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Vol 23, No. 08, August 2019   |   Issue PDF view/purchase
EDITOR'S LETTER
Digitization vs Digitalization

“Artificial intelligence” (AI) a term first coined by one of its founding fathers, John
McCarthy, during a conference in Dartmouth, 1956, is used to describe the
mimicry of human intelligence by computer systems. By copying these abilities, these programs or machines would have the ability to make decisions, predict outcomes, and even recognize speech and facial features, much like how the human intelligence has the ability to do. Before being able to perform these tasks, systems have to be mapped out and data has to be input in order for it to learn and generate information from the data.

With developments in AI, healthcare systems throughout the world have leveraged on its advancements to propel healthcare to be more efficient and effective for better patient outcomes. The integration of AI into current healthcare technologies and systems would indeed strive to promote itself better and more efficient at carrying out tasks compared to human beings.

With this in mind, gave rise to our cover title, “Digitization vs Digitalization”, two terms seemingly similar but not to be used interchangeably. In order for us to fully embrace these inevitable advancements with understanding, we must first grasp the knowledge of the terminology used.

The word “Digitization”, a more straightforward term refers to the process of making anything that is of analogue format (hand-written note) into a digital format (taking a photo of that hand-written note) in which it is recognizable by the computer. On the other hand, “Digitalization” was a little harder to define. Many aspects of our lives have already been digitalized. One of which is our social lives, from having to communicate through telephones or snail mail, our daily interactions with our peers have been replaced with digital forms such as email and social media. Another way to explain digitalization is the change of business models of companies. Many companies are now switching their business operations to use digital technologies in order to improve processes. Understanding the differences between the two terms will allow us to categorize the type of changes we will face as AI begin to amalgamate with us.

In preparation for the August 2019 issue, we have explored the boon and bane of technology and Artificial Intelligence in the healthcare industry. Gathering opinions and updates on a wide range of aspects covering cybersecurity (pg 48), telemedicine(pg 52), medical devices (pg 14), as well as perspectives on the digital future of life science. (pg 44)

One prominent point we noted along our journey through this issue is that the incorporation of technology and AI in our daily lives and work should only serve us to be enhanced versions of ourselves rather than to replace. As such we should not distance ourselves to be ignorant to AI but instead embrace it with an open mind for it to work for our benefit.

We hope you enjoy diving through this ever fast – growing industry of technology in healthcare as we did through the range of articles in this issue.


Deborah Emmanuel SEAH Qing En
Editor
You can reach me at qeseah@wspc.com

 

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