That person could be a doctor, a nurse, or even the patient. With increased precision in tests for imminent heart attacks, along with swifter results and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the interpretation of those results, Professor Chew predicts that the one-size-fits-all approach is on its way out.
“The ambulance or GP would get your test results back, and tell you, ‘We think you have a less than 1% chance of having a heart attack. Do you still want to go to hospital?’ We’ll take them to hospital if they want to go, and follow up with those who don’t. But it’s potentially safer, cheaper care,” he says.
At the base of all these applications is data. Data is essential for the AI that Professor Chew’s patients will soon depend on for a more accurate diagnosis – the machine learning that can read test results better than junior doctors, and the studies that online tools are based on.
Public trust in the use of that data has a long way to go, but Professors Maeder and Chew believe that education is the key to acceptance, and they’re confident that acceptance will
come once people see the benefits of electronic health records.
“Digital health technology is already here, and you can deduce better ways to treat subgroups of patients by observing the data on their health condition and their recovery,” says Professor Maeder. “You can also deliver interventions by IT to patients, because if the computer knows about them as a patient, then it can customise how it’s going to advise them, say, to improve their physical activity.”
It’s safe to say, the digital future of health is looking increasingly bright.