The Healthcare system around the globe hasn’t been the fastest when it came to adopting the latest technology trends. Now, with COVID-19 shaking the very foundations of healthcare systems, it has become evident that the concerned industry desperately requires a significant change and fast.
With that said, by 2020 the digital health market is expected to reach $206 billion, which is nearing its end; Statista reports. While the US healthcare market alone, with national health spending is projected to reach $5.7 trillion by the year 2026.
This goes to show the immense potential of change that exists within the digital spectrum of healthcare and should be tapped into.
Digital transformations, on the other hand, have changed the dynamics of several industries and the healthcare sector is no different. With emerging technologies and tools, there has been a rise in several healthcare technology trends that are bound to take the medical field far.
Considering the COVID situation at hand, these trends will play a major role in propelling the needed change within the healthcare realm forward.
Healthcare trends are as follows:
- Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
- Cloud Computing
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Data Science
Telemedicine, as the name suggests, is the process of diagnosing and taking care of the patients remotely. How? Through telecommunication technologies. This allows patients residing in remote areas or in the light of the current circumstances, quarantined at home, can get the necessary medical attention they need.
The medical access to remote areas or at homes has given way for doctor appointment app, which allows patients to book online appointments for live video consultations, e-prescriptions, and much more.
One of the advantages of telemedicine is that it allows medical experts to come together and share knowledge about diagnosis and more. So, a certain patient can access consultations from multiple doctors around the globe.
The entire point of ‘digitization’ is that it connects you to more resources through cutting edge technology like mobile apps, desktop applications, web apps, and more.
#2 Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
Unlike IoT (Internet of Things), IoMT isn’t any different. Instead of regular wearables, simply replace them with medical and devices connected to healthcare IT systems. The IoMT in medicine has enabled monitoring of temperature, blood pressure, glucose level, heart rate, and much more.
This, in turn, has allowed telemedicine to further flourish as the Internet of Medical Things allows measurements and transfers those readings to the concerned party. This measured information can be accessed by remote doctors allowing them to diagnose properly.
Although we are speaking about these trends to transform into reality in 2020; IoMT has been adopted within healthcare, nearly 60% by 2017 – according to Frost & Sullivan. As for the present, nearly 30 billion IoMT devices in healthcare is being anticipated to be deployed by 2020.
#3 Cloud Computing in Healthcare
You see, every trend seems to be interconnected. Now, as we speak about cloud computing, we are taking telemedicine and the data received through IoMT on the cloud. This way, you get to access important medical files and data from anywhere and at any time.
So what benefits do we get from cloud computing?
- Easy and quick access to data from any device and at any time.
- Scalable; allowing an increase or decrease of storage according to the need.
- Cost-effective and secure.
- Enables data analysis more convenient.
- Allows the patient’s health tracking and recovery process.
On the downside of cloud computing, you are the risk of data theft, security breach, and downtime.
#4 Artificial Intelligence
With honing the prowess of human-like processing and analytical abilities, AI can speed up the process of decision making and diagnose much faster and accurately; whilst also diminishing any human-errors.
AI has personified automation and big data analysis. The future of AI in healthcare looks much brighter and accurate with faster patient diagnosis, potential illness prediction, and providing better insights into the condition of the patient.
#5 The Role of Chatbots within Healthcare
We often hear about AI-powered chatbots changing the game for many businesses. However, we haven’t seen the same implementation within the healthcare sector. So, in healthcare, these chatbots work in place of hospital administrators; that is collecting information, answering generic queries, booking appointments, and connecting the processed requests further.
Moreover, these AI-powered chatbots can really help patients with reliable and authentic information; specifically older ones. How? By generating friendly reminders and serving as online assistants.
However, it is to be noted that a chatbot can never replace an expert and hence there should be limitations as to what a chatbot should be allowed to handle. When it comes to serious cases and critical queries, it is best to be forwarded to an actual doctor to prevent any risk of wrong guidance from a chatbot.
#6 AR/VR in Healthcare
Augmented and Virtual Reality has given a new meaning to how many of the processes are carried out within the healthcare industry. From teaching students to planning future procedures and debating the right diagnosis, AR/VR has made it fairly easy through real-time visualization.
In addition to this, AR/VR technology also helps improve patients’ motor deficiencies and encourages them to work. Not just that, in the realm of the mental health department, this technology can really help patients with their therapy by taking them to calmer and serene environments – helping them relax, meditate better, and ultimately show improvements.
Truly, AR/VR technology can revolutionize future diagnostics and critical surgeries that would require rehearsals of possible emergencies which would ultimately save the lives of many.
#7 Data Science in Healthcare – Enabling Next Level Predictive Analysis
As we know, the field of healthcare deals with a plethora of data – be it of patients or the study of medicine itself. Either way, there is a lot of data to be analyzed, understood, and then deduced to reach a solid conclusion. Hence, for this, data science can help revolutionize the ‘analysis’ part of the deal and make the process of analysis and diagnosis more efficient and better.
For example; a doctor can only imagine a few possible outcomes or underlying issues. However, the same doctor can feed in the ancestry and family histories into the AI-based system and allow the tools and algorithms to generate possibilities that the doctor can then go through and come to a more learned and in-depth conclusion.
Technological advancements have definitely opened new doors for remote diagnostics, better analysis, visualizations of critical treatments through AR/VR, and much more.
More so, with the progression of time, the healthcare mobile app breakthrough has brought accessibility to instant healthcare tools and features right in the hands of the patients in the form of mobile apps. Moreover, this has enabled software companies in Houston to step up their game in producing the most user-friendly and feature-packed healthcare apps to the masses.
These healthcare trends of 2020 will allow the necessary change within the industry that would help the sector sustain in conditions such as COVID-19.