Global Business School for Health


The Yuan Media Feature: Inclusion, accessibility are indispensable for healthtech’s success

31 August 2023

Featured in The Yuan, Dr Marzena Nieroda, Lecturer in Marketing and Commercialisation in Healthcare, stresses the criticality of equal access to the potential of health tech, beyond apps and wearables, to broadly improve health.

Inclusion, accessibility are indispensable for healthtech’s success

"Healthtech refers to the application of technology, information, and data analytics to improve healthcare delivery, enhance patient outcomes, and streamline various aspects of the healthcare industry. It is a rapidly growing field that leverages advancements in tech and data science to address challenges and improve efficiency within the sector.

This encompasses a wide range of technologies and solutions used by providers, patients, and other stakeholders in the ecosystem. Specific examples of healthtech include mobile health apps, wearable devices - such as smartwatches - virtual coaching, and other digital platforms that facilitate people’s engagement with their own health.

Health policies and strategies in place around the world strongly emphasize the use of these technologies to prevent disease and improve public health, while also addressing health disparities. Embracing healthy lifestyles - such as abstaining from smoking, adhering to alcohol guidelines, maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and consuming a nutritious diet - is key to preventing a multitude of chronic illnesses. By crafting healthtech-driven solutions that encourage widespread adoption of these behaviors, it will become easier to enhance people's overall quality of life and improve their wellbeing.

However, despite the constant innovation taking place within the industry, when one looks beyond the headlines, the reality is that for society’s most vulnerable groups - which include older people, those from minority ethnic backgrounds, and refugees - levels of accessibility are too low and digital exclusion too high. More must be done when designing healthtech to ensure it is as inclusive as possible. To achieve this, the following are some measures that should be considered."

The Yuan is a community and technology platform dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI), its initial focus being on healthcare but now expanding to include AI ethics, governance, philosophy, and practical applications. Serving as an open forum for global innovators and AI enthusiasts, it is committed to making AI accessible, democratic, fair, and unbiased, with a readership of around 30,000 per month, predominantly in Asia, and 2,000 followers on both LinkedIn and Twitter.

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