Although the healthcare industry is historically known to be one of the least adaptive to new changes, it has recognised and started fusing itself with healthcare technology today.
Healthcare’s digital shift can be based on the fact that these tech innovations have proven to benefit both patients and healthcare providers. According to HIMSS’s (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) CEO, Hal Wolf healthcare technology enables providers to understand a patient’s preferences better and provide personalised care.
By utilising digital solutions, more personalised, efficient, and accessible healthcare services will be provided to patients. Countries like the UK have announced a £37.5 million investment in Digital Innovation Hubs to find solutions to Britain’s health challenges, according to Deloitte.
There has been an enormous impact of technology in healthcare today, and it can be seen with these healthcare technology trends:
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
What is IoMT?
Among the list of digital innovations to watch out for is the Internet of Medical Things or IoMT. Essentially, it is the body of smart devices that “speak” to each other. Such devices can range from smartphone, doorbells, and smart cars, to name a few.
The IoMT, defined by TechTarget, is the collection of medical devices and applications that connect to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks. This healthcare tech innovation is expected to provide insights and solutions to today’s health services in several ways.
How does IoMT work?
IoMT devices can track an individual's bodily metrics and can indicate their medical condition. IoT medical devices can even indicate health complications like diabetes, a common condition that affects one in ten adults.
To regulate and monitor conditions, diabetics can now use a smart CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring). The smart CGM continuously monitors blood glucose levels for days at a time and then sends its readings to an app on your smartphone or smartwatch. This then allows the wearer as well as their caregivers to keep an eye on their status.
IoMT devices have also been utilised in cancer treatments via a Bluetooth-enabled scale and blood pressure cuff. These devices are connected to a symptom tracking app that helps inform and alert the patient’s caregivers remotely.
With the great number of benefits the healthcare industry can receive from these IoMT devices, its market value is predicted to reach $158 billion by 2022, according to Deloitte.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a two-way, real-time interactive communication between a patient and remote healthcare providers through technology. According to a Global Telemedicine Forecast study, the telemedicine market is expected to be worth $113.1 billion in the year 2025.
Telemedicine is essentially providing remote healthcare through the use of technology. Unlike the traditional health care system, physicians are now able to treat patients whenever and wherever they are, by using a smartphone or personal computer.
What can we expect from telemedicine?
Telemedicine has become a quick and easier way for patients and physicians to communicate conveniently. The use of technology as a means to communicate with a healthcare provider makes it a great alternative to the traditional health care system:
- Medical assistance is made a lot more accessible, especially for patients who are in no capacity to leave their homes due to illness or even weather conditions.
- Diagnosis of common medical illnesses like headaches and digestive issues can be made efficiently through just a video call.
- Prescriptions can be immediately refilled and delivered to their homes.
- Post-treatment check-ins and follow-ups can be done remotely.
- Medical assistance can be provided despite holidays, weekends or even in the late hours of the night.
Overall, telemedicine can effectively save both patients and healthcare providers’ time and energy. It also enables patients to get the help they need sooner and for medical practitioners to do their jobs more efficiently.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
AI is the ability for computer algorithms to build predictions of behaviour without any direct human input. When it comes to AI in the healthcare industry, its primary purpose is to analyse the relationship between prevention or treatments and patient outcomes.
The AI market is one of the leading tech trends in healthcare technology today, with a predicted value of $200 billion by the year 2025 according to an AI market report by Markets and Markets.
What can we expect from AI in healthcare?
With AI’s bright future, many are keen on getting their hands on new AI developments today, like assistive robots. These robots have become a great source of patient care in the healthcare service sector. They come as:
- Support robots who diagnose and treat people at home
- Clinical AIs
- Robots that operate cognitive behavioural therapy
For us to get a better idea of AI in healthcare, it is best to look into the different trends that are shaping its future.
As physicians currently face factors such as the ever-increasing need for more medical services and resources along with rising costs, the focus on putting the patient’s needs first is no longer prioritised. Thus, developing an AI that is focused on a patient-centred approach is a top focus amongst researchers to provide high-quality care to patients.
To improve one’s medical care, having immediate access to medical records is necessary. An efficient way to store important data can be done electronically. For medical research to advance, there should be a push for more data-driven medicine. AI technology compiles such data for clinical research and reviews to be used in programs that identify the success of a treatment based on patient outcome.
Another healthcare trend in AI is medical imaging. Although medical imaging is currently practised with MRI to fMRI scans, AI imaging has been proven to be a lot more profound and feasible option. AIs can help identify signs of strokes and see lesions in the lung and liver. AI imaging has the potential to go even beyond what we currently see today.
From all the healthcare technology advances that we see today, the shift to alternative healthcare tech services is becoming imminent. These technologies have proven to be an efficient and effective way to provide medical assistance to patients.
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