Digital health and internet and communications technologies (ICTs) solutions have come to define a new standard of how people of all ages manage their health and prevent diseases. This also applies to the elderly, who have established themselves as capable end users of new digital possibilities.
But what does it take to create the greatest possible, digitally driven benefits for the specific healthcare needs of aging societies?
Three questions, answered by Bayer's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Mike Devoy.
Question 1: Where do you see the greatest opportunities of digital health and ICTs for aging societies?
Mike Devoy: Digital healthcare offerings will continue to become an increasingly important pillar of modern healthcare in times of aging societies. They will ultimately help older people live stronger, longer lives.
Combining conventional healthcare approaches with innovative digital technologies will make it possible to offer solutions addressing the very individual needs of older persons in their specific environments. To unfold their full potential it will be crucial to find ways of empowering and equipping older people to better self-manage their health and help them prevent and manage chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease.
Question 2: How is digital health leveraged for even greater progress toward medical innovation in times of demograhic shift?
Mike Devoy: Digitization has changed the way we work on medical developments and make them available to patients, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. We are witnessing a fundamental transformation of healthcare from which also the elderly will benefit significantly.Thanks to new digital capabilities, we are now able to increase the speed and efficiency of clinical trials, optimize the way we identify new drug targets and to develop very specific, more personalized drugs and treatment options.
Question 3: What role can digital health play in achieving the goals of the Decade of Healthy Ageing launched by the World Health Organization in 2020?
Mike Devoy: Digital health solutions will play an important role in creating age-friendly environments for aging populations, one of the key objectives reflected in WHO’s Decade of Healthy Ageing areas of action. The adoption of telemedicine, telehealth, remote care and other digital solutions, which has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic will help older persons become more autonomous and achieve better treatment outcomes.
To further advance this development, collaborating with partners is key if we want to develop sustainable, digitally driven health solutions for patients worldwide. Only then will we be able to overcome the challenges of aging societies and their immense health and economic toll.