The healthcare industry is about to experience significant changes over the next few years, even though its history suggests that it has been slow to adopt technologies. By the end of this year 2020, the digital health market is forecasted to reach $206 billion. Many leading companies are redefining themselves with digital transformation, applied to several aspects to their main functional areas with a client-oriented approach.
Here are a few technologies that are currently trending and expected to witness significant growth over the next few years:
Telehealth practice in the U.S has increased by a staggering 115% in the last ten years. The current global COVID-19 pandemic crisis has forced many physicians around the world to distribute health-related services via electronic information and telecommunication tools. Telehealth is improving diagnosing and treatment by enabling patients to easily get access to specialists. Especially in the rural areas, it can mean the difference between having or not having an expert opinion in a case.
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
Various mobile applications and devices have come to play a crucial role in tracking and preventing chronic illnesses for many patients and their doctors. By combining Telemedicine and Telehealth technologies with IoT development, a new Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has emerged which includes the use of several wearables such as ECG and EKG monitors. IoMT also helps to measure other common medical conditions, such as glucose level, skin temperature, blood pressure readings.
Touchless Patient Identification
Government officials from many countries have required many industry leaders including the health industry to look for contactless biometric identification solutions. While biometric patient identification has proven to be effective for eliminating the chances of creating duplicate medical records and preventing medical identity theft, this current pandemic has accelerated the demand for this technology. Biometric patient identification will play a big role in the healthcare industry considering how efficient it is for controlling the spread of contagious diseases. Biometric identification platforms allow healthcare providers to accurately identify their patients by maintaining a safe distance, thus limiting physical contact between people and things. Many progressive hospitals in the U.S healthcare system have improved their overall revenue cycle and patient experiences since using this technology such as RightPatient.
Cloud application in Healthcare
A variety of cloud-based platforms are available for the sharing of large files and streamline workflows. Healthcare providers are trying to address the need to build out, run, and maintain their facility for the purpose of record-keeping. Cloud-based software solutions are becoming an enticing choice for the healthcare providers as it allows them and their patients to get better access to records, thus, enabling them to streamline workflows more conveniently. For instance, federal law HIPAA requires healthcare providers to maintain and ensure the safekeeping of various records and adhere to the rules and regulations by following detailed guidelines.
While maintenance of HIPAA compliance can be a burden, cloud-based HIPAA compliance software has yet again proven successful for streamlining compliance management activities. HIPAA compliance software such as HIPAAReady has allowed healthcare providers to easily store and safely keep required documents and even seamlessly deploy training for their employees across the organization.
Asset tracking with the application of blockchains and AI
In the healthcare industry, hospital asset tracking can optimize operational costs. In recent years many healthcare systems have adopted technology for managing and monitoring healthcare equipment and supplies to improve efficiency. By closely monitoring asset lifecycle, which consists of the process of planning, acquiring, deploying, maintaining and eventually disposing of physical assets, hospitals can better optimize medical wastes and equipment disposal efficiently.
There is a vast range of assets in a medical setting or healthcare, both physical and non-physical, which includes machinery, equipment, medication, medical waste, employees, computers, patient documents, and many more. Managing these assets manually can be stressful. Cloud based asset tracking platforms with the application of blockchains and artificial intelligence have allowed healthcare providers to easily manage their assets in a secure, efficient and affordable manner.
Healthcare providers serve a vulnerable population and this makes security to the facility more crucial. Whether it’s the visitors who are upset over sick loved ones, patients who are recovering from an illness, or employees who have had a stressful day, the people at the continuum of care are usually vulnerable at a given moment. Healthcare providers also need to consider what would happen in the event of an emergency, for instance, an intruder or a troublemaker: would create unnecessary problems for the people who are likely to have trouble reacting or following directions in these situations. Also, some medical centers are big enough to spread over the area of a few city clocks, housing various kinds of facilities: testing laboratories, medical officers, urgent care centers, etc.
These kinds of medical centers have several entries and exit points which makes it easier troublemakers to enter the facility. Also, when a small business decides to accept visitors, it won’t create a big stir. However, if a hospital decides that guests are no longer welcome, it is likely to create more outrage. This makes visitor tracking more essential and thankfully, with modern robust cloud-based visitor tracking systems, this process becomes much easier.
Data Science and Predictive Analytics
Working with patients with chronic diseases allows practitioners to gather a great deal of information, but discovering and compressing all available data into something actionable can be challenging. However, advancement in data science and predictive analytics has allowed physicians to view deeper insights. For instance, a physician can feed information derived from family history and ancestry into AI-based platforms to produce statistically supported profiles and provide treatments faster. Problems that are endemic to families, regions, and other population clusters can be identified by retrieving valuable data from sources about the surrounding environment.
Advancement in technologies has clearly improved outcomes in the healthcare industry. These technologies offer incredible opportunities to provide better healthcare services to billions of people and help the healthcare system to keep up with the ever-increasing demand.