The Healthcare Industry has been slow in keeping pace with the growing technological trends, but it is about to witness major changes over the next few years. According to research, the digital health market is expected to reach USD 206 billion in 2020. Leading healthcare companies are redefining themselves with digital transformation, applied to their main functional areas with a more customer-centric approach. While most business trends rely on proven systems, they are continuously looking out for new ways to boost performance and productivity utilizing technology.
Here are some trends that are going to reshape the healthcare industry in 2020:
Evolution in the field of telemedicine is one of the significant sources of rapid change in the US healthcare system. In larger countries where access to providers is limited, telemedicine is increasingly proving to be transformative. In more developed areas, underserved communities also face problems caused due to waiting time, which has increased from 18.5 to 24 days form 2014, according to the 2019 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicare and Medicaid Acceptance Rates.
Telemedicine is improving diagnosing and treatment by making it easier for patients to get access to specialists and physicians, too. The availability of electronic medical records has also made it simple to forward patient data to specialists and doctors. In underdeveloped areas, this can mean the difference between not having expert input into a case. Hospitals have also been able to reduce readmission rates by providing real-time monitoring of patients outside the hospital. Thanks to the advent of wearable devices, it is normal for remote monitoring systems to now be included in post-discharge plans for patients.
#2 The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
Various electronic devices and mobile applications have come to play a crucial role in tracking and preventing chronic diseases for many patients and their doctors. By incorporating the IoT development with telemedicine and telehealth technologies, a new Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has emerged. This approach includes a number of wearable devices, including ECG and EKG monitors. Many other common measurements can also be taken, such as temperature, glucose level, and blood pressure readings.
By 2017, around 60 percent of operations in the healthcare field had adopted IoT or IoMT systems, according to market research company Frost and Sullivan. This trend has given rise to developments and improvements in everything from patient experience to profitability. 20-30 billion IoMT devices are expected to be deployed in 2020. By 2021, the market for IoT devices in healthcare is anticipated to reach USD 136 billion, according to Allied Market Research. With the arrival of new delivery techniques, such as the first smart pill approved by the FDA in 2017, practitioners will have many interesting options for effectively providing care.
Providing consistent and effective communication with various medical IoT devices is one of the significant challenges that the sector is facing. Manufacturers still regularly use their own proprietary protocols for talking to machines, and this can present problems, especially when trying to gather huge amounts of data by servers. Connectivity issues are also still prevalent, as the collection of data by microcontrollers and smartphones can be disturbed by several factors in the environment. B
#3 Cloud Computing For Patient Data
A number of public, private and hybrid cloud-based platforms are available for sharing a large number of files. Healthcare organizations are trying to address the emerging need to build out, run, and maintain infrastructure for record-keeping activities. Here, cloud computing becomes an appealing choice for digital technology in healthcare.
Patients and healthcare providers and consultants will get better access to medical records through cloud-based applications, and they make the consultation process convenient and practical. These telemedicine applications, though, place a higher demand for synchronous as well as asynchronous messaging systems. The need to integrate video for live consultations creates pressure to deploy WAN connections that are speedy, secure and stable.
Public cloud systems have access to a wide range of general health information sources, and they allow storage and retrieval of an organization’s medical data. Private cloud applications can be used for more security-sensitive requirements, such as pharmacy orders, patient bills, and physician queries. On-premises and online-hosted solutions are available within the private cloud hosting sphere. Employing and on-premises approach permits the IT department at an organization to have greater control.
#5 Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare
Artificial Intelligence is one of the growing healthcare technology trends. Developing AI machines that can process information and provide decision-making data in a manner similar to human beings has given rise to an entirely new sector of innovative health technologies. AI applications can significantly increase the speed and accuracy of the diagnosis process. Analytics can also identify developments and allow physicians to start thinking about possible approaches for early diagnosis and treatment. Machine Learning algorithms are also being leveraged to safely explore the chemical and biological interactions in the drug discovery process, bringing new drugs into the market faster.
The potential for AI and other deep learning technologies to create synergies that bring about digital transformation in healthcare is immense. The vast ecosystem is expected to become significantly more interdependent as the industry moves forward.
It is important to note that machine learning systems, including the ones using Deep Learning methods, will outperform their original training models. Applications of these sophisticated algorithms in clinical environments depend on building good training sets to ensure that AIs are as informed as possible. Data sciences consulting teams also need to be involved in the procedure to make sure that quality control is monitored by checking the model generates that statistically relevant and accurate answers. Making quality services available to all will enhance the returns that can be achieved through the use of Deep Learning models.
Dealing with routine queries using AI-backed messaging and voice systems can help organizations realize cost savings. In healthcare, the capacity to address easily diagnosed problems allows practitioners to focus on the matters that might need the full attention of a physician.
Utilizing smart bots in a digital assistant’s role allows physicians to keep a better log of contacts, offer appointments and easily make changes. Patients also have an easier time getting prescriptions refilled, and the billing process becomes smoother. Lab tests can be transmitted more efficiently, and patients can be informed of procedure outcomes sooner. Chatbots are beneficial for practices dealing with older patients. They could be used to give out friendly reminders. By incorporating other technologies, such as analytics and AI, the assistant could even warn about potential drug interactions.
A medical project at UCLA has incorporated chatbot technologies with AI systems to create a Virtual Interventional Radiologist (VIR). It makes evidence-based responses to FAQs easily and quickly available to physicians by applying IBM Watson's cognitive technologies and Natural Language processing models. This allows the questions to be read, analyzed and answered intuitively, making the whole process simpler, easier to manage, faster and more useful for doctors.
Hence, out of all the industries where technology plays a crucial role, healthcare is definitely one of the most important ones. Mergers and acquisitions in this field are responsible for improving and saving countless lives all around the world. Areas like biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and information technology are leveraging technology for sustaining healthcare. The development of medical devices and medical equipment has made a significant contribution to improving the health of patients worldwide.
In the medical industry, the dependence on technology cannot be overstated, and as a result of the development of these brilliant innovations, healthcare providers can continue looking for ways to improve their practice – from better diagnosis to surgical procedures, and improved patient care.
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