Health systems worldwide are faced with ongoing and increasing challenges, such as aging populations, health disparities, and workforce shortages. The recent pandemic has only exacerbated these disparities, and the World Health Organization predicts a shortage of 18 million health workers by 2035. However, there are steps that health organizations can take now to mitigate the impact.
HIMSS President and CEO Hal Wolf emphasized the importance of digital health in his keynote session, proposing that it be integrated into medical facilities and that the workforce be trained to build this infrastructure. AI plays a critical role in delivering personalized care, providing hospitals with predictive modeling capabilities that help prioritize cases and allocate time more efficiently. It is important, however, for providers to think of AI as a tool rather than a target. Wolf cautioned that biases within AI applications must be recognized and challenged, and data integrity must be ensured for effective decision-making.
Connectivity is also essential, allowing healthcare teams to access tools and applications seamlessly from any location. Wolf cited Indonesia’s efforts to install satellite connectivity in rural community health centers as an example of improving health equity in underserved communities. Throughout the digital transformation process, sharing lessons learned and successes is crucial. Wolf encouraged participants to share their experiences, emphasizing that failure to do so would hinder progress.