Creating healthier futures for ill children

Trust in Healthcare

Triumf Health was recently at Munich attending the Future X Healthcare conference - an event sponsored by Roche, a healthcare company focusing on pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Various stakeholders were present including investors, startups and established companies, all interested in learning more about the latest trends in health care and understanding where digital health is heading. Here's what I learned.

Cutting edge technologies were discussed and Estonia was showcased as a leader in the area of E-governance. The general focus of the event was on how digital innovations will shape the diagnostics and therapy of tomorrow. In addition, patient data was discussed - how we could streamline data collection, organization and processing to effectively manage the healthcare setting.

The tools that we need already seem to exist. The standards are slowly evolving to match expectations in the health tech field yet the message at the conference was rather clear - one of the biggest issues in healthcare digitalization is trust. This means that digital health companies still need to go the extra mile to build trust in the eyes of both doctors and patients because advanced technology used in digital health can spark insecurity if poorly explained. However, if we consider of our own Triumf solution then we have the opportunity to deliver comprehensive care through a game environment that is safe and intuitive to pediatric patients and understandable to other stakeholders. This safe environment is easily understood and trusted by users but for example a lot of misapprehension is still related to tools that utilize AI in diagnostics.

A scoping review published at the end of 2018 illustrated the difficulties in the adoption of health care technologies for health care professionals, health administrators and patients. Generally, patients, healthcare administrators and healthcare providers saw impediments to trust being; excessive costs, defective technology, inadequate publicity, insufficient training and poor information quality. By the same token, the enablers of trust across the board were in; ease of use and improved communication. The greatest impediments to trust among patients related to personal elements had to do with fear of data exploitation, limited accessibility, excessive costs and sociodemographic factors.The greatest enablers in the same category had to do with; altruism, ease of use, fair data access, recommendation by others, self-efficacy and usefulness. Sociodemographic factors could be both enablers and impediments to trust. They were also more concerned about insurance or pharmaceutical companies having access to their data rather than public institutions.Standards for evaluating digital tools are emerging in tandem with the influx of digital health technologies. While not all digital health technologies demand rigorous standards, they are increasingly required to receive validation in order to stay relevant and to be trusted.

Setting and adhering to standards can take time and seem counterintuitive when seeing the pace of technological change. Yet, it plays a fundamental role in building the trust necessary between all stakeholders and creating something that everyone will feel comfortable using. At Triumf, we have already conducted several clinical trials with our mobile game which have shown promising results. New trials are now being conducted internationally. We have taken the time to design our product in compliance with data safety norms and to correspond with existing medical information systems. It has been a rigorous yet worthwhile process of balancing medical standards with user feedback and technological progress to ultimately create mutual understanding.

But to sum up, we were proud to be among the finalists at Future X Healthcare at the forefront of digital health tools shaping healthcare for the future.

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This was a farewell post by Emile Durham, our management assistant in Oct-Nov 2019. The post was furher edited by Kadri Haljas.