The emergence of Healthcare 5.0 – or digital wellness – offers unprecedented opportunities for improvement in healthcare services worldwide. The ongoing digital transformation of the industry as a whole is just the beginning of a huge paradigm shift in healthcare as we know it. New technologies are continuously and seamlessly integrated to enhance patient safety and overall care, and improve our medical environment.

The Five Steps to Digital Transformation

The fifth stage of the digital healthcare industry is termed Healthcare 5.0, but what does that mean? It’s all about personalization and is customer-focused: Customer-centric, customer wellbeing and quality of life. To get to where we are now, we must look at the previous stages:

  • Healthcare 1.0: Production, with a focus on evidence-based treatment
  • Healthcare 2.0: Industrialization, focused on the value chain of the industry
  • Healthcare 3.0: Automation, the focus set on the operational model
  • Healthcare 4.0: Digitalization, concentrated on the business model and mass personalization

No More One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Healthcare

This latest stage of digital wellness goes far beyond healthcare as we know it, and gravitates away from mass personalization toward customer-centric services. Instead of trying to fit around healthcare providers and their services, mindset will shift to where providers can fit around customers and into their lives.

Kiran Raj from GlobalData comments, “The advent of personalized medicine, buoyed by advancements in genomics and bioinformatics, is revolutionizing patient treatment. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, doctors can now analyze a patient’s genetic makeup to prescribe treatments that are most likely to be effective. While the transformative potential of disruptive technologies in healthcare is immense, careful implementation considering privacy, ethics and equity is equally critical.”

Embracing Innovative Technologies

Bringing about digital wellness through transformative shift means embracing new and innovative technologies such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI). For instance, robotic surgery for minimally invasive or assisted surgeries
  • AI-led data to help diagnose, take over administrative work and provide image analysis
  • Genomics — the interdisciplinary field of biology focusing on the structure, function, evolution, mapping and editing of genomes, our DNA; essential to understanding genetic diseases
  • Remote monitoring devices — if you wear an Apple watch, a Fitbit or a Garmin, then you already have a version of one designed to persistently gather and relay data from distant locations to a centralized system or platform. Medtronic entered an exclusive partnership with BioIntelliSense in 2022 for the distribution of multi-parameter wearable devices in the U.S. that are aimed at facilitating continuous remote patient monitoring, from in-hospital settings to patients’ homes

Vaibhav Gundre, at GlobalData, comments, “As we embrace healthcare 5.0, technologies such as remote continuous monitoring devices, electronic medical records (EMR) natural language processing, genome sequence analysis tools and robotic surgery systems have transformed healthcare. These innovations provide real-time data insights, accuracy in medical procedures and enhanced patient care management. The integration of such technologies in healthcare has improved patient outcomes and opened new avenues for research and development in the industry.”

First Expand the Tech Infrastructure

There is still much work to be done.

Research from ScienceDirect shows there is a continued need for building resilient technology-driven healthcare systems. To continue to fully achieve this first we must expand the technological infrastructure and be mindful of several other factors, including:

  • Provisions of budgetary support
  • The development of compliant policies
  • The standardization of protocols
  • The involvement of stakeholders
  • Establishing private and public partnerships
  • Continually achieving investment

As Gundre concludes, “No doubt, Healthcare 5.0 holds tremendous potential for transforming the way we approach healthcare delivery. However, this transformation also comes with significant risks. Ensuring data privacy and security, addressing the digital divide, and navigating regulatory hurdles are some of the challenges that must be addressed to achieve their full potential.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that digital health should be an integral part of health priorities and benefit people in a way that is ethical, safe, secure, reliable, equitable and sustainable. It should be developed with principles of transparency, accessibility, scalability, replicability, interoperability, privacy, security and confidentiality.

Healthcare 5.0 and digital wellness through transformative shifts, with the right strategies in place, aim for a world where healthcare is affordable, accessible and equitable. And we can all get behind that.