In Paris, France, a hospital computer system forecasts the number of patients on a given day – or even in a single hour – like meteorologists forecast the weather. This is just one example of the way digital tools are already improving how patients experience improved healthcare services and getting better access to the treatment they need. This topic, and many more, you’ll find in this issue of Making Access Happen – the magazine for better healthcare around the world.
Through interdisciplinary partnerships, digital technologies such as artificial intelligence affect every aspect of how people access medical services and treatment – and they’ve already begun helping patients worldwide.
By 2020, medical data is expected to double every 73 days. Using such data will increase access to healthcare in many ways. IBM Watson Health makes use of cognitive computing for various medical areas. Dr. Eva Deutsch explains how this works.
All Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases cause over 15 million premature deaths every year. Overall, they kill more than 40 million people annually. To defeat NCDs, interventions must change behavior, says Dr. Sania Nishtar. She co-chairs the WHO High-level Commission on NCDs where she works on strategies for change.
Christian Pawlu, Head of Divisional Strategy at Sandoz, believes digital disruption is bringing positive change to the pharmaceutical industry. He explains from his perspective how advances in technology are improving access to healthcare and why moving ‘beyond the pill’ will change patient outcomes.
As countries develop, access to healthcare may not improve evenly. In the West African nation of Ghana, gaps in access have left children with cancer and their families vulnerable. With the support of Sandoz, the UK-based charity World Child Cancer is using a multi-level approach to change this.
As the leading clinical pharmacologist at a hospital in Moscow, Dr. Sergey Dmitriyevich Mitrokhin has an important role to play in ensuring patients have access to effective medication. By educating staff physicians about the responsible use of antibiotics, he has brought a change in prescription behavior among his colleagues. And by introducing alternatives to commonly used antibiotics to which pathogens have become resistant, he has helped reduce infections significantly – while halving the hospital budget for anti-infective medicines.
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