The world of healthcare is progressing rapidly, more healthcare professionals have adopted new methods and tools to enhance patient care. Most of the population suffers from depression and anxiety – conditions often associated with a lack of control or helplessness in difficult situations. The population would prefer to manage their health issues rather than visit a hospital. All of this points to the fact that healthcare is a constantly changing and evolving field, and as a result, the field of healthcare technology is evolving as well to keep up with the changes and improvements in patient care!
In this article, we will explore the key trends that are shaping the world of healthcare technology and how you can get involved and benefit from them.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Telemedicine, which provides healthcare professionals with the ability to evaluate and treat patients remotely, is one of the biggest trends in healthcare. Many hospitals and clinics are moving to a ‘telehealth model,’ which allows patients to monitor their vital signs and other health metrics through online portals. This allows healthcare professionals to review patient data anywhere at any time and may lead to more precise diagnoses and treatment plans. Mobile apps and online healthcare monitoring and management services are also becoming more popular, as they allow patients to track their conditions and receive feedback on their progress from healthcare providers.
If you’re a patient, remote healthcare monitoring is the first thing you want. It allows you to keep an eye on your health from the comfort of your home and provides healthcare professionals with additional data to review and treat you with!
The Internet of Things
The ever-evolving world of healthcare technology is bringing the internet of things (IoT). The IoT represents the ability of devices, machines, and everyday items to transfer data via the internet. One of the biggest benefits of the IoT is its ability to gather data, which can then be analyzed and used to track patient progress and identify patterns and trends that may lead to more effective treatments or remedies. The IoT also allows healthcare providers to monitor patients remotely without spending time at each patient’s side.
Another big advantage of the IoT is tracking and monitoring many patients with a single dashboard and aggregating data from various devices and systems into a single database. This helps healthcare professionals get a 360-degree view of patient health and track trends or patterns that may indicate a need for further investigation or action.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
RPA, or robotic process automation, is artificial intelligence that allows for automated process execution within enterprise software applications. RPA can be a chatbot or specialized software that acts as a digital assistant within an organization’s workflow and allows for simpler, more streamlined processes.
RPA has the potential to transform how healthcare is managed and delivered, as healthcare applications that utilize this technology can eliminate a large number of errors that often occur due to human involvement in the process. One of the major benefits of RPA is the reduction in repetitive tasks that would normally be performed by human labor, as well as the opportunity to focus on more complex and higher-value tasks. Finally, RPA allows healthcare applications to be built with increased intelligence, incorporating machine learning and adaptive learning into the application to become more efficient over time without requiring additional human involvement.
Healthcare applications and data are becoming more and more accessible and mobile, leading to a growing trend towards ‘cloud-based’ solutions. Instead of storing large amounts of data on-premise, such as within a company’s network, healthcare applications and data are now being kept in ‘the cloud,’ which can be accessed via any device with an internet connection. The biggest advantage of this approach is scalability. If you run out of storage on-premise, you’ll have to wait until the server is upgraded or replaced, but with the cloud, you can easily upgrade or replace the storage without impacting system performance.
As a result of the above, we are seeing the emergence of hybrid cloud models, where healthcare applications and data are stored in one location and managed in another. Additionally, healthcare data and applications can be accessed and managed from anywhere at any time via any device with an internet connection.
With the rise of wearable technology and the ‘consumerization’ of the internet of things, more and more healthcare applications are emerging that utilize sensors and other types of ‘smart technology to provide additional functionality. Sensing, the ability to perceive and detect events or circumstances using electronic sensors, is one of the biggest trends in healthcare. Sensing allows for continuous monitoring of patient health data and for healthcare professionals to gather vast amounts of information quickly and efficiently.
One of the most promising areas of research regarding smart sensing is in health monitoring and diagnosis. Wearable technology and the IoT allow for continuous monitoring of patient health data and allow healthcare professionals to gather vast amounts of information quickly and efficiently. This data can then be evaluated and used to track patient progress and identify patterns and trends that may lead to more effective treatments or remedies.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) have been around for a while but have only recently started to find their way into healthcare. ML/AI technology allows for automated, pattern-based learning within an application or system, with the ability to adapt and change based on new data and scenarios as they arise.
Take, for example, diabetic retinopathy, which is a complication of diabetes. Currently, the only way to detect this condition is through eye examinations by healthcare professionals. ML/AI technology applied to healthcare data collection and analysis allows for the automation of this process and the subsequent monitoring and detection of diabetic retinopathy with an app or other automated solution.
As healthcare providers adjust to the new normal, they have had to learn how to use E-Learning to their advantage quickly. E-Learning is an excellent way to learn and retain knowledge, improving clinical outcomes and patient safety — especially during the pandemic when hand hygiene and social distancing are important. With E-Learning, healthcare students can access courses from the convenience of their homes, allowing them to review the material as it relates to their professions constantly. Furthermore, the ability to access learning material from the convenience of your home means that you can learn at your own pace, whenever you want. This has made E-Learning an ideal option for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge and clinical skills during these challenging times.
More and more healthcare applications and services are moving to a ‘virtual model’, where treatment and consultation are delivered via a remote connection, either directly between patients and healthcare providers or via a digital intermediary. A big benefit of the virtual healthcare model is avoiding unnecessary office visits and associated costs. Additionally, patients are more engaged and feel as though they are more involved in their care and treatment, leading to improved treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Healthcare analytics have evolved with the industry, providing physicians with better insights into their patients’ health. Thanks to powerful search engines that can access vast reservoirs of patient data and the development of predictive analytics, doctors can now spot patterns and trends that would have previously gone undetected. This can help guide more effective treatment plans and identify patients at risk of suffering adverse events. Furthermore, AI in healthcare has enabled physicians to analyze voluminous datasets, providing them with better insights into their patient’s health and empowering them to make decisions and improve outcomes.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
The medical industry is always looking for ways to improve the overall patient experience, especially during the pandemic when the infection risk is rising. Augmented and Virtual Reality is poised to change the way we practice medicine and create better patient outcomes. Thanks to the increasing popularity of virtual reality headsets, such as the Oculus Quest, which can allow for more immersive experiences, healthcare providers can use these technologies to enhance their practices.
For example, a healthcare provider can virtually tour a patient’s body, detecting problems before they become apparent, using 3D visualization and navigation, allowing for more precise and effective interventions. Furthermore, with the help of AI, doctors can use virtual reality to perform clinical procedures, obviating the need for invasive testing and enabling patients to receive treatment without leaving their homes.
The Future Of Healthcare
The medical industry is always evolving, and these technologies are helping to shape the future of healthcare in a big way. Healthcare is one of the industries most directly affected by the pandemic, and it will take some time to get back to pre-pandemic levels. Yet, how we deliver healthcare has changed forever, and these technologies will aid physicians in recovery. As you can see, how we practice medicine has changed and will only improve.