User-friendly applications have the potential to make health systems more efficient as they get adopted at large scale. New players, such as Insurance companies, will be able to reach out more effectively to citizens responding to health shortages.
While developments in the field of health information technology is advancing and the use of eHealth and mHealth applications is gaining ground, the future of healthcare, including interactions between patients, health professionals and most of the actors of the healthcare ecosystem (Insurance companies, Pharmaceutical companies, Hospitals, Universities etc.) will move towards better and quicker communication and thus digital tools.
Some regions of the world, such as the United States, are a lot more advanced in this sense, the use of eHealth having been adopted by about 30 percent of physicians' offices. In Europe, the situation is quite different. The figures given by the European Commission show that there are more than 100,000 #mHealth apps already available across multiple platforms. Overall, the good news comes with the top 20 free sports, fitness and health apps that already account for 231 million downloads worldwide.
Digital health tools can simplify, ease exchange and engage people in a closer relationship. User-friendly applications have the potential to make the health systems more efficient as they get adopted at large scale. New players, such as Insurance companies, will be able to reach out more effectively to citizens and offer them medical care options especially in geographies where currently there are major health coverage shortages. In addition, Insurance companies can use these new digital health tools to increase health awareness and allow everyone to be involved in their own health, enabling people to focus more towards prevention rather than only being reactive
In the online space, the power of social networks can also contribute to the development of online trustful relationships between different people and professionals and Insurance companies can bring everyone under the same umbrella with targeted services responding to their needs. Some social health networks, like iValuehealth.NET, address such topics bringing everyone in one place, sharing more information for better awareness, and services allowing users to interact with each other. iValueHealth.NET is a social health network that acts both as local and global hub, which offers citizens and professionals multiple possibilities to find health information and services, applications as per their needs in one place. This helps to overcome shortages in different geographies, reducing distances, and enabling best practices to be shared in the benefit of all. As we all say "prevention is better than cure", and with new digital tools, this can save a lot for private or public companies, yielding lower costs of having health insurance for everyone.
iValueHealth.NET (http://beta.iValueHealth.NET) is the first European multilingual health social platform. After years of intensive research, to meet the needs in the area of healthcare, iValueHealth.NET was successfully launched in 2012. The platform is unique in its field and connects the healthcare ecosystem in one place, enabling health actors to become visible in the online world, interact with each other, share experiences and benefit from different services. It is currently available in 6 European languages, attracted more than 450,000 members and has over 2 million page views each month.