledge and situational perception, outcome expectations, values expectation, self-efficacy overcoming impediments, goal setting in self-control, environment, emotional coping and perceived barriers.

Moreover, self-care tools are proven to identify and improve depressive symptoms in the workplace. Employees of a mid-sized financial solutions firm were provided over 1600 mental health and wellness resources as well as the optional cognitive behavioral therapy modules for depression and anxiety, mindfulness and other empirically validated tools taught via short-form video, substance use motivational interviewing and relapse prevention modules, a mood tracker, community and personal inspirations, motivational quotes, spiritual and faith-based resources.

Depression not only creates a significant burden on employees and employers in the workplace, but it is also a barrier to heart failure. Poor self-care is also associated with depression. A recent research discovered that cognitive behavior therapy was more effective relative to usual care for major depression in patients with heart failure.

Understanding the vast opportunities of self-care practice, one might wonder how AI would fit into this paradigm? Let’s take a look at cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death around the world, and heart failure is one of the most prevalent forms. Artificial intelligence will be used to develop next-generation solutions for cardiovascular disease.

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With interactive educational and decision-making support mechanisms, patients will be able to engage in self-care and improve their quality of life. These solutions are expected to reduce costs, improve quality of care and ensure access to healthcare regardless of time, location and staff scarcity.

Important elements of patient needs in chronic diseases such as heart failure include different elements of adequate information, optimal medical care, single personalized treatment plan, access to care, adequate information, sufficient support and sufficiently considering patient well-being to enable self-care supported by eHealth including artificial intelligence.

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Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing healthcare. AI will allow a much larger proportion of the heart failure population to apply personalised self-guided care strategies.

Opportunities for Self-care

AI will be personal for everyone. We will all be able to self-manage the healthcare we receive by the development of devices that not only diagnose, treat and prescribe but also monitor the way we use our healthcare. A simple example would be a device that only turns on when your heart rate becomes too high and that will alert you if you are using it too often, helping you to prevent future illnesses. This means that self-care can become easier and provide the opportunity to cut down the cost of healthcare, particularly in the very young and old. This is where health and wellness become extremely important and is a reason that companies are moving towards the non-prescription and digital channels as an important method of offering self-care.

Upcoming Changes to the Healthcare Industry

With AI-assisted self-care, we and our doctors can keep track of our health much more easily than if we avoid using AI. Rising healthcare costs, self-referral to substandard care, and the critical move toward a digital twin of oneself will become a thing of the past. Artificial intelligence can address all of these issues by evolving from a digital nurse to our primary healthcare provider.

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