According to the World Health Organization, 22% of the world’s population will be 60 years or older by 2050, up from 13% in 2017 with an associated increase in the incidence of chronic diseases. Healthcare expenditure is projected to increase at an annual rate of 5.4% between 2017 and 2022 up from 2.9%. The reality is that our current systems are at tipping point. It’s not just about finance. There’s huge shortage of expertise. The world needs 18 million more healthcare professionals.
There’s also the whole issue of access and inequity. By 2020, healthcare expenditure per person is predicted to reach over $11,000 in the US, compared to just $54 in Pakistan. Meanwhile, patient expectations are increasing. Around 60 percent of US consumers expect their digital healthcare experience to closely align with their retail experience. What’s the solution? How do you scale to meet increased demand? How do you deliver more cost effective care without compromising on the patient experience? How do you deal with a shortage in medical expertise?
60% of US consumers expect their digital healthcare experience to closely align with their retail experience. What’s the solution?
Imaging & Pathology
Many of our customers are already addressing these questions – and we’re helping to bring their vision to life. Take imaging and pathology. The number of pathologists continues to decline with a decreasing percentage of medical graduates choosing to specialize in that area. This means that pathologists are under constant pressure and patients often experience delays receiving diagnoses and starting treatment.
Additionally, the traditional process of analyzing blood and tissue samples is labor intensive. If you want to consult with another doctor, the slide has to be transported with all the associated delays and risks. In contrast, digital pathology provides a fast, efficient way to preserve, share duplicates, and study a specimen, which enables real-time consultation and research. Increasingly, we are also seeing the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI). For example, when a clinician detects a tumor, the database can be interrogated to find all similar tumors and treatment pathways. This allows healthcare professionals to assess outcomes and design personalized treatment plans for each patient. I visualize AI as a trusted advisor to practitioners who are busy and over-stretched.
Our OEM customers are at the very forefront in developing innovative healthcare solutions to address these challenges. For example, Konica Minolta has designed Dynamic Digital Radiography (DDR), which will enable doctors to diagnose conditions such as lung disease earlier. To make its vision a reality, Konica Minolta needed a powerful hardware platform that could process up to 300 images in a single scan and animate those images in mere minutes. By combining the widespread availability of X-ray machines with advanced hardware and AI, we hope, together, to give doctors new tools to save lives. Our partnership story is told here.
Genomic Sequencing & Analysis
Another example is genome sequencing, which has traditionally been slow and expensive. Faster and cheaper DNA sequencing is now helping scientists discover the genetic markers that set different groups of people apart, which could prove vital for developing new medicines and understanding why different groups are more susceptible to certain conditions. Globally, we are working with a number of specialist companies in this field, sharing our expertise on the underlying compute and storage technology required. Read the story here.
Let’s not forget day-to-day healthcare. Personalized data, generated from wearable IoT medical devices, allows healthcare professionals to monitor patients with chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes from afar over long periods of time. During the current global challenge, this has become even more valuable as many patients are reluctant to visit for routine check-ups. We’re also seeing increased delivery of personal care, for example, smart devices that can administer treatment for cancer patients in the comfort of their own homes.
Apart from being more time efficient, these developments will help deliver better healthcare access to underserved and remote communities. In terms of training, virtual reality (VR) technology is helping address the shortage of experienced surgeons, providing immersive, hands-on training to students and simulating an operating theater environment.
Accessing New Data
And of course, in a hospital campus environment, edge computing makes it easier to manage and label data in a more uniform and efficient way, allowing researchers to mine data that was previously unavailable. For example, Beijing Physicare Science and Technology wanted to create a platform for its digitalized traditional Chinese medicine project. The goal was to support analysis of the meridian system, the pathway in our bodies through which our life-energy flows, look at internal organs, identify which of the nine constitution types in Chinese medicine the patient has, raise any disease alerts and make a chronic-disease assessment.
The results speak for themselves – patients’ constitution types are now delivered within 80 seconds while clinical assessments validate up to 97.8% of the diagnoses. Built on Dell technology, the system uses cloud computing with a traditional Chinese medical library connected to report clinical diagnoses and recommend treatments. Learn more about our collaboration here.
Looking ahead, I believe that technologies such as digital pathology, next-gen imaging, AI, machine learning, genomics, telemedicine, AR/VR and robotics will help address today’s healthcare challenges. Advances will allow us to move from reactionary to preventative care, from depending on individual expertise to applying AI-assisted diagnostics, and from homogenized to differentiated patient treatments. In fact, the transformation is already underway. According to IDC, 60 percent of healthcare providers say that the digital experience is a current strategic imperative, while 40 percent of life science organizations believe they will achieve 20% of productivity gains with AI solutions by 2021.
Dell Technologies OEM Solutions has the technology and expertise to help you design and deliver innovative healthcare solutions from any edge to any cloud, built on Tier 1 infrastructure and supported by world-class services. Our broad portfolio of hardware, software, solutions, and services, surrounded by security and data protection and with the backup of our partner ecosystem, including Intel, is already helping over 8,000 hospitals around the world deliver on their promise.
- Learn more about what we do in healthcare at Dell Technologies OEM Solutions.
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