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Keng Lim Ng, MBBS, PhD, FRCS

Digital health has undergone an astounding transformation since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While almost all fields of medicine have adopted digital technologies to deliver patient care, one delivery mode that outshines is telemedicine by breaking geographical barriers. Telemedicine, through telephone or video conferencing, or wearable or implanted devices, enables remote monitoring of patients. Many patients, especially the elderly, seem to prefer this mode of consultation mainly because it reduces or excludes travel time and long waits at the doctors’ office. Not only the delivery of patient care but also the delivery of medical education has become virtual. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence, Big Data, augmented reality, Internet of Medical Things, connected devices, robotics, and algorithms will revolutionize digital health in almost all fields of medicine in the future. With the widespread use of smartphones, downloadable or internet-based applications (apps) will play a major role in the diagnosis of diseases, and monitoring and management of patients. However, the implementation of digital health is not without challenges and concerns. The primary concerns are security and privacy of patient data. Hacking of smartphone apps and data breaches are common. The responsibility lies with both creators and users. Creators should ensure that the apps have necessary security features and users should exercise caution while using the apps. CONTINUE READING.....


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