The healthcare industry is undergoing significant changes these days. New trends in health technology keep popping up, completely transforming healthcare as we know it. They’re focused on better patient care and, more importantly, preventive care.
Here are some of the top health technologies that will dominate not only in 2019 but also for many years to come.
Telehealth is a relatively new way of managing healthcare, and it’s about to reach its peak this year. It involves using digital communication technologies to manage and improve patient care.
With telehealth systems, medical professionals can access medical records anytime, anywhere, and on any device, examine and monitor patients remotely with the help of live video, and collaborate with other physicians and health facilities to ensure the best possible patient care.
According to a Grand View Research report, the global telehealth market is expected to reach $113.1 billion by 2025.
One example of telehealth includes the use of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). EMRs are nothing new, but very few health facilities have been using them until recently.
Their use is growing rapidly, as experts are finally realizing how much they can improve long-term patient care, and make healthcare more convenient and accessible than ever before.
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
The IoMT is a system of connected medical devices and sensors that capture data necessary for making the best possible clinical decisions. It’s used to monitor patients remotely and provide them with excellent support.
IoMT devices can capture accurate data, and not only reduce healthcare costs but also help medical professionals remotely examine patients and deliver outstanding care.
We’re witnessing the increasing use of various wearables with smart sensors that can measure heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels, burned calories, and much more. There are also lots of mobile apps with these and other functionalities.
According to a Frost & Sullivan forecast report, there will be about 30 billion IoMT devices by 2020.
There’s already a wide use of AI-based technologies in the healthcare industry. AI-driven chatbots powered by machine learning are capable of providing 24/7 customer support, and they’re becoming more and more advanced. We’ll certainly see them managing many other tasks in the near future.
However, some of the most vital applications of AI technologies in healthcare have to do with the early diagnosis, and medical research and drug discovery.
AI can automate various menial tasks and not only save time, but also eliminate the risk of human error. Moreover, AI tools can sift through tons of data in seconds, helping doctors make accurate diagnoses and deliver the best treatments accordingly.
Furthermore, since AI tools are powered by deep learning technologies, they have a very bright future in medical research and drug discovery.
According to recent Forbes healthcare predictions, AI for healthcare IT application will cross $1.7 billion in 2019.
Blockchain technologies can help make all the medical records digitally shared across various systems and devices more safe and secure. The blockchain stores all medical records in a decentralized manner, and encrypts them to keep them secure.
Not only does blockchain save digital space, but it also makes all the stored records immutable, which means they cannot be changed and copied, only distributed.
It allows medical professionals to easily transfer data across multiple systems, share it with other physicians and patients, and keep the records secure at all times.
Blockchain also offers higher security when it comes to the pharmaceutical supply chain. When a manufacturer makes a new product, they can use blockchain to register it and increase trust with their customers. Consumers can then track the product and monitor any potential changes. This helps reduce the number of counterfeit drugs.
VR, AR, and MR
Virtual and augmented reality are completely changing the way medical students master their skills, as well as the way surgeons perform various surgeries.
With VR and AR, they can practice removing tumors safely, for instance. This is because they can immerse themselves in a controlled environment that provides a real-life experience, perfect for learning and practicing various methods.
According to a Goldman Sachs report, the VR and AR healthcare market is expected to reach $5.1 billion in a few years, with 3.4 million users worldwide.
Now, when VR and AR come together, we get MR – mixed reality. It combines the real and virtual world to create an even more immersive and real-world experience. MR can also be used for education, training, and planning surgeries, as well as during surgeries.
Genome-editing technologies represent the most incredible breakthrough in healthcare. They are changing healthcare as we know it, and we’re bound to witness scientific miracles because of it.
These technologies enable experts to detect diseases even before the symptoms appear so that they can treat them early on, and even prevent them. With gene editing, they can better understand the DNA in cells and modify the cells to effectively treat complex disorders and serious health conditions.
The overall trend in the healthcare industry is undeniably combining excellent patient experiences, preventive care, big data processing, and cost reduction. Combining all the aforementioned cutting-edge health technologies helps achieve all of that.
You can definitely expect to see much wider use of all these technologies, but 2019 will certainly be the year when a few more remarkable discoveries will see the light of day.