The seminar, entitled “The Growth of Digital Health amidst and post COVID-19 Pandemic: Where Do We Go from Here?” will be organized by the senior nursing students, Faculty of Nursing Science, Assumption University of Thailand on September 26, 2021 at 09.00-12.00 hours through zoom platform. It aims to update the importance and trends of digital health in healthcare services and to raise an awareness on healthcare disruption and the roles of digital health. This seminar will bring to light the challenges and issues related to healthcare particularly in the times of crisis. It will also stress the importance and emerging trends of digital health. Perspectives and views regarding use of digital health will be discussed. Target participants are nursing students, alumni, instructors, and healthcare providers.
Coronavirus has accelerated the rise of digital health, a broad concept that includes solutions for telemedicine and tele-consultation, remote monitoring, connected devices, digital health platforms and health apps. The concept also covers the related health data analysis and application in systems based on big data, for instance for epidemiological research and AI-enabled diagnosis support. Digital technologies are becoming critical in the fight against the ongoing pandemic. They have been used, among other things, for online medical consultations from home and for increasing efficiency in diagnosis and treatment of patients through telemedicine, which, like teleworking and online education, has been a novel experience for many. Likewise, health workers have been using digital technology to diagnose the virus. For instance, China has developed new e-health apps allowing patients to assess their Covid-19 symptoms remotely. Patients with existing critical illnesses, reluctant to go to hospital because of the risk of contracting the virus, have been able to get online consultations from home and have in some cases been monitored remotely. Moreover, thanks to the availability of digital health records and e-prescriptions in many EU countries, it has been possible to issue repeat prescriptions remotely, limiting unnecessary contact between doctors and patients and reducing the chances of exposure to the virus. Nevertheless, there are many challenges to overcome as advances in digitalization of healthcare come with drawbacks. They highlight a widening ‘digital divide’ that risks leaving behind the elderly and socially disadvantaged, who are less able to master or afford the technology. In addition, liability, reimbursement and cybersecurity issues are among the other key challenges that need to be considered, as cyber-attacks on hospitals are on the rise.
Telemedicine is regarded as ideal for the management of infectious diseases as it helps to implement social distancing, thus reducing person-to-person contact. Overall, the use of digital health can provide an effective and safe alternative for outpatient care. Telemedicine can be asynchronous or synchronous and can be used to distribute health educational videos, report patient health examination, also patients can report medical data, such as body temperature or blood pressure. There are a few setbacks of telemedicine such as interruption in the relationship between medical practitioners and their patients and difficulties concerning the quality of medical information. In conclusion, digital health should not be used as a possible option to react to the disaster of the current pandemic.
This seminar is not only to share knowledge on the growth of digital health amidst the COVID-19 pandemic but it’s also to motivate aspiring student nurses to broaden their horizon, learn computer skills because technology is the new future. Lastly, we as nursing students of Assumption university are honored to conduct this seminar with the aim of empowering the uses of technology and spreading knowledge about the uses of Digital health and its pros and cons. We would like to encourage all participants to come and indulge with the discussions in the event.