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by Uta Leyke-Heß2 Min.

Digitalisation in Medicine: the Vision of Dr Sophie Chung

Dr Sophie Chung is a doctor and former stem cell researcher. She founded the digital health company Qunomedical in 2016 and has been helping healthcare providers to grow sustainably in this role ever since.

In this blog post, she describes her view of the current state of our healthcare system and her vision for its future.

Dr Sophie Chung, Founder of Qunomedical
Dr Sophie Chung, Founder of Qunomedical

The State of Our Healthcare System

According to surveys, a GP only has around 7 minutes per patient. In hospitals it is even less. This is also due to the fact that doctors have to spend a lot of time on administrative tasks. According to the Marburger Bund, this amounted to over 3 hours a day in 2022.

Through my work with our clients, I know that many healthcare providers have misunderstandings about our healthcare system. These include in my experience:

Misconception #1: I’ll Acquire Patients Either Way

Many healthcare providers assume that patients will continue to come to their facility once they need tol. However, competition for patients is becoming increasingly fierce – and occurs long before they even need a doctor.

At the same time, the administrative workload in many facilities is high and waiting times are long. In my view, it is therefore essential that patients do not only go to a healthcare facility when they are afflicted with something, having to go there whether they want to or not.

Healthcare providers should focus much more on attracting patients who want to take preventive care of their health and are therefore willing to spend more on it.

Misconception #2: As Long as the Doctor Is Good, the Patient Experience Doesn’t Have to Be

If the doctor is unpleasant, patients don't generally care; the main thing is that they get help. However, this way of thinking no longer works in practice, because health only works as a whole.

Current studies show that patients with a good patient experience also have a better medical outcome because they recover faster and better, and are significantly more likely to go for preventive care.

Misconception #3: Data Protection Above All Else

There’s no question: data protection is important. But in my opinion, we ask ourselves far too rarely: how many lives does data protection cost us? One example of this dilemma was the coronavirus pandemic, where we were only able to respond so well here in Germany because we had valid data from abroad.

Patients are perfectly willing to share their data for medical purposes. They just need to recognise the added value and have full data sovereignty.

Misconception #4: We Need More Hospitals and Doctors

Contrary to popular belief, we have too many hospitals. So I ask myself: do we really have a resource problem?

Of course we will still need new doctors in the future, but having practised as a doctor, I also know that the inefficient utilisation of doctors (and nurses) as a resource is one of the biggest problems in our healthcare system. They spend far too little time with patients and far too much time on administrative tasks.

Misconception #5: Digitalisation Makes Everything More Complicated

Of course successful digitalisation requires a considerable investment. Although in my experience, these costs are amortised after a short time. New digital processes and systems reduce the administrative workload for all staff in the healthcare system.

My Vision: a More Humane Healthcare System through Technology

As a doctor myself, I have experienced how little time there is for human contact with patients in the hectic daily routine. After working in this system for a while, I realised that I wanted to change this – with the help of technology. For me, digitalisation is not a cold, technical instrument, but a means of bringing more humanity into our healthcare system.

For example, when I think of AI-supported diagnostics, it’s obvious to me that this improves patient care: I can spend more time with them because the technology supports diagnostics and minimises errors.

Another example is the introduction of the electronic patient file (ePA). It creates key prerequisites for patient care, such as a valid database and patient history. Without this, even rudimentary information such as blood group or allergies is not on hand, which leads to considerable additional work and poorer treatment.

It also happens far too often that patients see the ‘wrong’ doctor. This costs time, slows down the treatment itself and reduces its success. Pre-qualification of patients by means of digital communication (e.g. automated questionnaires) in which findings, symptoms and clinical picture are queried in advance would help to deal more efficiently and effectively with doctors as a resource.

Doctor holds a notepad and smiles in the direction of the camera

Would you like to find out how Dr Sophie Chung creates sustainable growth for healthcare facilities with the Qunosuite software solution?

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