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As digitalization continues to surge, the healthcare industry is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. The integration of internet technologies with traditional healthcare services—known as Internet Healthcare—is revolutionizing the way we manage health. This innovative approach is optimizing patient-doctor interactions, improving resource utilization, and enhancing service quality. Moreover, it significantly reduces costs, making high-quality healthcare accessible to a broader population.

The Essence of Internet Healthcare

Internet Healthcare is a groundbreaking model that combines internet technology with traditional healthcare services. By leveraging information, digital, and network technologies, it provides more convenient, efficient, and intelligent medical services. This model has fundamentally changed the cumbersome processes of traditional healthcare and addressed issues related to limited medical resources. Patients can now easily access the medical resources and health information they need.

Through online platforms, patients can book appointments, engage in remote consultations, and purchase medications without the long waits typically associated with in-person visits. Internet Healthcare also encompasses health management, health consulting, and the dissemination of medical knowledge. This comprehensive approach helps patients manage their health better and improves their overall healthcare experience. Moreover, by sharing and analyzing data, healthcare institutions can better understand and monitor patient health, providing personalized medical services and fostering the dissemination of medical knowledge to a wider audience.

Technological Advances Driving Health Management

Technological advancements in Internet Healthcare provide patients with smarter and more efficient medical services. Online platforms have become essential tools for many patients to access medical consultations and diagnosis services. For example, in the UK, the NHS app allows patients to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions, and access a range of other healthcare services.

Remote monitoring and home health management technologies enable doctors to monitor patients’ conditions in real-time and offer timely medical advice and care. With the proliferation of smart wearable devices, more individuals are using gadgets like smartwatches and fitness trackers to monitor their health. For example, the Apple Watch can record steps and heart rate and provide electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring and fall detection, significantly enhancing personal health management capabilities.

Big Data and AI Fueling Medical Innovation

The application of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) in Internet Healthcare opens up endless possibilities for medical innovation. By analyzing vast amounts of medical data, doctors can achieve more accurate diagnoses and treatment plans. IBM’s Watson Health, to cite an instance, uses big data analysis and machine learning to assist doctors in making informed diagnostic and treatment decisions, particularly in oncology.

AI also plays a crucial role in medical imaging analysis. In the United States, Google’s DeepMind developed an AI system that can detect over 50 eye diseases as accurately as world-leading experts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, AI technologies were extensively used for outbreak prediction, virus transmission path analysis, and vaccine development, accelerating the global response to the crisis.

The Rise of Mobile Health and Online Pharmacies

The advent of mobile health (mHealth) has made healthcare services available anytime, anywhere. Mobile applications allow patients to book appointments, make payments, and check test results, simplifying the entire healthcare process. In India, the Practo app integrates various services such as online consultations, appointment scheduling, and electronic health records, providing a seamless healthcare experience.

The growth of online pharmacies and delivery services has also provided significant convenience to patients, especially during the pandemic when visiting physical pharmacies posed a risk. Platforms like PillPack in the US deliver medications directly to patients’ homes, ensuring timely and safe access to necessary treatments. These online pharmacies also use big data to analyze user needs and optimize inventory management, reducing waste and enhancing efficiency.

Future Prospects

The future of Internet Healthcare is filled with exciting prospects. With the continued advancement of 5G technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), healthcare services will become even more innovative and accessible. Intelligent medical devices, precise diagnostic methods, and convenient medical services will further revolutionize health management.

For instance, 5G technology, with its high bandwidth and low latency, will make remote surgeries a reality, offering new solutions for emergency and complex procedures. In Australia, the Royal Melbourne Hospital successfully performed the country’s first remote surgery using 5G technology, marking a significant milestone in telemedicine. Moreover, IoT devices will enhance patient monitoring and care. In Canada, the Telehealth Monitoring Program in Ontario uses IoT devices to monitor chronic disease patients at home, significantly improving patient outcomes and reducing hospital readmissions.

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A propos de Shengye Luo

Etudiante en M2 - commerce électronique de l'Université de Strasbourg.

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