The trends in healthcare that we are witnessing today are new technologies and solutions that address the demands of clinical diagnosis, treatment, and disease management. The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to a boom in technologies for disinfection, transmission control, disease spread detection, as well as for treatment, patient management, and immunization. Advances in the healthcare industry range from electronic consultations, telemedicine, and real-time diagnostics to access to digital therapy provided by immersive technology tools. Clinical data storage, Genetic analysis, and big data and analytics enable the development of precision medicine. Startups tailor treatment planning and delivery to individual patients using real-time remote monitoring devices.
Hospitals are getting smarter with the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and data management practices. These solutions improve workflow and staff planning and provide connected infrastructure, devices, and systems to accelerate accurate and equitable clinical services.
As the demands placed on technology continue to increase the pressure to modernize across industries, the healthcare sector finds itself at a crossroads. How do healthcare facilities and physicians take advantage of new technological advances while maintaining the high level of patient care expected of them?
2022 was no exception to the speed of technology innovation, and some recurring themes are emerging that will shape the direction healthcare providers will take in dealing with the impact of new technology trends.
Top Healthcare Industry Trends
- Telemedicine: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of telemedicine by many governments, health systems, physicians, and patients. To deal with the pandemic, governments have issued telemedicine guidelines to ease the burden on healthcare facilities. Telemedicine minimizes the burden on equipment and reduces the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) as doctors reach their patients via telecommunications. Telemedicine also helps the elderly remotely, reducing bed space and saving clinical supplies.
- Mobile Health (mHealth): mHealth technologies provide access to personalized information using digital solutions and connected devices. Mobile devices enable visualization of health issues that prevent patient engagement. Unbound by geographic boundaries and using real-time data streams, smartphone-connected wearable sensors, diagnostic devices, and medical-grade imaging are making healthcare delivery more equitable and affordable. mHealth solutions have played a key role in controlling the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic by enabling contact tracing, tracking, quarantine control, and management, testing, and dissemination of relevant information, as well as immunization cycle monitoring and reporting.
- Immersive technology: The use of immersive technologies such as AR/VR and MR is on the rise in healthcare. The applications of VR in healthcare vary from rehabilitation therapy and exposure therapy for anxiety disorders to assistance in cognitive and physical rehabilitation. AR/VR also plays an important role in medical education. Immersive technologies are also used in surgery, for example for perioperative projection of patient information, holographic images, and scans.
- Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence replaces conventional laborious and time-consuming processes in healthcare with fast, remotely accessible, and real-time solutions for disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. HealthTech startups are developing software platforms, application programming interfaces (APIs), and other digital products to extend the benefits of AI. Some of the applications of artificial intelligence in healthcare include clinical workflow management, advanced surgical assistance, and medical diagnostics.
- Genomics: Recently, considerable effort has been devoted to the development of genomic tools for various applications. Integrating both genomic knowledge and genomic processes into existing clinical workflows would ensure that clinicians have established communication and actionable recommendations that a genomic test can provide to patients. A new arena of personalized medicine is possible thanks to the advent of innovations in genomics. Gene therapy and gene therapy-based solutions have revolutionized clinical medicine and specialty care for several unmet clinical needs.
As technology advances, healthcare organizations strive to grow with them. Whether you’re considering the ongoing digitization super trend or exploring several near-horizon technologies poised to disrupt the industry, most healthcare organizations will be looking for a basic digital infrastructure to carry their business into the future.
– Amrin Ahmed