The healthcare industry has shifted from providing products and services to solutions. There was a time when medical institutions relied on special equipment and hardware to deliver evidence-based care. But today, healthcare is using medical platforms, big data, and healthcare analytics to provide solutions and convenience in healthcare.
The healthcare trends point to the direction of preventive care and there isn’t any doubt that the future will be more of it. Let’s analyze a few new healthcare technology trends that will come into play in 2019 and beyond.
AI-based technologies like robotics and machine learning to the world have already set foot in the world of modern healthcare.
AI tools can reduce human errors in diagnosis and treatment and allow doctors to work with more patients.
For example, image recognition technology will help to diagnose some diseases that cause changes to appearance (diabetes, optical deviations, and dermatological diseases).
It’s also likely that in future people will be able to diagnose themselves. DIY medical diagnosis apps will probably ask some questions, process a patient’s care history, and then show possible diagnoses based on the current symptoms.
But as this technology isn’t advanced yet, patients should be careful with DIY medical apps and self-medication.
For instance, IBM Watson, an AI-based system that’s making a difference in several areas of healthcare. It was created with the intent to enhance care management, accelerate drug discovery, match patients with clinical trials, and fulfill other tasks. Systems like this can help medical institutions save a big deal of time and money in the future. Statistics show that the AI health market is expected to grow more than 10 times by 2021. Applications in AI could save about $150 billion dollars in US alone by 2028.
It’s likely that in 2019 and beyond, AI will become even more advanced and will be able to carry out a wider range of tasks without human monitoring.
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) includes various devices connected to each other via the internet. Nowadays, this technology trend in healthcare is used for remote monitoring of patients’ well-being by means of wearables.
Devices like ECG monitors, mobile apps, fitness trackers, and smart sensors can measure blood pressure, pulse, heart rate, glucose level can help you assess your health. A level ahead, these devices are also integrated with the capability to set reminders for patients and give clear directions of their health. One recently introduced IoMT wearable device, the Apple Watch Series 4, is able to measure heart rate, count calories burned, and even detect a fall and call emergency numbers.
IoMT technology is still evolving and is forecasted to reach about 30 billion devices worldwide by 2021 according to Frost & Sullivan.
- IoMT will contribute sensors and systems in the healthcare industry to capture data and deliver it accurately.
- IoMT technology can reduce the costs of healthcare solutions by allowing doctors to examine patients remotely.
- IoMT can help doctors gather analytics to predict health trends.
Statistics reveal that 87% of health systems will have IoMT deployed by 2019 and by 2020 the value of this market will reach a whooping $160 million!
Telehealth is a relatively new concept in the healthcare industry and includes mHealth, remote patient monitoring, store-and-forward care, and live video.
This could enhance the quality of healthcare by giving patients point-in-time availability of healthcare services and eliminating the causes of delay in healthcare.
According to the predictions by the experts, 2019 will be the telehealth tipping point. Now there can be more of virtual appointments with doctors 24/7, saving time and money. Moreover, this technology allows patients to get immediate care on urgent but small matters.
Telemedicine will likely become more popular than office visits in a few years. Patients will become more engaged with regular examinations and will form stronger relationships with their doctors.
In addition, analysis by Deloitte shows that telehealth can increase customer engagement and improve the customer experience by reducing travel time and regular office visits. As a result, healthcare providers who deliver excellent experiences to patients will show stronger financial performance.
The blockchain is getting more and more popular in various industries, and healthcare is one of them. The blockchain’s main advantage is the ability to secure data and protect it from breaches. In 2018, blockchain technology has made it extremely easy for healthcare providers to share medical data safely. In 2019 and beyond, this technology will help healthcare providers manage endless data — including patient health information, insurance claims, and electronic health records — and keep it safe and encrypted.
In addition, the blockchain will reduce the number of fake drugs on the market and increase trust and transparency between drug manufacturers and customers. Once a manufacturer creates a new medical product, they’ll register it on the blockchain and be able to track and control it through all stages. Customers, in turn, will be able to trust manufacturers by monitoring any pharmaceutical product throughout the supply chain. According to an article in the International Journal of Computer Applications, blockchain-based applications can help to prevent counterfeit drugs. Let’s consider how the blockchain will work with drug traceability.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are revolutionizing the healthcare industry. These technologies are already used in treatments for a wide range of illnesses. For example, neurosurgeons are using AR technology to remove tumors safely and conduct orthopedic operations. Specialists in mental health are using AR to treat patients who aren’t able to come to a medical center for the usual treatment. There are several examples of AR and VR tools that ease treatment and diagnosis. The AccuVein system shows a blood vessel map in real time and helps doctors avoid valves and bifurcations.
What’s even more exciting, the AR and VR healthcare market is predicted to be worth about $5.1 billion in a few years, with 3.4 million users worldwide according to a report by Goldman-Sachs. The future of these technologies in the healthcare industry is believed to be in enhanced user experiences and increased mobility.
The overall healthcare technology trend is toward preventive care, enhanced patients experiences, lower expenses, and big data processing. Cutting-edge technologies like AI and AR are already widely used to help patients with remote diagnosis and medical prescriptions, and in 2019 and beyond there will definitely be even more outstanding discoveries.
We at Klinikals have already incorporated trending healthcare technologies in our platform to deliver timely healthcare and better care. We see ourselves at a point of time where we could impact the way the world experiences healthcare.
Share your thoughts on this topic with us in the comments below.