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Inclusion, accessibility are indispensable for healthtech’s success
By Marzena Nieroda  |  Aug 15, 2023
Inclusion, accessibility are indispensable for healthtech’s success
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Healthtech is now more than a fad. Apps and wearables are just the start: Healthtech can potentially improve health for a huge range of people, but equal access is key, says Marketing and Commercialization Prof Marzena Nieroda of the UCL Global Business School for Health, London.

LONDON - 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.

Keep all users in mind

Healthtech plat

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