The healthcare industry is currently one of the world’s fastest-growing business trade that is highly influenced by the equally advancing industry of technology.
The constant progress in technology can help healthcare institutions answer the public’s rising demand and give better patient care through a more organized and systematic process.
Take a look at 9 of the latest technology trends that will optimize the healthcare industry in 2020.
3D printing has been used widely for quite a while. It allowed everyone with the technology to make prototypes, research, customization works, and a lot more. In the industry, surgeons are using 3D printing to make a replica of patient-specific organs to help prepare for procedures. A handful of medical equipment and surgical tools can also be produced via 3D printing. This technology offers an easier and cost-effective way to produce suitable prosthetic limbs for patients as well as print tissues and organs to be used for transplant. The field of dentistry and orthodontics also make great use out of this technology.
Fitbits, Smart Glasses, and other wearable fitness technology items are capable of doing much more than inform you how many steps you’ve had for the day. On average, 80% of the general public is enthusiastic to use, or at least try wearable tech. This gives the healthcare industry a tremendous opportunity to use such items for everyday healthcare. The latest smartwatches are not only capable of tracking your runs and walks, they are also capable of monitoring your sleep patterns and heart rhythms. Another form of a wearable device that you’re probably familiar with are ECG monitors that are used to detect atrial fibrillation, blood pressure monitors, biosensor patches for monitoring your temperature, heart rate, et cetera.
The advance in wearable technology will pave a way for the public to proactively get health support in style and in comfort.
Machine Learning and AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Artificial intelligence and machine learning allow the development of new ways to classify and diagnose diseases, recognize and develop treatment programs, track health epidemics, optimize medical research and clinical trials, and generally improve the healthcare system as a whole. A great deal considering the continuous growth in world population and average life expectancy age. This technology makes it more feasible to handle the rapidly increasing demands on the system.
By this year, medical data will double approximately every 2 months. It is estimated that we could save $100 billion in annual savings for medicine by relying on artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to process the influx of data.
Advanced AI algorithms with superhuman computational power enable them to learn from data and predict the probability of a condition. This would help doctors and medical practitioners provide diagnosis and treatment plans.
With the proper regulation in terms of algorithm use, AI and machine learning can act as a major support to many clinical difficulties and enhance hospital and clinic performances.
Would you let the Terminator’s distant cousin give you your medical needs? Probably not. But advance and specially-designed robots like theda Vinci surgical robot has been assisting patients with responsibilities in the operating room for some time now. But the robots’ potential in healthcare goes beyond surgical practices.
With the colossal growth foreseen in robotics, with the global medical robotics market anticipated to seize $20 billion by 2023, it is certain that robots will proceed to administer more diverse procedures in healthcare. Robots have already been helping doctors examine and treat patients in remote areas through “telepresence,” transporting medical supplies, disinfecting hospital quarters, supporting patients through rehabilitation or with prosthetics, as well as automating laboratories and packaging medical equipment. Some promising medical robots are also equipped with a micro-bot that can pin-point treatment to a precise section of the body which is significantly helpful in procedures like tumor radiation or bacterial infection treatments.
Extended Reality (Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality)
Extended reality can be used not only for entertainment purposes. As a matter of fact, it’s already being utilized for important medical purposes.
The VR/AR healthcare market is expected to hit $5.1 billion by 2025. It’s a technological breakthrough for training and surgery simulation, and it’s also playing an important role in patient care and treatment. Virtual reality has assisted patients with visual impairment, depression, cancer, and autism while augmented reality has been giving another source of help for medical practitioners and has aided doctors during brain surgery and reconnecting blood vessels. Mixed reality, the technology that connects the virtual and real world, has been leading educational opportunities for medical professionals as their patients by helping them visualize and understand their conditions or treatment plans.
Similar to 3D printing, a digital twin is a real-time replica of something from the physical world, only in digital form. In the industry of healthcare, digital twins are replicas of a patient’s life-long data record. Digital twins are able to help a doctor determine the possibilities for certain procedures, help plan treatment arrangements, and handle chronic illnesses. In a nutshell, digital twins are essential to elevate patient-centric care. The digital twin technology is still in its first few stages, but its potential is rather promising.
Fifteen percent of the world’s population is still living in rural areas that have little to no access to a proper healthcare facility. And as the capacities for local healthcare centers to render care in remote or areas in need through telemedicine increase, the quality and speed of the network available in those areas are crucial if we’re looking for positive outcomes. 5G networks can support healthcare teams by enabling the transmission of large imaging files for review and professional medical advice and enabling the use of AI, enhancing a doctor’s capability to administer treatments through AR, VR or mixed reality, and allowing remote patient monitoring.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning help advance genomic medicine by using a person’s genomic information to devise personalized treatment programs and medical care. Genomic medicine is making an impact.in the fields of pharmacology, oncology, infectious diseases, and a whole lot more. Machines are able to analyze genes and gene mutations that cause medical conditions faster than professionals. This shortcut helps the community understand how diseases work better and faster, as well as how to treat or even exterminate it. There are numerous ongoing research projects concerning complicated medical conditions such as organ transplant rejection, cystic fibrosis, and cancers to determine how best to treat these conditions through personalized medicine.
These technologies extend unbelievable opportunities for providing better and faster healthcare to billions of people all around the world and help the system catch up with the increasing rate of demands.