5 digital health trends to watch in 2021

Interest and investment in European healthtech is booming. The health industry has adopted new technology like never before — from digital screening and diagnostics apps to patient engagement platforms and hardware.

1. Telemedicine

While not all doctors’ equipment can be replaced with a smartphone, telemedicine has allowed medical professionals to collect new information. White coat syndrome, for example, is a condition where the stress of being in a doctor’s office spikes a patient’s blood pressure, giving the doctor an inaccurate reading. Virtual house calls can improve the quality of certain tests and treatments, and allow doctors an opportunity to identify potential lifestyle factors in illness, including gauging nutrition from a fridge, checking thermostats and monitoring background for tripping hazards.

2. Mental health

Mental health startups — from workplace wellbeing and loneliness to depression diagnosis — have been growing steadily since 2014, and plenty more are still launching. Mental health startups that have raised money over the past year include Spill, the Slack app that monitors mental health, workplace mental health platform Unmind, and Meru Health, an AI-matchmaker for better therapy.

3. Deeptech and AI

As the pandemic stretches healthcare professionals to their limit, AI adoption presents a unique opportunity to alleviate some of the strain. European health startups using AI include France-based Cardiologs, which helps healthcare professionals screen patients for heart disorders, and the UK’s Healthily (formerly Your.MD), which uses AI to help users check their symptoms before deciding to see a doctor.

4. Personalised and preventative care

Medical care tailored to the individual user is also on the up, something that telehealth affords more than traditional health services. Services are emerging that are specifically tailored to provide accessibility to women, LGBTQIA+ people and Black and brown communities. 

5. Occupational health

Another area with huge growth potential is occupational health. Most of the globe is being forced to work from home this year, and that might become a permanent change, post-pandemic — it’s estimated that 37% of jobs in Europe can be carried out remotely. 

Source: sifted.eu