How digital technology is powering healthcare – Arjun Panesar

Arjun Panesar is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer of DDM Health and winner of the Scotland 5G Center Innovation Challenge focused on “Shaping Digital Health and Social Care”.

But the social determinants of health — especially income, ethnicity, and neighborhood — make the biggest difference to accessing and engaging with health services. Digital therapies make it possible to democratize access to health services. The Scottish Government’s digital health and care strategy recognizes the need to improve care and wellbeing in Scotland by making the best use of digital technologies in the design and delivery of services. With the huge advances in innovation in digital health, we are rapidly entering an era where platforms will treat millions of patients. The digital transformation of healthcare has accelerated the use of technologies such as mobile apps, artificial intelligence and virtual reality to solve major problems that exist in the delivery of healthcare. Unfortunately, non-communicable diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes cause 8 out of 10 deaths worldwide. In Scotland, non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and lung disease are responsible for nearly 39,000 deaths each year, more than two-thirds of all deaths. As founding CEO of DDM Health, we have led the development of digital treatments that speak to a diverse and varied community – and offer our services in over 11 native languages. Our personalized chronic disease management app is NHS certified and the highest rated Orcha app to date. The idea for the service was born from a real experience of what a technological intervention can do. I supported my grandfather after he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. As a graduate with an undergraduate master’s degree in computer science and artificial intelligence, I used this knowledge to create a website to support a community world of people with diabetes. This has led to twenty years of working with big data and AI to create evidence-based, precision digital health solutions. We are working with the S5GConnect team at rural hub Dumfries to test and develop new applications using 5G capability. The challenge is to support patients in a territory faced with the challenges of remoteness from hospitals and health establishments and an aging population. We are looking for regional solutions relevant to digital connectivity that will make a difference to the community. The Innovation Challenge will allow us to understand the needs of patients and providers in Dumfries and Galloway so that we can develop a solution with our local partners. We are specifically looking at using digital technologies to support families at home, through the use of innovative digital technologies, remote monitoring and apps to help create positive behavior change. Traditional healthcare cannot meet current demands and needs, which presents an opportunity for digital solutions to provide much-needed support. We seek to enhance the sophistication of our in-app experiences by utilizing the capability provided by 5G and the technical expertise available at the S5GConnect Hub to deliver new experiences to users. We hope this can further help them manage their condition independently at home. Proactive AI can encourage behavior and medication management and also send messages of support, which is essential in combating loneliness and isolation. allows us to lead a healthier and happier life.Arjun Panesar is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer of DDM Health and winner of the Scotland 5G Center Innovation Challenge focused on “Shaping Digital Health and Social Care”.


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