DIGITAL HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES AND CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH – Taking The Right Steps
Ayinla Daniel. RN
[CEO/Founder of Care City Nigeria]
I wrote this article originally for Congenital Heart Disease Foundation of Nigeria, a community started by a colleague of mine Oyeleye Christianah Oyebusola; dedicated to creating awareness about congenital heart abnormalities.
She’s an awesome fellow, a Cardiothoracic Nurse, and Care City is standing with her as her organisation plans to have its first campaign scheduled to take place on the same day as The World Heart Day celebration.
To get more details you can follow her personal social media profile or follow them on social media.
The culture of digital life successfully permeates all corners of the healthcare industry. Every medical specialty known to us has in one way or the other benefited from the awesomeness of Digital Health.
The delicate and interesting field of cardiovascular medicine/nursing is also experiencing its fair share of digital transformation, changing the way cardiovascular care is being rendered to patients/clients and also progressively affecting the healthcare professionals in so many ways – as they also strive to be abreast with the latest trends in cardiovascular digital health care practices.
There have been massive improvements in the last decades in the area of cardiovascular care, with cardiovascular healthcare professionals teaming up with strategic stakeholders to come up with innovative ideas that have helped improve the way cardiac healthcare services are being provided, from remote cardiovascular monitoring of the human heart using implanted devices that send in real-time the intrinsic haemodynamic status of the human heart, to the amazing and mind bugling field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that involves the training of smart algorithms that are able to learn and in turn provide accurate and efficient responses to cardiovascular healthcare problems, all depending on the amount of data these systems are exposed to, besides, the human brain is a big data box, that works with the help of memories – the things it has stored, it is now able to interact with the stored memories in such a way that it can synthesize the information it has to help solve the problems it encounters.
Cardiovascular diseases are no doubt the number one leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world and this has caused more effort to be placed on this area of healthcare.
The future of cardiac health lies in the secured bosom of digital health technologies, and healthcare professionals who refuse to flow with this positive tide will have no choice but to be swept under the carpet of time. With digital health care technologies, cardiovascular healthcare professionals will be able to bridge some gaps in the care of patients suffering from different forms of cardiovascular problems, and one of these major gaps which can be bridged with the help of digital healthcare technologies is in the area of prevention of complications associated with cardiovascular diseases.
Digital intelligent systems can be put in place that monitors patients all the time and can send distress signals directly to a cardiologist or cardiovascular healthcare professionals in time to prevent a major complication, which in turn drastically reduces mortality because quick intervention becomes a part of the system, an element which traditional medicine will never be able to present to us.
Imagine if we can know, days before a client develops a stroke or a heart attack, and we quickly intervene, saving a life, plenty of time, and a good dose of resources. It’s not science fiction, it’s a reality that can be secured in our climes here in Africa.
What about the roles of digital health in the care of congenital heart diseases? Where highly advanced systems can study foetal developments in-utero, and detect cardiac abnormalities, not just detecting, but going ahead to create intelligent opinions that can assist the healthcare team in making decisions. Systems that are designed to continually monitor individuals with cardiac anomalies, interact with the patient/client, and also interact with the healthcare team.
Complex AI technologies like machine learning and deep learning have provided promising solutions to most of the problems that healthcare professionals experience in the area of the practice of cardiology. Aspects like medical imaging have seen a huge impact from these novel artificial intelligence technologies, where AI algorithms are designed and trained to better detect anomalies in medical images, making diagnosing more accurate, faster, and more efficient [better than humans?]
I will not be able to talk in-depth on this wonderful topic in this space, I only want to open our eyes to the possibilities that are present in digital healthcare technologies, especially in the critical aspect of cardiovascular care. We will be intrigued by what possibilities lie in the world of digital healthcare technologies.
These advancements are no longer in the future, but they are right before us, staring at us, waiting for us to act. The notion that tends to creep into the minds of many, especially healthcare professionals – the older ones, is the idea that very advance digital health care technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Deep Learning may be used to replace organic contributions. Well, don’t let us use the term ‘replace.’ Digital Healthcare Technologies are not going to replace anybody. We have very smart robotic systems today, which will be smarter in the future, but that does not mean that we won’t be needing surgeons, the only thing that might change or that should change is the healthcare practitioner embracing these technologies, learn them and begin to look for ways in which they can contribute, instead of coming up with theories that will never become laws.
What will Africa do about it? Nigeria has the resource to become the biggest digital healthcare provider in Africa. All it takes is the right team driven by the right motives.
Beautiful initiatives like the Congenital Heart Disease Foundation of Nigeria are wonderful platforms in the country that are very fertile grounds for the development of digital healthcare systems in Nigeria, especially in cardiovascular health.
Happy World Heart Day from all of us here at Care City. Use Heart To Beat Cardiovascular Diseases.