13 Mar 10 Healthcare Technology Trends to Improve Your Well-Being
Healthcare specialists have always felt that the lack of proper technology is a major hindrance standing in the way of digital healthcare transformation.
Health technologies consist of all the devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures, and systems that streamline healthcare operations to provide better facilities accurately and economically to every patient. But in terms of digital transformation, 2019 saw several new promising tech trends that promised to change the way patients were treated.
Top-of-mind healthcare technology trends for 2020 and beyond
The healthcare system is a complex one, and small and seemingly insignificant changes in technology can bring forth a huge impact on how patients are treated. Let’s explore 10 of the top trends in health tech to keep a pulse on this year.
1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning
The rate at which artificial intelligence and machine learning are transforming the healthcare industry is tremendous. Apart from simplifying the tasks of healthcare professionals and hospital administrators, AI can transform the lives of millions of patients every year. AI is a life-changing technology that’s going to tremendously change the healthcare industry by 2025, which is about a $200 billion industry. It’s expected that consumers will buy the latest healthcare apps and AI technology to improve and monitor their health.
Artificial Intelligence has proved to be disruptive in every aspect of a patient’s life, right from assistive robots and robots that diagnose patients and treat people in their homes and workplaces, to clinical AI robots can even administer cognitive behavioral therapy.
A perfect example of this would be medical imaging technology. It is an expensive imaging technique that can detect or rule out health conditions/diseases. With the help of Google DeepMind’s medical image-assistive AI, healthcare professionals can detect a number of sight-threatening diseases, and treat them before they manifest into something else.
Robotic process automation (RPA)
As robotic process automation is deployed widely in healthcare through artificial intelligence, thereby reducing paperwork and lessening the load on administrative functions, machine learning is also transforming the way patients are treated. ML technologies will be used with maximum utilization in real clinical scenarios.
They are also becoming the driving forces behind imaging diagnostics, reducing patient wait time, enabling early and accurate diagnosis and easing the burden on the medical staff. The following links offer a good read on the definitive changes made by artificial intelligence and machine intelligence in healthcare, and how both the medical staff and the patients are benefiting from them.
2. Computer vision/image recognition
A lot of time is saved through computer vision (aka image recognition) as medical professionals utilize creativity and imagination to reach a precise diagnosis and minimize false or inaccurate predictions. Timely prediction of illness is one major benefit of computer vision. For example, you can detect cancer much before it manifests in someone, and thereby save people from suffering too much.
It is also possible to leverage computer vision for health monitoring, not just as fitness trackers, but also for other purposes like monitoring the amount of blood lost during surgeries, measuring the fat percentage of the body, and more.
3. Wearable technologies
Smartwatches and activity trackers like Fitbit, Garmin, or the Apple Watch are already mainstream. These wearable devices are moving at a fast pace in society and there are absolutely no signs of slowing down. This has generated a booming market, while insurers, medical professionals, and companies selling wearable health technologies are recognizing the benefits of keeping track of patients’ and users physical activity and heart rate.
Smart watches that were once used to sound steps and tell time have turned into clinically viable healthcare tools. For example, Apple recently released “Movement Disorder API” wherein researchers can gather new insights into Parkinson’s disease.
4. Virtual and augmented reality
The innovations in augmented reality and virtual reality have begun to disrupt every field and the impact is no less in the field of healthcare as well. The statistics that talk about the AR and VR boom only serves to strengthen this notion. How wonderful it would be if a patient could monitor their heart rate, blood pressure, calorie intake and burn, and other vitals through AR glasses of the future? This would be quite beneficial for all types of patients.
Patients with chronic health issues will be able to sit in the comfort of their homes and monitor their health. If the patient needs quick administration of medicine, a doctor can perform a VR walkthrough showing the patient how they can administer the medicine themself. As the scope of VR improves, doctors will be able to walk patients through upcoming surgeries and educate them on the challenges or risks they might have to endure, as well as how they can overcome it.
Through these technologies, doctors can observe organs in a 3D format or through high-definition visuals, and they can zoom in on problem areas for better treatment decisions. The market for VR and AR in healthcare is estimated to reach $11.14 billion by 2025.
Surgeries will be done with the help of AR and VR, and because doctors can prepare models and play out the entire operation before they actually go into the theatre, precision is ensured. Surgeons can rehearse and experience potential outcomes before doing the real thing. This is also in the nascent stage, and though every detail of the surgery may not be covered, the prospect of AR and VR assistance in surgery is exciting.
5. Electronic health records (EHR)
Patient medical records come in various forms: patient identification information, diagnoses, treatment and progress notes, laboratory results, surgeries, outcomes, and more. These records are frequently saved in multiple forms like paper, audio, and video. They are stored electronically, so they can be archived or retrieved within lawful means.
EHR software is superior to paper records because they don’t need physical space, nor do they deteriorate with time. Electronic records make it much easier for medical professionals to have instant access to patient…