Digital Health

The healthcare system is under pressure from many sides. Overall, life expectancy is increasing, and new treatment options are being introduced continuously. All of which contribute to the demand for healthcare services. At the same time, healthcare resources are limited. Thus, there is great potential for introducing digital health solutions that can support healthcare staff. 

In DIREC, we are actively building a knowledge base around how digital technology can help the healthcare sector, and we have launched a project within digitization and healthcare.  

How Can Digital TechNologies Help?

One example is the use of AI within health care. Today, large amounts of health data are produced both by the health service, but also by citizens. Being able to use advanced algorithms to analyze and find patterns in this data is an obvious place where digital technology can make a difference. But the workflows need to be well thought out and you need to pay close attention to the individual citizen and patient. 

Focus is not so much on replacing health care personnel with digital solutions, but rather on giving the clinicians new tools that can reduce the trivial tasks and help clinicians perform their work more efficiently with higher quality. 

Additionally, the use of robots is still limited within the healthcare system but, in the long term, there will also be great potential in using robots both for clinical and logistical tasks in hospitals and as welfare technology solutions. 

In relation to the development of new medicines, digital technology can help support the processes and AI algorithms such as fold proteins can support the work here. Likewise, a potential future quantum computer can help simulate complex chemical interactions.

Finally, there is great potential in exploiting the fact that many citizens and patients are beginning to have advanced smartphones, where prescribing an app can in some cases be an alternative to medical treatment or hospitalization.

AI in Healthcare

In DIREC, we are working on using state-of-the-art digital research to benefit the healthcare sector. One area we have looked into is how to develop explainable AI for clinicians. 

In the Western world, approx. one in ten medical diagnosis is judges to be incorrect, which results in the patients not getting the right treatment. The explaination may be lack of experience and training o the part of the medical staff. 

Together with clinicians, this project aims to develop explanatory AI that can help medical staff make qualified decisions by acting like a mentor who gives feedback and advice when the staff trains. 

It is important that the explainable AI provides good explainations that are easy to understand and utilize during the medical staff’s workflow.